Position Title: OpenDoors Reentry Communications VISTA
Start Date: May 8, 2023 (or later)
Service Site: OpenDoors, 485 Plainfield Street, Providence, RI 02909 (Silverlake neighborhood of Providence)
AmeriCorps VISTA Overview: AmeriCorps VISTA is a one-year volunteer position in which members serve in a capacity-building role at a nonprofit organization or a government agency. Members receive a living allowance (approximately $675 biweekly), healthcare benefits, transportation support, some childcare benefits, professional development & training, and the choice of an education award of $6,895 or cash stipend of $1,800 at the end of the service year. (For more info about AmeriCorps VISTA please visit www.americorps.gov).
Position Overview: OpenDoors is the first and largest agency in Rhode Island dedicated to providing services to people who have been in prison. As an organization largely run by individuals who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system, we are committed to being responsive to the needs of the formerly incarcerated community.
OpenDoors has a staff of around 20 individuals and have hosted VISTAs since 2004. We manage 80 beds of transitional and permanent reentry housing, provide job development and peer recovery support services, operate a transitional employment trucking company, and run a one-stop shop Reentry Resource Center. In addition, we engage in public education and community organizing to help advance policy work that will reduce barriers to reentry, and we have led multiple successful campaigns to change state and local policies. More information is available at opendoorsri.org.
This Communications Specialist VISTA position will help outreach to the public about our efforts, in particular our new Women’s Transitional House and our work to rethink the way the Rhode Island criminal justice system responds to justice-involved women. The position will also help produce outreach materials and educate the public about solitary confinement policies in Rhode Island. This position requires effective communication and team-working skills. We are looking for someone with excellent writing and computer literacy skills. Any experience with graphic design, videography or photography, social media, or other communication skillsets is desirable. In addition to the VISTA living allowance, we will offer $250/month in living expense support (such as rent) and reimbursement for transportation. Our organization has had VISTAs go on to leadership roles in social justice and nonprofit administration, including the Council of State Governments Justice Center, New Urban Arts, and OpenDoors itself.
Main objectives and tasks of the position include:
- Assisting with OpenDoors communications activities, including annual report and social media
- Educating various community organizations and RI communities about RI’s use of solitary confinement, the effects of these policies, and best practices from around the country regarding prison policies and uses of restrictive housing.
- Organizing monthly events on this topic with partner schools, churches, and other community organizations, consisting of both online and in person events, featuring directly impacted individuals, correctional professionals, and community leaders.
- Recruiting and coordinate volunteers to assist with community events.
- Researching best practices regarding diversion and alternatives to incarceration for women and develop opportunities for public education regarding Rhode Island’s policies around the incarceration of women.
- Helping coordinate meetings by directly impacted community leaders to provide community feedback into potential systems changes to the criminal justice system as it pertains to women.
How to apply:
Applicants who meet our requirements will be contacted for an interview.
To see other open VISTA positions on the Health and Justice in RI VISTA team, please visit: https://healthandjustice.org/about-us/#jobs
|Job Category||AmeriCorps VISTA|