With 2.3 million people behind bars in this country, the United States has earned the disgraceful distinction of being the world’s largest jailer. The nation’s machine of mass incarceration severely limits the ability of people, disproportionately people of color, from participating in the social, political and economic life of this country.

The ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice is committed to realizing a new criminal justice system – one that is substantially smaller than its current size while also keeping communities safe, advancing racial justice, treating people fairly, and using fiscal resources wisely.

The Statewide Organizer will assist the Community Engagement Department with enacting a campaign in Wisconsin to decrease the number of people in prison through organizing, outreach, advocacy, and direct action. 

Job Context

This position is a regular exempt position that reports to the Director of Community Engagement.  Although based in Oshkosh, it will require some travel around the state, including working in Milwaukee at least one day per week.


Ensure that the interests and vision of impacted populations and the broader community shape the ACLU’s work on criminal justice reform;

Identify, recruit, train, support and supervise a team of volunteer advocates to lead criminal justice reform efforts;

Work with the Community Engagement Department to build a coalition of members, key organizations, longtime partners, public officials, new entities and constituencies like law enforcement officers, faith leaders, business leaders and members of communities impacted by crime to advance Smart Justice policy objectives and participate in actions;

  • Help to develop and improve tactics, timelines, and metrics  for campaigns, training, and programs;
  • Communicate the intentions and accomplishments of the ACLU in clear and inspiring ways;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance, record of arrest or conviction;
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully to resolve obstacles and/or conflicts;
  • Lead and train others to conduct community outreach like phone-banking and canvassing, meeting with elected officials, rallies, and interacting with media;
  • Perform additional duties, as necessary, as an ACLU team member.

Job Requirements

A successful candidate must have and maintain the following qualifications:

  • Commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU and a passion for criminal justice issues, commitment to reform, and an understanding of the racialized nature of the criminal justice system are absolutely essential;
  • A car and a valid Wisconsin driver's license and the ability to undertake travel within Wisconsin, as well as the availability to work some evenings and weekends;
  • Experience in political/advocacy/community/campaign organizing, with experience working directly with volunteers strongly preferred;
  • Flexible team player who understands opportunities and challenges of building and working in large, diverse coalitions, and sharing responsibilities and credit;
  • Extraordinary leadership and organizational skills.  A self-starter and finisher with a demonstrated ability to manage details and follow through with a minimum of direct supervision;
  • Proven ability to effectively communicate in writing and through public presentation;
  • Personal enthusiasm, optimism and a sense of humor;
  • Personal experience being incarcerated or in other ways entangled with the criminal justice system is preferred;
  • Bilingual Spanish skills preferred.


Compensation is $40,000 annually.  Benefits include paid vacation and sick leave, medical and dental coverage for staff members, life insurance, short and long-term disability insurance; and an optional 401(K). 

To Apply:

The position will remain open until filled.  Please submit a resume, a brief cover letter describing your interest in the organizer position, and three references to jobs@aclu-wi.org

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


Revised November 27, 2018

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