Programmatic Communications Coordinator, U.S.
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 40-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.
ABOUT THE TEAM
The WITNESS 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, our work is focused on (but not limited to) ending state violence through the thematic areas of police accountability, decarceration, immigrant and Indigenous rights, and land defense. 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. This summer, the U.S. Program began collaborating 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 for earth/land defense in the context of the climate crisis. This is a new model for WITNESS programs and the U.S. Programmatic Communications Coordinator will play an integral role in supporting the sharing of knowledge, lessons learned, and the creation of related WITNESS resources and the strategic distribution.
We are seeking a United States Programmatic Communications Coordinator to amplify the work of WITNESS U.S. team through social media, traditional media outlets, and other online and offline settings, such as trainings and webinars. The Communications Coordinator will support the strategic creation, design, and dissemination of WITNESS resources and training guides. They will also oversee rapid response initiatives and develop and maintain quality relationships with respected media contacts and movement builders. The ideal candidate will also have a passion and knowledge of youth-led movements in the intersection of the thematic areas we focus on, as well as a practice in creating social media strategies that incorporate short-form video in social media platforms (IG + TikTok, other). The Communications Coordinator will employ creative approaches to boost engagement and share lessons across interrelated movements in the U.S. and across WITNESS’ programmatic work in Latin America, the Middle East/North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia-Pacific.
Communications & Training Resource Development
- In collaboration with the U.S. Program Lead and the Global Engagement team, develop and implement WITNESS U.S.’s social media strategy, including plans that leverage social media and support key organizations, advocates, and citizen witnesses to adopt video in their efforts to expose & document human rights violations and promote change
- Manage the day-to-day handling of social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. adapting content to suit different channels. Respond to communication-related issues in a timely manner.
- Envision, plan strategy and launch the U.S. Instagram account in collaboration with U.S. Program Manager and Global Engagement team.
- Produce graphics, create derivatives and content for social media, newsletters (Mailchimp), the WITNESS blog, and websites (WordPress).
- Gather, assess and evaluate the impact of resource creation and distribution campaigns (including metrics, anecdotes, etc.).
- Coordinate the collection of all monthly metrics on a timely basis, and contribute to the analysis and reflection of those indicators.
- Identify opportunities and develop strategies for rapidly responding to moments of crisis with relevant resources and support (i.e. mass protests, mobilizations around Indigenous land rights)
- Identify gaps and needs and support the creation and/or tailoring of relevant resources. Research and evaluate the latest trends that include the use of video evidence and counter-narratives on the continent in order to be able to activate a surge response where necessary.
- Ensure that both internal and external resources uphold WITNESS’ values and adhere to organizational standards and requirements.
- Collaborate with other social media leads in the other regions where WITNESS operates in order to advance the realization of WITNESS’ goals, objectives, and global campaigns.
- Creatively engage audiences in the different platforms through live conversations that build on and amplify the work of our partners and networks (i.e: IG Lives, twitter spaces, other).
Engagements and Administrative Support
- Provide support and guidance to partners implementing strategies for enhancing the use of video and tech in their work, create feedback loops to learn from successes and challenges;
- In collaboration with WITNESS’ United States Program Manager, develop strategies to foster and maintain key relationships and explore opportunities for deeper engagements and projects around using video and tech in the relevant programmatic priorities;
- Administrative: Undertake necessary administrative functions with respect to communications for the United States region, such as submitting engagement related expenses to Program Assistant.
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
The ideal candidate will have a balance of experience in human rights, facilitation, and digital communications.
Experience: Background in (or passion for) human rights; committed to social justice and WITNESS’ values/mission. Knowledge of grassroots and movement-building in North America, and the Americas is a plus.
Work Experience: A minimum of 3-5 years of experience working in human rights, advocacy, social justice, video for change, grassroots and youth organizing, 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, and 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.
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).
Languages: We are a global team who use English as our shared language, as such this role requires a high proficiency of written and spoken English. Additional languages are a plus.
Platforms: Speaks Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, WordPress, YouTube and GIF natively. Experience with social media data analysis and reporting.
Other Important Skills:
- Strong digital design eye, including creating powerful, political visual messages and editing for digital platforms that spark change;
- Proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite including graphics creation and image,video editing skills, including Indesign, Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator; or any other relevant graphic and video editing softwares.
- Web publishing skills, knowledge of basic HTML and CSS, strong understanding of UX and front-end design;
- Digital archiving skills, digital security and privacy know-how, knowledge and use of Creative Commons licensing;
- Photography and/or filming skills;
- Demonstrated flexibility and ability to effectively work as a part of a team, open to giving and receiving constructive feedback;
- Exceptional organizational skills, including an ability to manage multiple priorities and keep track of details;
- Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills;
- Experience with non-profit design strategy;
- Advanced proficiency w/Google worksuite as Gdocs, sheets, forms are heavily used across WITNESS.
- Experience as an educator or workshop facilitator, and in creating learning materials is a big plus.
Characteristics: Strong interpersonal skills and aptitude for cross-cultural communication. Team-minded. A doer. Is organized and follows through. Espouses good humor under pressure; inspires others.
Location: We are a globally distributed, remote workforce. This is a full-time position, and the location is flexible with a preference for a candidate based in the United States. As a globally distributed workforce, some consideration would be given to candidates being able to have some overlap of working hours with the rest of the team. At this time, our team members are working through hybrid office arrangements, combining remote at-home work with intermittent use of offices and/or co-working spaces.
Typically, we can only consider applicants who are already legally able to work in the country in which the role is based. Visa sponsorship or relocation allowance are rare, and offered only for specialized positions. The successful candidate must have the legal right-to-work in the location in which they will be based.
Compensation: WITNESS operates a salary localisation policy using a combination of regularly reviewed FX and salary adjustment multipliers for location.
Based on current rates, annual gross salaries for some of our current locations are given as an example:
- New York City – USD 55,100
- Health: WITNESS also offers competitive and robust medical benefits that cover an individual’s medical, dental and vision at 100% and covers a percentage 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 has a range of paid time off types that support our staff.
- Vacation leave: that meets local statutory levels or 15 days whichever is higher, in addition to staff’s local public holidays.
- The vacation allowance increases by 5 days to 20 days after 3 years of service.
- Personal / Wellness leave: 5 days staff can use at any time to recharge in recognition of the importance of supporting positive mental well being.
- End of Year closure: which usually is equivalent to a minimum of 5 days leave in addition to any public holidays across the last week of December and early January.
- Sick Leave: follows local statutory guidance however;
- WITNESS ensures a minimum of 10 days paid time off for occasional sickness and health related absences.
- A minimum of 6 weeks of full pay in instances of longer term absence.
- Sabbatical Leave: At the 10 year mark we offer staff 10 weeks of paid time off in order to take a break, gain new insights and expand their horizons.
- Vacation leave: that meets local statutory levels or 15 days whichever is higher, in addition to staff’s local public holidays.
- 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.
- Professional Development: In support of the growth and development of our staff, WITNESS regularly seeks opportunities for professional development, exposure to new skills and supports a culture of learning.
- As part of this we offer staff Reading Days (1 day per month) where staff can take a day to read, study and connect more deeply with peers, partners and colleagues to further functional knowledge relevant to their role or deepen their general understanding and ability to support human rights work.
Reports to: Program Manager – United States
Start Date: ASAP
HOW TO APPLY
If you are interested in joining the WITNESS team, please apply through BambooHR. You will need to attach your resume, cover letter, and contact information for 3 references.
We are interested in hearing about what you’ve done, what you can do, and what you want to do at WITNESS.
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.