Community Engagement Strategist

  • Full Time
  • Southeast
  • Applications have closed

American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee


The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN) seeks a creative, collaborative, mission-driven professional to become our next community engagement strategist. ACLU-TN is building an expansive advocacy infrastructure, and the community engagement strategist will help position ACLU-TN as a trusted and valued partner in Tennessee’s social justice movement ecosystem, further its programmatic goals, and increase public awareness of and participation in people-powered movements to protect and advance civil rights and civil liberties in Tennessee. This is a full-time, salaried position.

Under the supervision of the community engagement director, the community engagement strategist will engage ACLU-TN members, volunteers, voters, and the public in ACLU-TN’s work, strengthening our networks of community activists, supporters, and partners while implementing strategic education and mobilization tactics that advance civil liberties and civil rights movements across the state. The community engagement strategist will work to identify and facilitate volunteer, mobilization, and education opportunities, conduct outreach throughout the state to engage communities with the ACLU-TN’s work and assist with the planning and execution of ACLU-TN events and outreach strategies. The community engagement strategist will help build a sustainable advocacy program by increasing, diversifying, and activating volunteers to promote local initiatives and participate in statewide strategic mobilization efforts. They will educate, motivate, and develop leaders to advocate for change and support community-powered movements that build power and achieve systemic change.

The community engagement team’s role within ACLU-TN’s integrated advocacy model is to integrate our mission with communities across the state, collaborating with partners to mobilize widespread, far-reaching support for bold, impactful change movements. Community engagement advocacy at ACLU-TN centers the experiences and leadership of directly impacted people while ensuring that non-impacted allies participate in effective and substantive action.

Community engagement at the ACLU of Tennessee is oriented towards systemic change — moving people to take strategic actions that expand the movement’s size, reach, and power and leading decision-makers to make decisions that advance specific, intentional campaign objectives. These strategic actions can occur in electoral, legislative, legal, and community organizing contexts. Community engagement at the ACLU of Tennessee is also designed to build long-term political and community power for the civil liberties movement to protect and strengthen our state’s civil liberties and civil rights.

ACLU-TN’s office is in Nashville, TN, a rapidly growing city with a rich history in social justice and a fantastic music, arts, culture, and food scene. Staff are working in a hybrid environment. Candidates outside of Tennessee will be considered for this position with the understanding that relocation to the state will be required. The community engagement strategist will need to spend some time working at the Nashville office, but this position will travel throughout Tennessee for work.


Volunteer Engagement

  • Expand ACLU-TN’s core campaigns & active volunteer corps through recruitment, relationship-building, recognition, and ongoing engagement.
  • Conduct outreach to prospective and existing volunteers to ensure strong turn-out and campaign participation.
  • Maintain volunteer management systems to track volunteers’ interests and skills and maintain volunteer recruitment, participation, and retention statistics.
  • Provide volunteers information, guidance, assistance, training, and supervision, and act as a liaison between volunteers and staff.
  • Cultivate opportunities for volunteers to advance their advocacy skill sets and move supporters at all levels up ACLU-TN’s ladder of engagement.

Voter Engagement 

  • Assist efforts to implement non-partisan, non-political strategies to educate the public about accessing the ballot, GOTV, and candidates’ positions on civil liberties issues.
  • Work with advocacy technology and digital outreach tools, including text messaging & phone-banking software, to increase civic engagement.
    Support opportunities for volunteers to participate in voter outreach campaigns.

Coalition and community advocacy movement-building

  • Participate in coalition meetings and track organizational coalition involvement.
  • Support community leadership development, including developing skill resources, assisting with training, and supporting community campaign development.

Public education and community events

  • Plan, coordinate, staff and work with volunteers at ACLU-TN’s public education and community events (virtual and in-person) statewide.
  • Support staff public-speaking program, including serving as an ACLU-TN spokesperson for events, as needed.
  • Organize and maintain distribution lists and databases for public engagement.

Support advocacy campaigns 

  • Assist with strategies to achieve ACLU-TN’s campaign objectives, including supporting campaign plans and timelines and assisting with campaign management as needed.
  • Help track campaign progress, produce reports and highlights, and analyze campaign results and impact.

Additional duties

  • Supervise interns and volunteers as needed.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned by the community engagement director.


The successful candidate will possess many of the following qualifications and attributes. If you are excited about the position but unsure that you are qualified, we encourage you to apply.

  • Demonstrated support of ACLU’s mission and values.
  • Commitment to racial justice and other forms of equity and understanding of how to advance racial justice and other forms of equity in all aspects of the job.
  • At least three (3) years of organizing experience (including paid or volunteer) in community engagement/field organizing, public engagement, and base building for issue-based or political campaigns.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral.
  • Knowledge of and familiarity with organizing and advocacy software and tools; experience with EveryAction and VAN is a plus.
  • Experience doing voter engagement work, including canvassing, phone banking, and working with volunteers on voter outreach tactics.
  • Strong public speaking and facilitation skills; willingness to speak in front of groups about a wide range of civil liberties and civil rights issues on behalf of the organization, and familiarity with guiding discussion amongst diverse groups.
  • Ability to engage communities with diverse backgrounds, knowledge bases, or strategic priorities, including ACLU-TN supporters, volunteers, coalition partners, and community groups, with enthusiasm, professionalism, empathy, and respect.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and relationship-building skills and experience working with partners to collaboratively achieve common goals, build trust, share responsibility and credit, and navigate and resolve conflict.
  • Ability to think proactively, anticipate and analyze challenges, cope and respond strategically to stressful situations, and take initiative to change course quickly when required.
  • Extremely strong project and time management skills, including developing and adhering to timelines and deadlines, tracking progress on goals, and managing and prioritizing multiple responsibilities.
  • A personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances.
  • A positive, professional attitude with sound judgment, flexibility, determination, and good humor in a fast-paced, sometimes high-pressure office.
  • An absolute commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards.
  • Availability to work beyond 9 to 5, including on the weekends, and to travel throughout Tennessee as needed.


The Community Engagement Strategist will receive a starting salary of $60,000. Excellent benefits, including a wellness stipend, 100%-employer premium paid medical, dental, vision, life, and long-term disability insurance; 401(k) Plan including up to 5.5% employer contribution; and paid sick, vacation, and holiday leave. ACLU-TN reserves the right to alter or eliminate employee benefit plans and programs. This position is full-time, salaried, and overtime-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act and applicable Tennessee law.


If you’re excited about devoting your talents and skills to the ACLU of Tennessee, please submit your resume, letter of interest, and where you learned of this opportunity. All applications are processed through the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee Career Page (JazzHR). See their privacy policy.

Tentative Hiring Timeline

  • Monday, January 15: Deadline to Apply
  • Week of January 22: Phone Screens
  • Week of February 5: First-Round Interviews
  • March 4: Approximate Start Date

Phone calls will not be accepted. Priority will be given to completed applications received by the January 15 deadline.


The ACLU of Tennessee uses integrated advocacy – including litigation, legislative lobbying, strategic communications and narrative change, and people-centered engagement and mobilization — to pursue strategic campaigns that expand civil liberties and civil rights in Tennessee while building the long-term power of the ACLU and the civil liberties movement in our state.

ACLU-TN is an equal-opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Tennessee 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, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Black people; Indigenous people; people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, non-binary, gender-nonconforming, and intersex people; women; people with disabilities; protected veterans; and formerly incarcerated individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.

ACLU-TN Tennessee makes every effort to ensure that its recruitment and employment practices provide all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, full employment opportunities in all positions. ACLU-TN is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for applicants with disabilities. Please do not hesitate to inquire at [email protected] if you need accommodations during the application or interview process.