Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center

Solid Ground’s Advisory Council Fellow – Racial and Economic Justice (2016)

Context

Solid Ground works to end poverty and undo racism and other oppressions that are root causes of poverty. It believes that our community can move beyond poverty and oppression to a place where all people have access to quality housing, nutritious food, equal justice and opportunities to thrive. Solid Ground’s 22 programs support more than 60,000 King County residents each year in meeting their urgent housing, food and life skills needs to escape poverty and thrive.

Solid Ground actively identifies and examines institutional and systemic structures, policies and practices that prevent economic justice through the persistent practice of anti-racism. Internally, staff members develop a critical analysis of their own identities specifically as it relates to (1) relationships with program participants, (2) relationships with colleagues, and (3) the daily practice of their profession. Externally, Solid Ground practices “deferential allyship” (solidarity) by respecting the capacity/agency of the communities (clients) it serves to actively and meaningfully participate in developing the short- and long-term solutions for their own lives. Likewise, it works in solidarity with partners to facilitate social justice alongside their program participants. The Carlson Civic Fellow will be engaged and supported in this kind of critical analysis throughout their time with the organization as well.

 

Fellowship Position

Solid Ground is developing an Advisory Council for its program participants’ voices to be heard, valued and incorporated into the program decisions that affect them. As the organization works alongside the community, it wants to ensure that its efforts support the struggle for racial and economic justice in King County, while guaranteeing that decision-making power is led by the program participants’ themselves. The Carlson Civic Fellow will collaborate with Solid Ground’s Anti-Racism Initiative (ARI) Manager on preparation, coordination and creation of this Advisory Council; they will be tasked with supporting the planning and execution of the Council, culminating in a town hall-style community convening in early summer.

From January to March, the Fellow will:

  • Conduct research on how social service agencies “quantify qualitative outcomes,” and produce a brief report on how mission-driven non-profit organizations can value and measure community engagement;
  • Engage in outreach, identifying stakeholders, recruiting them for participation in the Advisory Council, and building relationships with members over time.

From April to June, the Fellow will:

  • Work with the ARI Manager to prepare and support Advisory Council members for the town hall meeting in June; support logistics and content development as necessary.

These tasks represent opportunities to apply social justice theory at the intersections of race, class and gender. To accomplish this, the Fellow will be supported in developing an anti-racist lens with which to frame public leadership, and will gain practical insight into community organizing as a strategy of public leadership.

 

The ideal candidate will:

  • Demonstrate a clear commitment to anti-racism;
  • Have a willingness to meaningfully engage with internal and external stakeholders;
  • Have experience working in underserved communities and/or experience in social services or related fields;
  • Have an outgoing personality and comfort speaking with people from a range of backgrounds;
  • Possess strong research, writing and analysis skills;
  • Ability to speak multiple languages is a plus.