In today’s segregated society, there are few opportunities for caregivers and school staff to connect meaningfully across racial and socioeconomic difference. This leads to division, unspoken tensions and inequitable access to educational opportunities and economic advancement. It also prevents us from realizing our shared humanity and raising the next generation to value their own identities and the identities of others.
To create truly equitable access and schools grounded in our common humanity, families and school staff need brave, safe spaces and skilled facilitation to build trust and relationships with one another. Kindred establishes these spaces by facilitating dialogues among families and school staff of diverse backgrounds that culminate in their taking collective action to benefit all students. Kindred is currently seeking applicants for its facilitator and organizer role.
Kindred envisions a world where children and families thrive – without difference by economic situation, racial or ethnic identity, ability or other designation – by collaborating for each other’s well-being. Grounded in participatory action, Kindred is on the cutting edge of a new approach to organizing and engaging families. We seek individuals to join our organization who are captivated and driven by our mission and thrive in work environments with big goals and a committed team to accomplish them.
About this Role
Kindred strives to create an active network of parents and school staff who connect with one another in a vibrant community to exchange ideas, share resources, and drive each other’s belief and motivation to eliminate educational inequity in the communities where they reside. To build community, Kindred begins in elementary schools with parents and staff, facilitating small group dialogues about identity, racism, classism, and educational inequity that conclude with participants taking an action together to cultivate inclusivity, advance equity, and support a school community where everyone can thrive. We are seeking an individual who exhibits a track record of success and passion in organizing, facilitation and coaching to lead the work in 2-4 school sites in the 2021-22 school year. Responsibilities include:
Direct Program Implementation (80%)
Organizing & Dialogue Facilitation
- Meet with parents and/or school staff 1:1 to build trust, understand their challenges and aspirations, and invest them in joining a dialogue group that will advance educational equity and racial justice.
- Using provided curriculum, co-facilitate dialogue sessions to meet desired outcomes – during dialogue, parents and/or staff discuss their identities, histories, and aspirations toward the goal of developing authentic relationships and taking collective action to advance educational equity and racial justice in their school
- Maintain ongoing communication with parents and staff in between dialogue sessions to ensure they feel supported and to attain 80% attendance rates.
- Motivate 40% of dialogue participants to facilitate their own dialogue groups.
- Coordinate logistics, including food and childcare, for dialogue groups.
- Guide the development and efficacy of equity committees, supporting parent and/or staff alumni to lead the committee in taking actions that advance education and racial equity at the school.
- Recruit alumni participants to join the equity committee at their school following their participation in dialogue.
Alumni Coaching & Cultivation
- In schools where you are supporting parents and/or staff to facilitate dialogue groups or lead equity committees, lead bi-weekly group supervision and 1-1 coaching of parent and/or staff facilitators and leaders, designed to increase their reflective capacity, deepen their awareness of their own cultural identities, and strengthen their facilitation and leadership skills.
- Conduct observations of staff and parent-led dialogues to ensure fidelity to model across school sites and support the learning and growth of facilitators and leaders.
- Connect dialogue alumni to the digital network of Kindred communities across the city, as well as opportunities to continue their engagement beyond their school to city-level advocacy opportunities.
Principal Coaching & Communication
- Maintain ongoing communication with school leadership about the progress of dialogue groups.
- Meet regularly with school leadership to align Kindred’s work with their strategy for incorporating family voice into the school’s policies and practices.
Strategic Planning and Implementation
- Using the information gained from multiple conversations with families, observation of school events and conversations with the school leadership, develop a strategy for accomplishing the identified goals of Kindred’s partnership with the school.
- Develop a plan to implement this data-informed strategy, identifying benchmarks and regularly reflecting on progress to outcomes.
Organizational & Program Design & Data Analysis (20%)
Critical Thinking and Design
- Contribute your lived experiences and insights to the co-design practices of the organization, including staff policies, organizational priorities and program design.
Data Maintenance & Analysis
- Weekly, update Kindred database with a record of your meetings and attendance.
- Using Kindred’s rubrics and reflection tools, review weekly progress of your dialogue groups to achieving goals.
- Weekly, synthesize the reflections from your data analysis as part of your check-in with your manager and to inform ongoing session design and organizational planning.
Desired Attributes, Experience, and Skills
If you possess an unwavering commitment to the advancement of educational equity and racial justice, and you love building connections among people, helping them uncover critical parts of their identity and cultivating positive energy toward collective change, this is the role for you. Because we are a start-up, we are looking for someone who wants to be part of creating something exciting and new and someone for whom this work is much more than a job; it’s your calling. We are seeking candidates with the following competencies:
- Advanced facilitation skills
- Demonstrated comfort managing group dynamics while facilitating the dialogue process
- Ability to make observations about group dynamics and make adjustments or intervene as necessary to cultivate a safe space and ensure the active participation of all members of the group – you notice who is doing the talking and who isn’t, and you can intervene without making the talker or the quieter group members feel badly
- Ability to synthesize information for clarity and understanding
- Ability to keep the group focused on goals and outcomes while simultaneously providing the space necessary for group members to develop authentic relationships and experience growth in their self-awareness and racial consciousness
- Exceptional interpersonal and political skills
- Ability to build relationships with others that foster trust quickly across race, class, and other social identity markers
- Ability to navigate power dynamics and develop political maps to diagnose sources of influence within a community
- Clear, approachable communication instincts, appropriate to audience – people get what you say most of the time and you can notice and respond when you sense misunderstanding
- Clear written communication skills using standard grammar and syntax
- Self-motivation and sense of responsibility
- You produce results without a lot of supervision and have practiced “managing up” to a supervisor, including pro-actively sharing information and seeking thought partnership
- You love setting concrete goals and achieving them
- You thrive in new environments without a lot of guidelines (we are a start-up!)
- You are timely and prepared for all of your meetings
- You have practiced systems for keeping yourself and information organized
- Critical thinking and results-focused
- You collect data (qualitative and quantitative) and analyze it as part of your regular practice because you want to make decisions based on the best set of information available
- You are willing to change course when data indicates we should, and you are able to shift priorities and approaches to maintain excellent performance during periods of stress and/or ambiguity
- You have a track record of seeing patterns among things and being able to connect those patterns to things that need to change or be done differently
- Self- and cross-cultural awareness
- We talk about race and class in these dialogue groups and as a staff. As the facilitator and a leader of facilitators, you must be comfortable in your own skin and able to talk productively about race and class with all people, with some help and guidance from your teammates as needed.
- You effectively guide group members along their respective journeys toward cultural proficiency, with a focus on building racial consciousness.
Additional desired attributes, experience, and skills
- Education or mental health – Our model is a crossbreed of educator-meets-psychologist – we would like you to have experience or knowledge in one of these areas either as a teacher, social worker or something related.
- Technology – You have used the Microsoft Office suite, Gmail, Google Drive, calendars and basic social media (Facebook and Twitter) effectively without guidance.
- Parent-child relationship knowledge – You are familiar with the norms of child development and have experience with parents and children – either as a parent yourself or through working with parents.
- Experience with traditionally marginalized populations – You have experience working with and valuing people who our system historically has not and whose communities continue to experience systematic oppression in our nation. We are especially seeking deep experience working with Latinx and African American populations.
- Spanish – while we will consider exceptional candidates who meet all of the above criteria but are not fluent in Spanish, very strong preference will go to those fluent in Spanish.
- Education and years of experience – We envision successful candidates having real-world experience practicing elements of what we have listed above. This is more important to us than any specific degree.
Timing, Location, and Compensation
The preferred start date for this role is April 2021 with flexibility for a June start date. Candidates must be located in metro-Washington DC. We offer a very competitive benefits package including health, retirement matching, flexible work location (within DC area) and paid leave for individuals working full-time. The salary range for this role is $65,000-$80,000, commensurate with experience level.
Kindred strongly values equity and challenges historical inequity with a persistent focus on dismantling systemic racism. We work towards a more just society, and as such we are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, military status, pregnancy, or parenthood. This role requires physical activity in the form of moving among schools, among rooms in schools (some of which requires climbing stairs, bending and crouching) and carrying approximately 20 pounds of materials.
Please send a 1-2 page cover letter describing who you are: how you identify, what drives you, and how you have lived out your values as related to the aspects of this role. Please include why you are personally compelled by Kindred’s mission. Cover letters that do not reflect thoughtful response to this prompt will be dismissed. Please also include your CV. Email both documents to [email protected] with Facilitator & Organizer in the subject line.