Lead Organizer

About EmpowerED Families 

The mission of EmpowerED Families (EF) is to build family power through relationships while rallying behind the strengths of parents to weave together the home, school, and community to fight for high-quality education. EmpowerED Families connects with Indianapolis parents, families, community and school leaders to help build parent power and to activate change. 

We do this work by listening, educating, organizing, and leading: 

Listen: We believe in the value of conversation and provide a safe space for parents and educators to share their needs and concerns. We host one-on-one meetings and small group conversations that we call House Meetings. 

Educate: We also teach parents ways to effectively advocate for high-quality education within the schools that their children attend. We host events and trainings to enable parents, educators and families to learn and grow together. 

Organize: We help parents and families realize the power of their own voice to activate change. We help parents organize locally within schools to create urgency around the issues that are most important to them. 

Lead: Our movement is led by families for families. We activate parents to step into leadership within schools and communities. 

Position Overview

The Lead Organizer, reporting to the Executive Director, is primarily responsible for identifying, training, and developing families and parents to be leaders in their communities. The ideal candidate will be a master community organizer, with a passion for educational equity and a knack for developing people as leaders in their communities. The Lead Organizer will coach, mentor, and develop organizers in Indianapolis to lead and execute local campaigns aligned with the organizational mission of EmpowerED Families.


  • Identify, train and develop parents, families and community members as leaders in the principles and practices of community organizing, to build powerful family-driven teams.
  • Create and lead training modules to grow families in their advocacy, organizing, and leadership skills.
  • Strong ability to organize digitally, leveraging social and online-meeting platforms.
  • Build multiple teams that drive local issue work and develop public school families into a powerful voice in their schools, neighborhoods, cities, and statewide.
  • Mobilize parents and families to lead and/or attend large public forums, rallies, events and actions demonstrating the power of families.
  • Manage and maintain a timely and comprehensive database of current and potential EmpowerED Families members.
  • Execute and manage advocacy campaigns that include families at all levels.  
  • Develop and maintain external relationships related to EmpowerED Families’ community organizing work in Indianapolis, including political, grass-roots, education sector, local government, neighborhood, and faith-based institution relationships.
  • Develop a proficiency in education issues, learning best practices in school development, education policy, and the elements of excellent public schools.

Coaching and Training

  • Day-to-day management and support of the EmpowerED Families’ part-time Outreach Coordinator.
  • Develop strategy to maximize the impact of the work of the Outreach Coordinator (e.g. life skills coaching, supporting parents to navigate the education system) and their education organizing activities.
  • Use data about family/parent needs and interests to support EmpowerED Families’ decision making.
  • Develop, train and support 1-2 Organizers as needed, as they identify and partner with families to win local campaigns.  
  • Help Organizers and Parent Leaders create and implement family campaigns reflective of their community and issues. 
  • Remain a step ahead in knowledge of local issues and organizing opportunities to inform their campaign design. 
  • Articulate specific, developmentally appropriate and differentiated strategies to engage families in campaigns.  
  • Observe Organizers in the field at least twice weekly, as needed, providing coaching and reflection about observations made in 1:1s, team meetings, family actions, or trainings.
  • Use observations from the field, as needed, to inform Organizers’ individual professional development plans, career goals and performance evaluations.

Required Capabilities

  • Demonstrated track record of exemplary community organizing and leadership development experience.
  • Strong interpersonal, written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to build relationships quickly with diverse stakeholders.
  • Experience managing multiple, simultaneous projects and a strong ability to plan strategically and marshal resources toward the implementation of that plan.
  • Ability to take initiative and high levels of ownership for outcomes, and exercise sound judgment in day-to-day decision-making.
  • Understand and appreciate the use of outcomes-based data and information to help drive performance.
  • Passion for and demonstrated commitment to social and educational justice.
  • Willingness to work flexible hours including weeknights and weekends; ability to travel and work remotely; driver’s license and access to a vehicle.
  • Strong technology skills with ability to work and execute on remote platforms.
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred.

Preferred Capabilities

  • Experience managing staff and/or teams
  • 3-5 years of professional work experience
  • Spanish fluency highly preferred 
  • Campaigning, lobbying, advocacy, public policy, training, or relevant experience
  • Comfort with multiple modes of effective communication, including social and on-line media tools
  • Deep knowledge of and/or personal experience in Indianapolis education system and advocacy landscape 

Strong candidates embody the following principles:

  • Spirit of Yes: Embraces obstacles that may arise and works diligently and creatively to find solutions. Embraces the changing landscape of education and family needs and adapts quickly. 
  • Action-oriented: Loves getting people together to take action. Willingness to step outside of personal comfort zone, with the ability to motivate others to also step out of theirs.

Salary Range:

Commensurate with experience. 

To apply:

Please submit a thoughtful cover letter and resume to Ontay Johnson, EmpowerED Families Executive Director, at ojohnson@themindtrust.org with the following subject line: Lead Parent Organizer  Application.