Community Advocate- School Policing/School to Prison Pipeline

American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania


Website aclupa American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania

Defending Liberty Where It Began

The ACLU of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) seeks a dynamic and driven Community Advocate with a demonstrated commitment to civil rights and racial justice for a two-year project on School Policing in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh and surrounding areas). The Community Advocate will implement a grant-funded project with explicit objectives and activities. The project aims to reduce the unnecessary exposure of young people to law enforcement in public school contexts (K-12); develop a core of enlightened school district leaders committed to avoiding criminalization in the administration of discipline, and promote fair treatment of students with disabilities in disciplinary matters.

Reporting to the Senior Policy Advocate who serves as the overall director of the school policing project, the Community Advocate will engage parents and community members, public education policymakers, the disability rights community, juvenile justice advocates, and others in developing advocacy campaigns to reduce the involvement of students in the criminal justice system. This position is situated within ACLU-PA’s Advocacy and Policy Department, although the Advocate will collaborate with members of other departments as needed. The Community Advocate will work as a member of a three-person team, including the Senior Policy Advocate and a consultant. The position is full-time and located in Pittsburgh. Limited travel, mostly within the county, and occasional evening and weekend work may be required.

The ACLU-PA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest organization, dedicated to defending and enhancing personal freedoms protected by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights through litigation, legislative advocacy, organizing, and community education. It is a fast-paced environment that addresses headline-making issues with powerful personal stories and dynamic, precedent-setting solutions. The ACLU-PA has ten volunteer chapters, approximately 59,000 members and donors, 29 full-time employees, and a $4.7 million operating budget.


  • Assist with the development of a campaign, in consultation with project staff, to reform school policing in select districts in Allegheny County.
  • Coordinate and staff a summit of school district leaders on school policing matters.
  • Build strong partnerships with key stakeholders across the county, including parents of students affected by the school-to-prison pipeline, the disability rights community, educators and juvenile justice system professionals, and community advocates.
  • Organize and staff community forums, workshops, and focus groups.
  • Write occasional blogs and reports for the public.
  • Assist with the development of letters to the editor, testimony, and other advocacy documents. Ensure that content is timely, relevant, and supports the project’s work.
  • Attend and report on public meetings (such as school board meetings, etc.) and community meetings as needed.
  • Participate in and help coordinate consultations with other ACLU staff working on youth and education issues.
  • Assist with maintaining the project’s website,
  • Produce regular updates on program plans and activities. Assist in the development of reports to funders.


  • Three years of program advocacy experience. Experience working on education, youth, racial justice, disability rights, or civil rights issues preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a variety of stakeholders, including policymakers and community partners.
  • Experience working collaboratively in coalitions and with members of diverse communities impacted by the issues.
  • Strong written skills, including the ability to produce fact sheets, memos, blogs, issue summaries, and letters to public officials.
  • Strong verbal communications skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work independently, while knowing when to consult.
  • Knowledge of public education or juvenile justice reform issues preferred.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, and G Suite. Experience doing basic analysis of data a plus.


Salary is commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU-PA compensation scale. Excellent benefits include generous vacation and sick leave; individual/family employer-provided health insurance; life insurance and long-term disability; defined contribution plan with employer match; and 10 paid holidays. This position is full-time, salaried, and non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.


To apply, send a letter of application (cover letter), resume, and a short writing sample to Please include your last name and “Community Advocate” in the subject line of the email.


Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website,

The ACLU-PA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU-PA encourages women, people of color, persons with disabilities, people with records of arrest or conviction, veterans, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals to apply.

The ACLU-PA comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union (the “Union”) of Pennsylvania and the ACLU Foundation (the “Foundation”) of Pennsylvania. The Union is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, and ACLU membership dues fund its lobbying work. Donations to the Union are not tax-deductible. The ACLU Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Foundation funds support litigation and public education efforts. Donations to the Foundation are tax-deductible. The Community Advocate is an employee of the ACLU Foundation of Pennsylvania.

Both the ACLU of Pennsylvania and the ACLU Foundation of Pennsylvania have the same overall mission, and share office space, employees, and the same board of directors. The two entities are jointly known by the term “ACLU of Pennsylvania.”

ACLU-PA’s hiring process will comply with Philadelphia’s Fair Criminal Records Screening Standards (“Ban the Box”) ordinance.

To apply for this job email your details to