Ella Baker Center Organizational Background
The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (EBC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Oakland, California, organizing to shift resources away from prisons and punishment towards opportunities that make our communities safe, healthy, and strong. Named after civil rights hero Ella Baker, we mobilize Black, Brown, and low-income people to build power in our communities. For over 25 years, we have worked from the community to the legislative level to free our people from state violence. We are currently working to end mass incarceration and mass criminalization in the United States through Truth and Reinvestment—moving resources away from failed criminal legal policies and into creating opportunities, also known as “books not bars, jobs not jails, healthcare not handcuffs.” Through our programs, such as successful organizing in Alameda County, a robust state policy platform, and national leadership in the movement to end mass incarceration, EBC is building a culture of care to replace cages and cops.
The Ella Baker Center Action Fund (EBCAF) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization and a separate but affiliated organization with the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. EBCAF mobilizes our communities — current and formerly incarcerated people, their loved ones, people who are low income, and Black and Brown communities — to exercise their full political power and hold institutions accountable. Like our namesake Ella Baker, we understand that true power lies within the people. EBCAF was born out of the vision to further build power amongst those most impacted by incarceration and criminalization. We mobilize these communities to ensure that our elected officials are focused on addressing the root causes of harm in our communities, instead of investing in failing institutions, such as prisons and policing, that exacerbate that harm.
At Ella Baker Center, we win by doing our liberation work in alignment with and guided by our core values:
- Prioritize people most impacted by policing and prisons
- Black Liberation
- Culture of Care and Healing
The ideal candidate at EBC understands that our work uplifts the leadership and strategies of those most impacted by the criminal system: working class people of color. Our primary aspiration is Black liberation, as these communities are the most harmed by policing and prisons. We practice accountability to our communities and each other by giving and receiving feedback, communicating directly, and building a culture of restorative justice.
We seek staff who are looking to not only transform the world but are themselves excited to be personally transformed by organizing for liberation while caring for ourselves or each other. Transformation means that we do not turn anyone away who seeks our advocacy or support based on what the state has charged them with. Inherent in collective liberation work — we ask our staff to do the personal work of organizing to dismantle white supremacy and cisheteropatriarchy, and practice anti-oppression in everyday relationships. Our values mean we are building a leaderful movement, with an emphasis on those who have been systematically denied leadership and power.