Community Advocate-Jackson, MS
Southern Poverty Law Center - Jackson, MS

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The Southern Poverty Law Center, through its Mississippi Office (based in Jackson, MS), works to reduce the imprisonment of children in the Deep South by advocating for juvenile justice, mental health and educational systems that are responsive to the needs and strengths of children, families, and communities. Specifically, SPLC works to end school disciplinary practices that exclude students from public schools, to ensure that juvenile justice systems are humane, and to ensure that public systems build on the strengths of young people, their families and communities.

We use a variety of strategies in our work—including community organizing and mobilizing, legislative and media advocacy and litigation. SPLC attorneys have successfully protected the constitutional rights of imprisoned children throughout the state of Mississippi. Litigation has resulted in a substantial reduction in the number of imprisoned young people. Our public policy campaigns have secured funding for community-based alternatives to incarceration and reformed Mississippi’s Youth Court Act.

Qualifications-Education and Previous Work Experience:

-A Bachelor’s Degree
-At least one year of previous community organizing, outreach and/or mobilizing experience
-Basic Computer skills (i.e. use of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel)
-Initiative, vision, and a strong commitment to working with parents, students, incarcerated children and adults, and community stakeholders
-Strong written and oral communication skills; Excellent organization skills
-The ability to work with a diverse group of people
-The ability to take initiative, work independently and meet deadlines;

Primary Responsibilities:

-Attend IEP/disciplinary meetings.
-Visit mental health facilities, juvenile detention centers, jails, and prisons to conduct client interviews for case development and investigation;
-Outreach to current and prospective clients and community organizations for case development and investigation;
-Mobilize and support families and community partners to advocate for reform in the education, mental health, juvenile justice and criminal justice systems;
-Research and write informational materials;
-Facilitate know your rights presentations for adults and/or youth in the areas of our work;
-Conduct policy, social science, and factual research;
-Work with experts in education, mental health, juvenile justice, and criminal justice regarding SPLC campaigns;
-Track down and obtain documents;
-Prepare information and communicate and with attorneys and other advocates regarding clients visits, community outreach and case development
-Required travel throughout Mississippi and work on weekends

This is an entry level position that does not require a law degree. SPLC staff will provide training on advocacy skills and juvenile justice, education, and mental health law and policy. The Center provides an excellent benefits package. Qualified candidates should apply below and submit a cover letter, resume, and three references to:

The Southern Poverty Law Center is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, or status with regard to public assistance.

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