The Marian Cheek Jackson Center

Position announcement: Director of Housing Justice

About the Position:

The Marian Cheek Jackson Center (MCJC) is seeking a full-time Director of Housing Justice to support the Northside Neighborhood Initiative (NNI), a historic partnership dedicated to renewing and building the vibrant, affordable, and inclusive neighborhoods residents have long envisioned. The Director of Housing Justice will lead efforts to continue to retain long-term neighbors in this historically African-American neighborhood, to attract new neighbors invested in the Northside community, and to balance a market currently tipped towards student rentals. The Director will also co-lead landbank and housing development strategy and spearhead creative partnership initiatives. The Director of Housing Justice will be part of the NNI project team, working closely with colleagues from Self-Help and the MCJC to facilitate a multi-pronged effort to bend the market toward justice in Northside. This Director will work alongside of and in support of our neighborhood leadership group, the Northside Compass Group.

About the Northside Neighborhood Initiative (NNI):

Managed in partnership with Self-Help Credit Union, the NNI is led by a group of neighbors from every section of the community. Since it was launched in 2015, the NNI has acquired 32 properties at risk of predatory investment into its land bank, built over two dozen units of permanently affordable housing with partner organizations, and welcomed 36 kids to the neighborhood.   For the first time in over 40 years, the Black population in Northside is on the rise. The NNI is one of the only models successfully stemming the tide of gentrification and retaining long-term African American residents.

About the Jackson Center, www.jacksoncenter.info:

The Marian Cheek Jackson Center is a hub of creative action dedicated to preserving the future of historically Black neighborhoods in Chapel Hill, NC. Advancing community-led and abundance-based approaches to community development, the Center works with over 35 partners to create just and vibrant places through housing organizing and advocacy, to disrupt conventional history through a k-12 curriculum in local, oral, and civil rights history, and to renew the glue in Northside through interactive exhibition and festivity.   Located in the heart of the Northside community, Center staff work in collaboration with Northside neighbors and friends to respect and to serve histories that, even as they are told, make new history out of Emancipation, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, civil rights struggle, and desegregation. Today Northside and Pine Knolls are among the most racially, ethnically, and economically diverse neighborhoods in the region. At the Center, we aim to do justice by the 150 interviews now held in the Jackson Center’s Oral History Trust. The Center has been recognized for its achievements by, among others, the North Carolina Humanities Council, the MLK Community/University Foundation, the National Communication Association, Preservation Chapel Hill, and The Independent Weekly.

Primary responsibilities of the Director of Housing Justice:

  • Fiercely advocate for and implement community vision for neighborhood housing development and retention of long-term neighbors:
    • Co-facilitate monthly meetings of dynamic group of community leaders making decisions about acquisitions and dispositions of properties from the Northside community land bank;
    • Support and inform this decision-making process by engaging in deep dialogue with staff, neighbors, and a wide range of partners to identify and assess the strategic impacts of various options for redeploying properties;
    • Bring a creative, problem-solving approach to more complex and large-scale properties in the land bank;
    • Manage the NNI project team, including overseeing weekly meetings, project timelines, primary communications, and completion of action items;
    • Implement innovative, community-driven marketing strategies to recruit diverse families; and,
    • Play a facilitative role in our efforts to navigate complicated planning jurisdictions to achieve community goals.
  • Coordinate and steward key partnerships to support community vision:
    • Manage the process-related details and leverage the specialized expertise of partners to keep efforts on track and moving forward;
    • Facilitate creative, collaborative housing initiatives, including existing efforts for eldercare housing and grad student living-learning communities;
    • Expand and manage community and UNC service partnerships;
    • Support evaluation and reporting of impact of housing and community engagement work to key partners and funders; and,
    • Serve on the Orange County Affordable Housing Coalition and participate in other cross-jurisdictional efforts to support housing justice.
  • Ensure neighbors receive high-quality, timely home repairs through Jackson Center critical repair program for elderly residents:
    • Coordinate partners and contractors to deliver comprehensive repairs;
    • Communicate with elderly neighbors throughout the repair process; and,
    • Collect program satisfaction surveys.
  • Participate in all-staff initiatives, planning, fellowship, and artful neighboring:
    • Contribute insight and creative initiative across all programming areas and events; and,
    • Be a Northside Neighbor: sing with us, welcome new neighbors with us, share your unique gifts, listen and learn from our amazing network of neighbors.

Qualifications:

Ideal candidates will:

  • Be well-organized, adept at creative problem-solving, and committed to community-based solutions;
  • Have some demonstrated experience, skills, and investment in housing justice in historically underserved neighborhoods;
  • Have the skills and interest to develop the leadership of a wide range of participants in sustained support of all MCJC programs and events;
  • Have an investment in local Black history as told by the people who made it; and,
  • Have experience working in and living in a diverse and close-knit community.

Key Attributes:

  • Listening-centered: You believe in the power of listening as the primary mode of community building & organizing;
  • Process-oriented: You have the technical capacity for systems management and the consistency to maintain current processes effectively;
  • Great communicator: You have excellent writing, editing, and facilitation skills and the ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of partners, neighbors, and stakeholders;
  • Sense of humor: You find lightness in the work and take joy in the nuts and bolts of pursuing community justice;
  • Accountable: You work well independently within the context of a team environment and hold yourself and co-workers to high standards, always with a good dose of grace; and,
  • Relationship-centered & community-driven: Your relationships with and commitment to community fuels your go-getter energy.

Additional information:

This is a full-time, salaried position with a competitive salary range for a small non-profit depending on credentials, with an additional health stipend and generous holiday and vacation leave benefits. The Jackson Center is a great work environment, with vibrant staff who are committed to living the mission of our work. The Jackson Center is an equal opportunity employer, and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ applicants. For further information about the Center and its programs, please see our website at www.jacksoncenter.info or contact Hudson Vaughan, Interim Executive Director, at hudson@jacksoncenter.info.

To apply:

Send a 1-2 page cover letter to hudson@jacksoncenter.info, subject line: Director of Housing Justice, explaining your interest in and qualifications for the position. Please attach a resume including 3-4 relevant references with contact information. References will only be contacted after interviews. Priority deadline for this position is October 20, 2019. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.