Phoenix, Arizona



Deadline date

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

The ACLU of Arizona—a leader in the fight against mass incarceration, discrimination in public education, and threats to LGBTQ equality and immigrants’ rights—is seeking a full-time organizer to recruit, train and mobilize people with first-hand experience with the criminal justice system to lead our Smart Justice Campaign, an aggressive multi-year advocacy campaign to reduce the U.S. jail and prison population by 50% while combating racial disparities in the criminal justice system. The Smart Justice Organizer (exempt) will play a central role in developing a base of leaders and creating a movement to influence decision-makers to adopt policy changes to discriminatory and onerous bail and sentencing policies that contribute to Arizona having the fifth highest incarceration rate in the nation.

We are looking for an enthusiastic individual, eager to take on an unparalleled opportunity to be a part of our ACLU of Arizona Smart Justice campaign team who has demonstrated excellent independent judgment, has strong interpersonal and communication skills, and has a proven track record of recruiting and motivating people with first-hand experience with the criminal justice system to invest their time into campaign efforts. Personal experience being incarcerated or in other ways entangled with the criminal justice system is preferred.

We need someone who is energized by being part of the ACLU organization and who knows how to make every volunteer, ally and community partner feel important. Our ideal Smart Justice Organizer sees an opportunity for connection everywhere and enjoys bringing people together to support our campaign and organizational goals.

Reporting to the Smart Justice Campaign Manager, the Smart Justice Organizer will play a key role in leading the ACLU-AZ’s organizing work around our Campaign for Smart Justice.

This is a full-time position based in our Phoenix office. 


  • Recruiting and organizing new people who have been impacted by the criminal justice system to help reform Arizona’s criminal justice system and promote racial justice.
  • Building a base of formerly incarcerated and impacted family member leaders by bringing them into ACLU spaces, engaging them in on-going 1:1 meetings, building their skills, developing them as spokespeople, mobilizing them through targeted, strategic actions, and supporting their development as leaders.
  • Developing and carrying out organizing tactics that support the ACLU’s legislative, policy, and base-building goals.  
  • Building the ACLU’s power by increasing the number of core leaders who support our mission.
  • Building a base of non-impacted supporters by engaging them through campaign meetings, welcome sessions, public events, actions, and shared ACLU spaces.
  • Representing the ACLU of Arizona and the Smart Justice campaign in front of internal and external stakeholders including speaking at events and to small groups.
  • Planning, conducting, and recruiting core leaders to participate in relevant trainings and programs such as media and lobbying training, that develop grassroots leadership and support our advocacy efforts.
  • Supporting community mobilization efforts by collaborating with grassroots leaders, allies, and ACLU of Arizona staff to execute large and effective community actions.
  • Completing and executing work plans.
  • Building a contact/outreach list of directly impacted individuals, impacted family members and general supporters, and tracking data in a meaningful and meticulous way.
  • Managing simultaneous projects and shifting priorities.
  • Advancing other ACLU of Arizona priorities through organizing.



  • A deep and well-articulated commitment to civil liberties and social justice.
  • Two+ years of experience in community/field organizing and leadership development, working directly with volunteers, a membership base, community leaders, or directly impacted people strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance, and record of arrest or conviction.
  • Demonstrated commitment to working collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.
  • Exceptional interpersonal, communication, facilitation, training and communication skills;
  • Superb organization skills; detail-oriented with strong follow-through and the ability to meet tight deadlines.
  • Creative, results-oriented, self-starting, and eager to learn new skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in an intensely collaborative, team-oriented environment.
  • Attention to measurable goals and results.
  • Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor.
  • Fluency in Spanish is preferred. 
  • Valid automobile driver’s license and dependable vehicle, and ability to travel around the state as necessary and participate in evening and weekend meetings.
  • Individuals with knowledge of current political alignments and opportunities for collaboration specifically in Arizona with a broad range of groups and familiarity with the advocacy and community organizing landscape around the state strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Demonstrated commitment to non-partisanship per ACLU policy that stipulates the ACLU will not endorse or oppose a candidate or political party in the process of voter education or mobilization work.
  • Knowledge of criminal justice policy issues is preferred but not a requirement.


Compensation for this position is negotiable and depends on experience and is highly competitive.  Benefits include generous vacation and sick leave; medical, vision and dental insurance; life and long-term disability insurance; defined contribution plan with employer match; and 12 paid holidays.


Send a cover letter explaining your interest in and qualifications for the position as detailed in this announcement, a current resume, names and contact information of three professional references (including at least one supervisor) by email to info@acluaz.org. Include “Smart Justice Organizer” in the subject line of your email. Please submit your cover letter and resume files in the following formats: “Last name, First name- Cover Letter” and “Last name, First name- Resume”. Please also indicate in your cover letter where you heard of this career opportunity. No phone calls or walk-ins, please.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


For the past nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been at the forefront of every major civil liberties fight in our country’s history. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote, we take up the toughest civil liberties issues to defend all individuals from government abuse and overreach. With ACLU affiliate offices in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, we fight tirelessly in the courts, legislatures, and through community engagement to ensure that all individuals’ rights are protected. We are a passionate, highly motivated group of lawyers, public policy experts, lobbyists, community organizers, and fundraisers, and we’re looking for exceptional talent to join our team.

This is an incredibly exciting time to join the ACLU. ACLU membership in Arizona has increased from  5,000 before the November 2016 election to more than 18,000 members today. In celebration of the ACLU’s 100th anniversary in 2020, the organization is building a more expansive advocacy infrastructure to increase its effectiveness in achieving public policy objectives. The organization is growing rapidly and has identified critical policy objectives that need proactive campaigns to succeed.

The ACLU of Arizona is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public interest organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights in Arizona. Our four strategic priority areas are: criminal justice reform, education equity, LGBT equality and immigrants’ rights. The ACLU of Arizona has 22 staff members, 17 board members, more than 18,000 members, and an annual operating budget of $3.1 million.  Additional information about our work can be found at: www.acluaz.org

The ACLU of Arizona comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and the ACLU Foundation of Arizona. Both the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and the ACLU Foundation of Arizona have the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties.

To learn more about the work of the ACLU, please visit www.acluaz.org and www.aclu.org.

ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.

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