Program Manager – United States

ABOUT WITNESS

We are a global human rights organization, a collective of passionate human rights activists with (mostly remote) team members all over the world. WITNESS’ mission is to help people use video and technology to protect and defend human rights. We are a 35-person multi-disciplinary team with staff based across 5 continents. While we’re legally a non-profit that is registered as a 501(c)3 in the U.S, we are a global collective: our  staff members (as well as consultants, interns, fellows and a vast community of partners and collaborators) are based around the world and reflect a group of activists with diverse skills and backgrounds. 

WHAT WE DO

WITNESS pairs grassroots community support with advocacy at a systems level. Our team works holistically on a global scale to understand how communities are using and want to use video and technology for human rights.  With a cellphone camera, anyone can become a human rights defender and expose injustice, making it harder for perpetrators to hide or for systems of oppression to remain invisible.  But using video for community organizing, justice and accountability can be dangerous – videos can put defenders (or those they film) at risk, can be used against communities in court or deceitfully discredited by tired old power narratives.  Filming is almost never enough – for videos to make a difference they need to work alongside strong advocacy or legal strategies; they also need to be created, preserved and shared in ways that avoid creating more harm or trauma. 
New threats to human rights are emerging at the intersection of artificial intelligence, misinformation and disinformation and a global wave of rising authoritarianism.

 When it comes to systemic challenges we are on the watch for both existing problems – like how large amounts of critical human rights footage are lost because of the arbitrary decisions of platforms – but also emerging threats and opportunities, such as those posed by ‘deepfakes’, new ways to manipulate media to make it look like someone said or did something they never did.

 

THE ROLE:

WITNESS’s United States Program supports activists, advocates and legal experts across the U.S. to better utilize digital video and technology to expose abuses, create counter-narratives, uphold human rights values, and advocate for change. Currently, the work is focused on (but not limited to) the thematic areas of police accountability, immigrant rights, Indigenous rights, decarceration and mis/disinformation.  To address these issues, we engage in partnerships, provide workshops and develop training resources that touch on everything from documenting human rights violations, to effective and ethical storytelling, to holistic digital security practices.

The U.S. Program Manager will provide leadership and strategic decision making for this area of work. Starting in mid/late-2022, the U.S. Program Manager will engage with several other regional and thematic WITNESS programs to strategically design and implement a 3-year “Collaborate for Impact” project that aims to support youth and Indigenous communities in using technology to fight for land rights and climate justice. This is a new model for the WITNESS programs and the U.S. Program Manager will play an integral role in shaping this work, facilitating the sharing of knowledge and lessons learned and supporting the creation of related WITNESS resources and distribution strategies.

Additionally, working in collaboration with the U.S. Programmatic Communications Coordinator, the Program Manager will oversee continued engagement, resource sharing and rapid response initiatives that support activists in safely, ethically and effectively filming, sharing and preserving human rights documentation of state violence in the U.S.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES:

United States Program:

  • Programmatic Strategy and Oversight: Lead on creation and implementation of a strategy for building relationships, developing resources and implementing in-depth projects with activists, organizers, journalists and legal experts working on human rights issues and civic witnessing in the United States. Responsible for positioning U.S. programs strategically and impactfully within the current landscape, as well as looking ahead to future trends, shifting priorities and emergent needs. Through research, meetings, and partnerships, continue to monitor the current pulse of human rights, video and new technology in the U.S. and adjust strategy as needed.
  • “Collaborate for Impact” Project: Support the process of listening, learning and developing this project in collaboration with other WITNESS team members. Lead on areas as outlined by the team (TBD) – this may include seeking out partners and building relationships developing and leading on trainings, drafting resources, attending events/conferences, writing articles or drafting guidance, planning online/offline campaigns in support of partners, etc.
  • Training: Coordinate and conduct in-person and online trainings, including trainings for partners, allies, internal staff and regional coordinators.
  • Relationship and Resource Creation: Support the development and maintenance of relationships with regional allies and influencers, identify opportunities to conduct trainings and to localize and distribute guidance and training materials in both online and offline spaces.
  • Public Outreach and Communications: Lead efforts to develop tailored messaging and communications for targeted audiences across various issue areas in the U.S. Support Programmatic Communications Coordinator in developing engaging derivatives and scheduling relevant and timely social media posts. Serve as WITNESS spokesperson in media interviews and speaking opportunities.
  • Surge Response: Identify and lead rapid response initiatives to provide timely, customized support to civic witnesses and video activists during quickly escalating human rights situations.
  • Knowledge Sharing: Act as a leading voice on the WITNESS team to ensure learnings from U.S. program are captured and shared across regions and externally. Identify opportunities and strategies to collaborate cross-regionally on projects, resource development and outreach.
  • Reporting and Monitoring & Evaluation: Monitor, assess and evaluate activities, partnerships and plans to ensure deadlines and deliverables are met. On as needed basis, provide programmatic activity details, status and progress measurements for reports to funders, external audiences and case study purposes.
  • Budget: Oversee spending and track program budget
  • Recruitment, Training and Supervision: Supervise United States Program Coordinator, support interviewing, hiring and training process for other staff, regional coordinators and interns as needed.
  • Fundraising Support: Support the Executive Director, Program Director, Deputy Program Director, and the External Relations Team in raising funds for relevant projects by providing input on fundraising proposals, budgets, and reports with respect to programmatic activities and attending selective meetings with donors.
  • Administrative Functions: Undertake necessary administrative functions with respect to program region, including collecting and organizing contact information, coordination of logistics, travel, expense processing, etc.

 

PRINCIPAL RELATIONSHIPS:

  • Global Programs Director (Supervisor)
  • US Programmatic Communications Coordinator (supervises)
  • Learning & Sharing team
  • Program Team and Regional Program Leads

POSITION REQUIREMENTS:*

The ideal candidate will have a balance of experience in human rights, facilitation and digital communications.

  • Work Experience: A minimum of 5-7 years experience working in human rights, advocacy, political activism, social justice, video for change, or other related fields, and with a demonstrated capacity to think creatively and effectively about engagement and advocacy.
  • Human Rights and Racial Justice: A demonstrated commitment to racial justice and human rights. Believes in the importance of long-term movement-building, knows the work takes time. 
  • Characteristics: Highly organized, pays close attention to detail and follows through. Demonstrated record of dynamism and self-starter. Strong interpersonal skills and aptitude for cross-cultural communication. Team-minded. Is organized and follows through.
  • Trainer: Experience as an educator or workshop facilitator, and with creating learning materials is a big plus.
  • Social Media and Platforms: Experience with using various social media platforms in a professional capacity, promoting audience engagement. Experience with data analysis and reporting. Proficiency w/Google work suite as Gdocs, sheets, forms. 
  • Education: You can tell us about your degrees, but we’re more interested in your passions and what you can do. If degrees are part of that story, great! (But no formal education required).
  • Location: The location is flexible provided some overlap of working hours with the rest of the team can be ensured. Preference for someone based in New York, but anywhere in the U.S. is OK. WITNESS is registered as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the U.S and currently retains an office in New York City. However, since 2020, its staff is currently working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The successful candidate must have the legal right-to-work in the location in which they will be based. We are unable to sponsor visas or relocations for this role.

  • Languages: Fluent in spoken and written English required. Additional languages are a plus. Being a native speaker of English is not required.
  • Video Producer & Visual Storyteller: Experience with video production and familiarity with design platforms (i.e. Adobe Creative Suite, Canva, etc.) are a big plus.
  • Compensation:  The gross salary for this position is $66,270 USD based out of New York City. The salary will be localized considering relative cost of living in the applicable country using the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) Post Adjustment Multiplier- a metric system that is revised monthly and that WITNESS uses to determine salaries globally. For example, if you are based in Malaysia, the gross salary will be $47,913 USD.

Benefits:

  • Health: WITNESS also offers competitive and robust medical benefits that cover an individual’s medical, dental and vision at 100% and covers a % of the individual’s dependents.
  • Life Insurance & AD & D: WITNESS provides life insurance and AD&D payable at one time (1x)  the employee’s salary, to the beneficiary, in the event an employee were to expire while employed by the organization.
  • Remote Work Stipend: WITNESS recognizes that flexible working arrangements are key to equity and inclusion in the workplace and we provide a $175 USD monthly remote work allowance, we are happy to talk about the type of flexible arrangements that might work best for you. This remote work stipend is provided to all staff members to pay for extra equipment, electricity, stationery, internet, wellness,  or whatever an employee deems necessary in order to work remotely. Please note that a computer and basic accessories are provided to all employees at the time of hire.
  • Pension Contributions: After 1 year of service at the organization, WITNESS will contribute 3% of an individual’s gross salary towards a global retirement fund.
  • Paid Time Off: WITNESS offers a range of benefits, depending on the location of the individual, and 15-20 days of paid annual leave in addition to public holidays and end of year leave. Regular full-time Employees are authorized to accrue up to ten (10) paid sick days and five (5) paid personal days per fiscal year.
  • Reading Days: WITNESS also provides “Reading Days” to our staff, at (1) per month, schedule permitting. These days serve as an opportunity for an employee to take time away from meetings and read up on the field, connect to peers, or learn about WITNESS projects, institutional information or to learn about items pertinent to their work. 
  • Wellness Days: WITNESS will periodically do a review of overall staff morale and mental health and provide mental health days to all staff to give everyone a chance to recharge. This year, for example, we added (3) “Wellness” days to our end of year break. 
  • Work/ Life Balance :WITNESS believes in creating a healthy work environment in which  flexible schedules are available, we also understand that sometimes an employee may just require a few hours to take care of personal issues in which case they can adjust their hours to make up for the time instead of taking a full day of leave. Both are allowable once agreed upon with the departmental supervisors.
  • Mental Health Policy: WITNESS feels that all employees should feel supported both physically as well as mentally while they are at work and realizes that many times the issues that we deal with, the materials that we watch and the events surrounding some of the work that we do, can lead to feeling “unwell” and not in a “good space”.
    Should a situation arise in which an Employee requests support on mental health, WITNESS will award  (10) days of “WITNESS” paid leave.
  • Sabbatical Leave:  common in educational institutions, is unusual for nonprofit organizations. WITNESS offers this policy because we believe that it will help our long-term Employees develop new insights, greater knowledge, and better skills. All of these inevitably aid our programs and WITNESS. Sabbatical Leave is with full pay(up to 10 weeks) and benefits currently elected by the Employee, and eligibility begins upon completion of ten (10) consecutive years of employment at WITNESS.
  • Professional Development: WITNESS also provides several professional development and growth opportunities for our staff through the HR professional development budget.

*Other categories may be relevant and may be added.

 

HOW TO APPLY

To apply, send your cover letter, resume, and contact information for 3 references to usajob@witness.org with the subject line “Job” [Your name]”.

Please include a cover letter. We are interested in hearing about what you’ve done, what you can do, and what you want to do at WITNESS.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  Applications accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled; early applications encouraged. Please note that due to the volume anticipated, we will not be able to respond individually to each applicant.  We kindly ask that you do not send duplicate applications via mail or email, and no phone calls. 

WITNESS is a global human rights organization and aims to build an inclusive workforce that is reflective of the communities we work with. We are interested in building a talented team that brings their true selves with diverse backgrounds, cultures and perspectives. We are interested in receiving applications from those who are marginalized and underrepresented. 

WITNESS is an equal opportunity employer. People of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, religions, genders, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, and individuals protected by any other statuses under international federal, state or local laws, including but not limited to, disability, marital, domestic partnership, familial, caregiver, transgender, military or veteran statuses, are encouraged to apply. 



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