Job Post: Program Officer for Health Justice - Universal Health Care Foundation of CT

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

The mission of Universal Health Care Foundation of CT is to amplify health as a fundamental human right in Connecticut and accelerate the movement for health care for all because it is core to justice and equity.

For its first 20 years, Universal has worked collaboratively with many types of partners to achieve state-level policies that expand access to affordable and quality health care. This journey has had its high points and its pitfalls, reminding us, in the words of Frederick Douglas, that "power concedes nothing without a demand,". As we start our third decade, our board and staff has re-committed themselves to deploying our human and financial resources to building grassroots power for change.

We believe that if there is public will and powerful demand for political will and accountability to create a health care system that works well for everyone, then we will collectively be able to achieve health justice. We also believe that change will happen when the people act on the knowledge needed to hold those in power accountable.

The Opportunity

The position of Program Officer for Health Justice is a new position created in 2021 in recognition of the out-sized impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and demand for racial and economic justice. We see this position as helping Universal contribute to strengthening the infrastructure for organizing and advocacy across issues in Connecticut. While we maintain our organizational focus on health and health care, we are committed to continual collaboration with other racial, social and economic justice funders and organizations.

This position will work with the President, the Director of Program and Policy, other Universal staff and the board of directors to develop and implement our grantmaking, capacity building, convening and partnership strategies to build grassroots power over the next five years.

Externally, the person is responsible for working with diverse community and grassroots organizations, partners of various types, including other funders, and consultants to craft a program to meet the Foundation's strategic goal of building power and capacity for a robust health justice arm of broader racial, economic and social justice efforts in Connecticut. This work must be anchored in the lived experience of people in Black, Brown, Indigenous and Immigrant communities.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with staff, board and partners to develop the Foundation's 5-year health justice advocacy, organizing and power-building plan
  • Lead the team (internal, consultants and partners) responsible for implementation of the plan
  • Prepare and defend funding recommendations to the board of directors
  • Establish and track measurable goals and results related to the 5-year health justice advocacy, organizing and power building plan
  • Leverage the strategic use of Foundation and partner organization resources
  • Coordinate outreach, education and training efforts related to building power for health justice
  • Create and support leadership and capacity-building opportunities for community-based partners (individuals and organizations)
  • Identify, engage and manage consultants for work related to this strategic priority
  • Coordinate with the Foundation's fund development, communications, and program/policy staff, as needed
  • Provide support for Foundation-sponsored events and activities

Minimum Qualifications:

  • 7-10 years' experience in relevant work
    • Experience in building a program from the ground up
    • Masters level education in relevant fields desirable but not essential

Essential Skills, Abilities and Experience:

  • A working understanding of structural systemic barriers and of the need for an infrastructure for organizing and advocacy across multiple issue areas
    • Demonstrated commitment to racial equity
    • Experience with community organizing (or at minimum, an organizer at heart)
    • Understanding of the power dynamics in community, political and public policy settings
    • Demonstrated aptitude for working with a diverse mix of organizations, communities and audiences
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; a strong, active listener
    • Spanish language literacy is a plus

Essential Attributes:

  • A self-starter who is willing to learn and try new things; comfortable with calculated risk
  • A creative thinker who can offer ideas and bring other people along in generating solutions and innovative approaches to community engagement, organizing and advocacy
  • A mission-driven collaborative team player able to work with diverse staff and partners
  • Ability to help draw out and amplify the voices of others, especially the marginalized
  • Highly organized and able to manage multiple tasks and projects at a time
  • Commitment to racial equity and justice, and an understanding of its role in health justice

Universal is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and provides equal employment opportunity to all applicants without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or creed, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, physical appearance or disability. All are encouraged to apply.

Interested applicants should submit a statement of interest and resume. Materials should be sent to Lynne Ide:

Candidates will be contacted for an interview. This position shall remain open until filled.

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