Michigan Disability Rights Organization: Disability and Racial Justice Community Organizer

Organization: Michigan Disability Rights Coalition

Title: Disability and Racial Justice Community Organizer

Reports to: Assistant Director

This position is full-time (40 hours a week). Pay based on knowledge, experience and candidate’s education level and/or years of experience in the field. Pay range expected to be between $33,000-$40,000 a year. Benefits package includes earned paid time off (8 hours biweekly), holiday pay, medical/dental/vision, cell phone coverage, 403 (b) employer match and parental leave.

General Overview:
The Disability and Racial Justice Community Organizer will work on a five-year grant project to support the intensive leadership training of adults with developmental disabilities and parents of minor children with developmental disabilities. The focus of this project will be on the recruitment and participation from Michigan’s African-American, Black, Latino, Hispanic, Asian-American, Pacific Islander, Arab-American, Native-American and other racially and ethnically diverse communities and individuals.

This project will work with three cohorts of adults with developmental disabilities and parents/guardians of minors with developmental disabilities a year. The cohorts will take place across the state of Michigan. Each cohort will be held over several weeks. The focus of the cohorts will include the history of disability advocacy, values of the disability rights movement, self-determination, community organizing, systems change, board training, interdependence, intersectional policy change, and self-care.

This project is aligned with Michigan Disability Rights Coalition’s mission to cultivate disability pride and strengthen the disability movement by recognizing disability as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity while collaborating to dismantle all forms of oppression.

Essential Duties:
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Lead the recruitment efforts and community building necessary to hold each cohort. Develop authentic relationships with organizations run by and for communities of color.
  • Attend each cohort in person; this will require a significant amount of weekday and weekend, overnight travel across the state of Michigan.
  • Assist the Assistant Director in leading the national project advisory group.
  • Work with national and local contractors to support the leadership development of community liaisons.
  • Lead the daily project implementation and serve as the point of contact for the project.
  • Implement the evaluation plan under the supervision of the Assistant Director
  • Work with Assistant Director to support the development and implementation of policies, practices, and procedures that authentically include people with developmental disabilities who are also people of color in all of MDRC’s organizational operations.
  • MDRC does not expect the Disability and Racial Justice Community Organizer to facilitate every topic at the training; we are however interested in including the organizer’s gifts and talents where appropriate in the training.


  • Proven experience in community organizing and racial justice work
  • Extensive knowledge and expertise working within communities of color
  • Experience with recruitment of participants for intensive programing
  • Be a highly organized, self-motivated, responsible individual able to take direction and work independently
  • Have a proven commitment to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion, with a demonstrated capacity to connect with individuals across racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and other identities.
  • Experience planning events and programs
  • Ability to articulate the ways racism and ableism create barriers for community members to participate in civic engagement, leadership, and access to resources.
  • A deep commitment to learning about the disability communities history, values, inclusion and disability pride (if the candidate does not already have this knowledge).
  • Have facilitation skills and can assist topic trainers in problem-solving and facilitation planning, preparation and execution.
  • Comfortable leading a team where some team members are not located in the same city or state. This includes using technology to facilitate and maintain the work plan with these team members.

Education and Experience

  • High School Diploma, GED or Equivalent. Significant experience in successful community organizing within communities of color can be substituted for education requirement.
  • Computer skills include word, social media, google mail, skype, and PowerPoint.


The Disability and Racial Justice Community Organizer can work virtually in Michigan or at the MDRC office in East Lansing.

Mileage, overnights, and meals are reimbursed as described in our policy and procedure manual. MDRC does provide a rental car for long distances if needed.

To apply

Please submit a resume and cover letter to Tsquires@mymdrc.org with the subject line “LEAD Organizer.” The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Review of applications will begin June 15, 2017, and will continue until the position is filled.

Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Theresa Squires, 517-333-2477 ext. 326 or by email tsquires@mymdrc.org.

MDRC values and specifically seeks applicants who are people of color, women, LGBTQIA and gender fluid people, people with disabilities, veterans and members of other diverse identities. If this is you, know that your contributions and leadership are especially valuable at MDRC.

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