The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is seeking a Deputy Executive Director for Racial Equity to lead the organization’s next steps in our racial equity journey, both internally and externally. The successful candidate will have an opportunity to create new directions -- in partnership with an entering Executive Director and a committed senior leadership team -- and to build on work already done over a multi-year journey. This includes continuing to expand CLASP’s capacity to effectively center racial equity in every aspect of our work; engaging the board, senior leadership, and CLASP staff in jointly defining next steps and leveraging the talent and passion already devoted to this work; and holding board, leadership, and staff accountable for effectively implementing the plan.
The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), founded in 1969, is a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty organization advancing policy solutions that work for people with low incomes and people of color. We advocate for public policies and programs at the federal, state, and local levels that reduce poverty, improve the lives of people with low incomes, and advance racial and economic justice. Our solutions directly address the barriers individuals and families face because of race, ethnicity, low income, and immigration status.
Within our broad anti-poverty mission, CLASP is organized around five policy teams: Child Care and Early Education; Education, Labor & Worker Justice; Income and Work Supports; Immigration and Immigrant Families; and Youth Policy. We also work across teams on reform of the justice system and on mental health. Our external policy advocacy is supported by legislative, communications, finance, and development teams, for a total size of about 50 staff.
For more than 50 years, we have kept our vision alive through trusted expertise on policy and strategy, knowledgeable and committed staff, partnerships with directly impacted people and grassroots leaders, and approaches to economic and racial justice that are bold, innovative, and inclusive.
CLASP’S COMMITMENT TO RACIAL EQUITY
CLASP recognizes the central role of our nation’s entrenched history of racial injustice in creating and maintaining barriers blocking people with low incomes from economic justice and opportunity. This has undermined the wellbeing of past, present, and future generations of color. As a team, we are committed to a systemic, structural racial equity agenda that strengthens equitable public investments, promotes economic opportunities and security for all, protects civil rights, addresses the challenges of immigrants and their families, and honors the voices of communities of color.
CLASP has taken a hard look at our own institutional policies and practices and the ways they’ve perpetuated existing systems of power, including racism. We have made changes to our recruitment, hiring, promotion, and contracting practices, including board recruitment; undertaken organization-wide training; developed internal tools for assessing our policy work; engaged in new areas of policy advocacy and refocused work in existing areas; developed new partnerships and coalitions that center racial equity; and created time and space for open dialogue. We have also participated in an organizational-wide assessment of our past and current efforts, which has identified new priority advocacy efforts. We are working toward becoming an industry leader in how racial equity must be central in both an organization’s culture and its external and programmatic work functions. Our overall goal, in keeping with our core advocacy agenda, is to persuade policymakers to enact and implement policies that create racial and economic justice and tear down systemic racism.
CLASP Mission for Racial Equity
We understand that poverty in America is inextricably tied to systemic racism. We will explicitly and with intention, focus our policy and advocacy efforts for economic and racial justice on addressing systemic racism as the primary cause of poverty for communities of color in the United States. We believe that centering communities of color in our advocacy leads to policies that advance economic justice for everyone. We work in partnership with the people most impacted to move policies that promote racial and economic justice and opportunity from vision to policy to practice.
CLASP Values for Racial Equity
We understand that inclusion is only the first step toward fostering sustainable racial equity, in our society, and within our organizational culture. At CLASP, we value the importance of including multiple perspectives in how we shape our organizational culture and engage in our policy and advocacy efforts. However, we also know that to move beyond inclusion and to achieve true racial equity we must be intentional in centering and prioritizing the voices, perspectives and lived experiences of people of color. At CLASP, racial equity is our core value and informs all aspects of our organizational culture and the way we think about and approach our policy, issue, and advocacy areas. For true and sustainable change to happen in our country, historically white founded and led policy and advocacy organizations must commit to full and immersive racial equity.
CLASP Vision for Racial Equity
The impact of systemic racism transcends generations, especially in regard to achieving fair and equitable education, economic, and employment opportunities. Public policy in these areas has historically been white centered in its practice, narrative, and culture in a way that has perpetuated exclusion of impacted people of color rather than intentionally partnering with them to develop policies that center their needs. CLASP is committed to a vision where that culture is dismantled and replaced by one that is inclusive, participatory, and emphasizes authentic partnerships.
As an anti-poverty policy and advocacy non-profit, we understand that the phenomenon of racism not only impacts the communities we advocate with and/or for, but also directly impacts how staff of color at CLASP experience our organizational culture, its norms, customs, and perceived values and beliefs. For this reason, we have a vision that requires us to build a culture that centers racial equity and dismantles internal and external systems of oppression.
CLASP seeks an innovative, deeply knowledgeable leader who can build on and leverage the extensive engagement we’ve seen from staff and board members while creating an even more powerful path toward the future. The Deputy ED for Racial Equity will supervise the Coordinator of Racial Equity Programs and Training and work closely with CLASP’s internal racial equity steering committee, and CLASP staff, partners, and board members to develop, refine, and lead external and internal racial equity policies and frameworks, projects, training, and other related initiatives. They will be a member of CLASP’s senior leadership team reporting directly to CLASP’s Chief Operating Officer and working closely with CLASP’s Executive Director.
- Serve as senior advisor to ED and board on all aspects of racial equity including external context, organizational best practices, challenges and solutions, and other issues that may arise. Promote and support the ED’s and board’s learning and deeper engagement in the work.
- Lead inclusive, collaborative processes (including staff and leadership, along with board and external stakeholders as appropriate) to:
- Develop, operationalize, evaluate, and refine principles, goals, priorities, and a work plan for building a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization in fulfillment of CLASP’s mission and values.
- Implement strategies and mechanisms to advance those goals across the organization, including identifying the resources needed.
- Develop key benchmarks and metrics of progress, ongoing assessment, reporting mechanisms, and other accountability measures to ensure racial equity is incorporated into all of CLASP’s work.
- Increase institutional knowledge and capacity (for example, by coordinating internal trainings on topics related to race within the context of CLASP’s work); identify opportunities for external training and strategize with staff on how best to implement best practices.
- Serve as internal advisor—in partnership with Deputy ED for Policy and Deputy ED for Communications/External Affairs—for staff, leadership team, and senior leadership on racial equity content for policy work. This includes helping staff incorporate perspectives of multiple communities of color early in the research or writing process.
- Refine and support the effectiveness of CLASP’s internal structure for organizing and carrying out racial equity work, which currently involves ongoing communication and partnership between staff, the Racial Equity Coordinator, racial equity steering committee, leadership team, Executive Director, and board.
- Lead implementation of major internal equity initiatives, in partnership with CLASP’s COO and staff, to include partnering with:
- The finance and administration team to strengthen equitable hiring and professional development policies, as well as centering racial equity work throughout CLASP. This includes direct involvement and leadership in expanding talent identification, recruitment, and retention strategies that sustain and/or increase racial/ethnic staff diversity across every level of the organization.
- Partner with HR staff and consultants to implement key provisions of the racial equity assessment, including a focus on preventing and responding to microaggressions in the workplace.
- Partner with the communications team to integrate a racial equity context into communications strategies, including but not limited to written pieces, photographs, social media, and the website.
- Strengthen partnerships with racial justice organizations nationally, in the states, and on the ground, in partnership with the policy teams, Deputy ED for Policy, and the legislative and communications teams. This could include a standing advisory group along with many other approaches to connecting our work to coalitions and grassroots organizations, such as by helping to identify opportunities to partner with those farther along their racial equity journey as well as move partners who are not as committed yet to a further point.
- Speak and write externally about racial equity in the anti-poverty/ non-profit sphere, potentially including advocacy on the Hill, in the media, and with partner organizations, depending on the interests and strengths of the successful candidate.
- A demonstrated commitment to CLASP’s mission of reducing poverty and improving the lives of people with low incomes, including a commitment to equity and reducing disparities based on race and ethnicity.
- Deep knowledge and sensitivity to racial equity and intersectionality, including historic and structural barriers to the advancement of diverse people and communities and how these factors can operate in a workplace.
- Demonstrated experience and success leading and managing organizational change processes, especially as they relate to equity and inclusion. Experience with boards and at senior leadership levels is a plus but not required.
- Capacity to work effectively with staff at all levels, including mentoring and peer leadership.
- Experience leading cross-organizational teams.
- Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills, including the ability to listen deeply, facilitate challenging conversations, build rapport and trust, mediate disputes, write and present persuasively to multiple audiences, and collaborate and uplift diverse constituencies.
- Substantive knowledge of one or more of CLASP’s policy areas is a plus but not required.
- Experience in policy advocacy is a plus but not required.
- Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 9 years’ related experience or a master’s degree or other advanced degree and 7 years’ related experience.
- Candidates must be based in the Washington, D.C. area or willing to relocate.
We have a mandatory vaccine policy as a condition of employment (applicable accommodations apply).
Salary Range: $150,000 – 175,000
Salary is commensurate with experience. CLASP offers exceptional benefits, including several health insurances options, dental insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, long-term care insurance, a 403(b)-retirement program, and flexible spending accounts, as well as generous vacation, paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave, and holiday schedules.
Resumes will be accepted until the position is filled. NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE.
CLASP is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.