Director of Community Initiatives

Hazelwood Initiative, Inc.

Website Hazelwood Initiative, Inc.

Job title: Director of Community Initiatives
Reports to:  Executive Director

Job Purpose:

The position of Hazelwood Initiative’s Director of Community Initiatives has been created to reach out to the diverse residents and stakeholders of Greater Hazelwood and to engage as many as possible in our mission of building a stronger Hazelwood through inclusive community development.  Specifically, the Director of Community Initiatives must go into all parts of the community and form trusting, supportive relationships with people from all backgrounds, races, ethnicities, ages, genders, and interests to identify and listen to those voices which are at risk of not being heard.

The Director of Community Initiatives will engage residents in community-building and community-driven activities, particularly those geared toward preventing displacement of residents due to an anticipated rise in property values, and to ensure that Hazelwood’s future growth is led by Hazelwood’s residents.

Duties and Responsibilities:

1- Form trusting relationships with diverse neighbors and stakeholders

  • Engage each household residing in properties held by Hazelwood Initiative
  • Develop and implement outreach efforts designed to increase engagement of underrepresented residents, particularly rental households and people of color.
  • Reach out to community organizations, churches and businesses to form relationships and encourage owners/members/residents to get involved in community activities led by HI and partner organizations
  • Build coalitions with neighbors and stakeholders to advance organizational and community goals.

2- Identify and assist in organizing Hazelwood renters in order to identify common concerns (particularly around housing and financial security), so that HI may work to ensure their long-term, financially-sustainable residency in Hazelwood, whether it be through pursuing affordable homeownership, increasing household income, or identifying and developing sources of permanently affordable rental housing in Hazelwood.

  • Effectively articulate HI’s intent to minimize displacement of Hazelwood renters as the neighborhood redevelops
  • Coordinate with HI staff on HI efforts to develop affordable housing (for both homeownership and rental) in order to ensure stakeholders in Hazelwood know what options are available
  • Support newly-identified residents and stakeholders in identifying those needs and desires that they deem vital to the future of a vibrant Hazelwood

3- Convene or actively participate in a community committee of organizations to:

  • Identify gaps in communication channels and methods being used to reach targeted populations,
  • Identify households vulnerable to displacement to create collaborative, coordinated and effective solutions.

4- Working with the staff, develop and implement a robust two-way communication strategy to ensure that residents and stakeholders of Greater Hazelwood are fully informed of and engaged in HI activities that will shape the positive future of the community, including providing content for HI’s neighborhood monthly newspaper (The Homepage).

5- All other duties as may be periodically assigned.


Our ideal candidate has a demonstrated passion for community-based development and community organizations. Additionally, he or she will have a blend of the following:

  • 5 years of experience in community building or community outreach; genuine enthusiasm for meeting new people; a strong work ethic, good sense of humor, and a commitment to social justice.
  • A Master’s degree in urban planning, social work, education or a related field from an accredited institution is preferred, but not required.
  • A deep and demonstrated passion and commitment to community-based organizing, and/or leadership development, with demonstrated problem-solving initiative.
  • Aptitude and interest in relationship-building, outreach/ organizing, fostering collaborative community partnerships.
  • Experience in monitoring and guiding individuals, volunteers, and community projects.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Must be an excellent listener and facilitator.
  • Ability to support residents in building their own leadership capacity; skills in leadership training helpful.
  • Ability to work individually, as well as in a team environment including multicultural settings.
  • The highest professional standards of integrity, humility, honesty, and kindness.
  • Demonstrable problem-solving skills, and excel in building consensus, culling visionary strategy, harnessing creativity, and building social movements.
  • Excellent time management skills. Must be willing to work a flexible schedule, including some nights and weekends.

Working conditions

Hazelwood Initiative’s Director of Community Initiatives will have a work station in the HI office.  However, it is expected that most of the Directors’ work will be out of the office and in the community.  The Director of Community Initiatives must be able to walk, bicycle or drive his/her own automobile to access all geographic parts of Hazelwood, including those that lie on steep hillsides.  The Director must be available on many evenings and weekends in order to effectively reach out to residents, to engage them in outreach activities, and to attend and support community events.

Physical requirements

The primary physical requirement of this position is the ability to travel through all portions of the Greater Hazelwood neighborhood.

Direct reports

It is anticipated that, over time, up to two full-time equivalent (FTE) positions will report to the Director of Community Initiatives.  The FTEs may be comprised of traditional staff, post-baccalaureate fellows, social work field placement students, or similar.

How to apply

Resume and cover letter should be sent to the attention of Sonya Tilghman at (preferred) or:

Hazelwood Initiative, Inc.
4901 Second Avenue, 2nd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15207

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