Reports To: Executive Director, with dotted-line reporting to the Director of Strategy

Classification: Full Time with excellent benefits, including medical, dental, vision, 401(k) retirement plan, and other fringe benefits.

Salary Range: $50,000 - $56,000

Start Date: March 21, 2016

About Essie Justice Group

Essie Justice Group (ESSIE) is a new non-profit founded in May of 2014. Our mission is to harness the collective power of women with incarcerated loved ones to end mass incarceration and empower women. We envision a society in which people of all genders are free.

Over the next few years, we are building a large, bold, and effective policy advocacy network of directly impacted women who have incarcerated loved ones in four California counties to catalyze systemic change and add game-changing value to existing criminal justice reform strategies nationally. Our proposed network will provide a blueprint for national scale, missing data on the impact of mass incarceration on women and gender equality, and engage thousands of women, children, and incarcerated people resulting in a 10x increase in the size of financial and socio-emotional support systems for women. Moreover, through gender-justice consciousness raising within highly impacted communities and investing in the leadership of women with incarcerated loved ones, we will advance criminal justice system reform as a priority issue in women’s rights spaces.

So far, we have tested a Healing-Advocacy nine-week curriculum three times by forming three cohorts of 15 women each in two cities. Approximately 45 women with incarcerated loved ones in the California Bay Area have graduated as Essie Sisters and are now leaders within our organization. After launching these three pilot cohorts, we are ready to sharply increase our program in response to broad-based feedback from women and our criminal justice reform partners.   

Position Description

We seek a driven, sharp, and exceptionally talented builder to add to our team to reach 1,000 women, children, and incarcerated people in the Bay Area and produce a decentralized, scalable curriculum ready for national dissemination

The role of Program Manager represents the third full time hire for ESSIE. The successful candidate will join an exceptionally hard-working staff team and a large group of highly-committed volunteer leaders including: a 14 member national Program Team, approximately 30 Essie Sisters, a 4 person Board of Directors, and a 12 member Advisory Council in developing a loving and powerful community of women with incarcerated loved ones.

The Program Manager leads the on-the-ground work of the organization as it relates to conceptualizing, growing, and maintaining the Essie Sister Circles and network. In so doing, the successful candidate will develop and oversee the process by which we iterate and finalize our curriculum, concretize key program components, build out our nominations process, and establish a community-based leadership structure to reach thousands. While development of our on-the-ground network will be led by the Program Manager, the successful candidate will be working closely with the staff team and the Essie community in a human-centered, iterative process. The successful candidate will enter into a collaborative, team-driven work environment. However, certain core responsibilities come with the expectation that they will be completed at an exceptional quality without need for additional team member support. These may include and are not limited to: community organizing, recruitment, facilitators and volunteer training (curriculum design and implementation), materials creation, and core curriculum implementation.

Essential Duties

  • Contributes to shaping on-the-ground program of ESSIE.
  • Responsible for implementation of the on-the-ground program of ESSIE.
  • Leads community trainings, writes curriculum, and drives volunteers and constituents toward achievement of benchmarks.
  • Co-leads the development and leads implementation of  a community engagement process that builds up the leadership within the group through distribution of responsibilities and projects and maintenance of a nonhierarchical structure and positive culture.
  • Hones storytelling, advocacy, and media savvy potential among constituent group.
  • May speak, write, or be present at key functions to represent ESSIE when called upon by the Executive Director or Director of Strategy.
  • Seizes opportunities to promote ESSIE, its campaigns and programs externally.
  • May lead special efforts as a project manager.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Minimum of 2 years of relevant experience, BA/BS or equivalent work or school experience.
  • Advanced skills in program or project management, business email correspondence, and team building.
  • Communicates and manages up effectively.
  • Must be able and willing to travel occasionally.
  • Excellent facilitation and presentation skills.
  • Proficiency with Google Docs, Mail Chimp, Square Space, Canva, Keynote, Pages, and MS Office Suite (especially Excel, Word and PowerPoint).
  • Women with incarcerated loved ones, formerly incarcerated people, and those with direct experience with the criminal justice system are strongly encouraged to apply.
  •  Spanish fluency ideal.


  • A strong commitment to the mission, goals, and philosophy of ESSIE, and a demonstrated alignment with anti-mass incarceration, race justice, and gender justice causes.
  • Impeccable ethics, highly developed decision-making skills and unfailingly trustworthy.
  • Exceptionally hard worker. Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, focused, and small office environment where each staff person assumes multiple responsibilities while striving to achieve shared goals.
  • Anticipates needs and takes initiative to address them. Persists despite obstacles.
  • Outcome oriented, critical, and creative thinker.
  • Positive approach, can-do attitude, and a sense of humor.
  • Enjoys an “all-in,” start-up, non-traditional work culture.

This position is based at the Essie offices in Oakland, California. This is not a remote position. Please address well-written and thoughtful 1 – 2 page cover letter to Gina Clayton and submit along with a resume and three references in one email with “Program Manager Application - Your Name” in the subject line to no later than 9am PST on February 8, 2016.