The Ella Baker Center is hiring for a Policy Associate

Organizational Background

The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (“EBC”) is a nonprofit organization based in Oakland, CA, working to advance racial and economic justice to ensure dignity and opportunity for low-income people and people of color. In our 20 year history, we have worked on issues including jump starting the green jobs movement, promoting civic engagement, violence prevention through youth leadership, and transforming juvenile justice systems in California.  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 justice policies and into creating opportunities, also known as “books not bars, jobs not jails, healthcare not handcuffs.”

Policy Associate

The Policy Associate will provide leadership on specific policy initiatives within our local and state campaigns to advance the Ella Baker Center’s Truth and Reinvestment Agenda. The state level policy work includes developing campaigns to support Ella Baker Center-sponsored legislation, working in coalition to support legislative change, following the implementation of Ella Baker Center-sponsored legislation, and analyzing potential legislation. 

Supervision:  This position is supervised by the Policy Manager


This is full time, non-exempt, non-salaried, entry level position

Schedule will include some evenings and weekends as necessary and minimal travel

Responsibilities will include:

  • Research, Promote, coordinate, and implement state and local campaigns and initiatives in furtherance of our mission
  • Build and coordinate relationships with other state organizations, community leaders, allies, and unlikely allies in order to build support for EBC’s campaigns and initiatives.
  • Build and coordinate relationships with key local and state officials, agency staff, and consultants to move EBC’s campaigns and initiatives.
  • Help develop and implement strategy to advance local and state campaigns and initiatives.
  • Support the development of a local and statewide membership structure that will help kickoff our national membership campaign
  • Support Mobilization and turnout members for events, including hearings, conferences, etc.
  • Conduct research, analysis, writing, and editing support for the organization, including policy papers, legislative and budget analysis, factsheets, op-eds, etc.
  • Track state and local policies, campaigns, events, and other activities and assess Ella Baker Center’s role and participation
  • Act as a representative for the Ella Baker Center in coalitions and memberships and attend relevant conferences, meetings, and trainings.
  • Act as a liaison for Ella Baker Center to various allies and organizations, such as labor, faith, other criminal justice related non-profits, and other youth/family organizations as necessary.
  • Represent Ella Baker Center publicly as a spokesperson as necessary.
  • Work with volunteers and interns to advance campaigns and initiatives.
  • Assist in strategic organizational planning as necessary
  • Participate in social media activities; provide strategic direction for EBC’s communications and media strategy.
  • Assist in administrative duties as necessary
  • Participate in requisite Ella Baker Center activities (i.e. staff meetings, trainings, fundraising, administrative responsibilities, events) as necessary.

Job Qualifications

  • Proven commitment to social and racial justice
  • 1 or more years’ experience in racial, criminal, and/or economic justice campaign work
  • 1 or more years’ experience working in and leading coalitions
  • 1 or more years’ experience in event and/or conference planning
  • Knowledge of the local and state political and economic landscape as it relates to criminal and juvenile justice
  • Understanding of juvenile and criminal justice systems, including key issues and policies, best practices, etc.
  • Ability to cultivate relationships with likely and unlikely allies, including policymakers, stakeholders, faith leaders, and community members
  • Team player attitude
  • Strong research and analytical skills
  • Excellent written and verbal skills
  • Time management skills
  • Ability to multi-task
  • High School Diploma Required
  • Bi-lingual Spanish and English is a PLUS


  • We offer a competitive benefits package:
  • Employer paid healthcare insurance which includes medical, dental, vision, chiropractor, and acupuncture
  • Paid time off including vacation, sick, and holidays
  • 401(k) plan with up to 3% employer match
  • Commuter benefits

Salary Range: $47,500-$52,000 designated on experience

To apply please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample for consideration to

Application open until filled. Candidates are encouraged to apply early, as interviews will be offered on a rolling basis.


1970 Broadway, Suite 1125, Oakland, CA 94612