Manager of Organizing and Community Development


Position: Manager of Organizing and Community Development

Basic Function:

This management position plays a key role in Access Living’s community organizing and community development. In the area of community organizing, the manager will supervise Access Living’s four community organizers to build power through grassroots campaigns and coalition partnerships. The manager will also lead community development for grassroots disability advocacy through supporting recruitment, community trainings, leader support spaces, and public outreach, with a focus on underserved communities in Chicago. The manager will collaborate closely with other Access Living colleagues across departments. The manager will ensure alignment of Access Living’s organizing and community development activities with the Access Living strategic plan, and ensure that those activities are inclusive. Finally, the manager will be responsible for coordinating special events and projects related to organizing and community development.

Specific Duties:

  • Develop and coordinate public-facing advocacy training and education sessions for the Access Living community, focusing on community advocacy topics and processes.
  • Supervise four community organizing staff in building community power through both virtual and in-person organizing, contingent on the status of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ensure alignment with Access Living’s mission and strategic goals; ensure that recruiting, campaign and other deadlines are met. Ensure consistent accessibility and inclusiveness of the Advocacy Department’s community organizing activities.
  • Support/facilitate outreach to ensure participation in organizing campaigns and events from underserved neighborhoods and communities in Chicago.
  • Coordinate Access Living’s Power to the People (PTP) effort, the coalition of Access Living’s four community organizing groups, as well as managing and developing PTP agendas and training.
  • Support Advocacy Department trainings/professional development. Work with staff to develop annual reporting outcomes and ensure staff meet outcomes and/or revise them as necessary.  Ensure staff meet data reporting goals and stay within budget. Conduct staff annual performance evaluations.
  • Support Director of Advocacy on the coordination of organizing with policy, government affairs and emerging initiatives. Provide content for Access Living’s advocacy alerts on a regular basis.
  • Support/coordinate with the Director of Communications for public relations efforts, and with the Development Department for fundraising/philanthropic reporting.
  • Support/coordinate dialogue and collaboration with the Independent Living and Civil Rights Departments.
  • Represent the Advocacy Department on internal workgroups as needed.
  • Supervise interns and volunteers as needed.
  • Other activities as needed.

Education and Training:

3-5 years experience as a manager preferred. BA preferred in public policy, community development or political science. Must have excellent writing and reporting skills. Must have familiarity with social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Public speaking and training experience strongly preferred. Event coordination experience strongly preferred

Preferred Experience:

  • Experience with disability-related community organizing.
  • Understanding of Independent Living Philosophy, disability justice, the overall disability movement, and grasp of complex topics in disability and inclusion.
  • Understanding of various community organizing models as well as coalition building.
  • Experience with fielding requests for reasonable accommodations, and supervising effective access for people with a range of disabilities.
  • Understanding of how to frame and report outcomes for community organizing.
  • Experience developing curricula for a range of learning audiences

Physical Demands:

Ability to travel within state; may need to travel out of state on occasion.

Equipment Operated:

Standard office equipment.

Working Environment:

Access Living shared office space or virtual space depending on the status of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Supervised By:

Director of Advocacy

Number of Employees Directly Supervised:

Four, with possibility of added interns/volunteers.


  • People with lived experience of disability, especially from marginalized communities, are strongly encouraged to apply.

Salary Range:

$52,000 – $58,000 annually

How to Apply:

Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and no more than 5 pages of a writing sample, preferably related to this position to