Careers in Community Organizing for Social Justice

The Direct Action & Research Training (DART) Center will be on the U of L law campus on Monday, February 7 at 6:00pm in W303A in the Student Activities Center to discuss careers in the field of community organizing with students interested in empowering their communities and working for social change.

Please RSVP if you are interested by contacting Hannah Wittmer by calling 785.841.2680 with your name, phone #, email address and school.

After years of research into best practices, experimentation, evaluation, and refinement, the Organizers Institute has become THE elite field school in the training of grassroots community organizers in the country.

DART is now accepting applications for the 2011 DART Organizers Institute, the paid, four-month field school for people interested in launching a career in community organizing. Participants will undergo a combined classroom and field training covering such topics as:
  • Entering a community
  • Identifying and training local leaders
  • Strategic planning and issue cutting
  • Relationship and community building
  • Direct Action on community issues
  • Fundraising
The DART Center, has built coalitions throughout the country that have won important victories on a broad set of justice issues including:
  • Education reform in low-performing public schools
  • Job Training
  • Drugs and Violence
  • Criminal Recidivism
  • Living Wage
  • Neighborhood Revitalization
  • Predatory Lending
  • Affordable Housing, etc.
The DART Organizers Institute combines a 7-day classroom orientation with 15 weeks of infield training at a local grassroots organization and in-field training site.  Organizer Trainees are provided with a cost of living stipend and travel.  Room, board, and tuition will also be paid by DART during the seven-day classroom training.  After successful completion of the program, DART will place graduates into permanent full-time salaried positions earning $30,000-$35,000/year + benefits.  DART is a 501(c)(3) organization, therefore, employees of the DART Network are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness under the recently enacted College Cost Reduction and Access Act.

The 7-day classroom orientation and 15-week infield training start in July 2011. Training locations will include placements in several states around the country.

Although it may be helpful, no direct experience is necessary. Organizer Trainees (OTs) hired to participate in the DART Organizers Institute must demonstrate a desire to pursue community organizing as a long-term professional career. A master's degree, JD, or similar life experience is preferred though not necessary. Candidates must have a college degree or be graduating prior to July 2011. Also, candidates must display a workmanlike diligence, be driven to produce sustained results, have proven capacity to build relationships of trust, create and execute a plan, act professionally, feel comfortable working with religious institutions, be accountable and willing to hold others accountable, demonstrate disciplined thought and action, and work in a team setting.  OTs must also have access to a car during their training and be flexible regarding relocation. Fluency in Spanish/English is a plus and people of color are encouraged to apply.

Low-moderate income communities across the country are feeling the bite of the recession that began in December 2007. Cutbacks in human services and education, layoffs and persistent unemployment, home foreclosures, increased youth violence, predatory lending, and other serious issues are day-to-day realities for many. Now is the time for a new generation of community organizers to step up, unite people, and transform our communities. DART is recruiting and training that new generation.

To find out more about DART or to apply, we encourage you to contact Hannah Wittmer at  (785) 841-2680. You can download applications or view profiles from previous OTs at the DART website.