Website leadership4SJ Leadership for Democracy and Social Justice

Position Description

Two schools at the City University of New York (CUNY) – the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at City College of New York and the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies – have established a national institute to recruit, develop and connect diverse leaders for social change who can imagine and implement visionary solutions for the enormous challenges we face in the 21st century. The new Leadership for Democracy and Social Justice sees a compelling opportunity in the abundant talent of an emerging generation of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) leaders and will meet a vital need for a scaled initiative that prepares leaders early in their careers in social justice traditions, ideology, literature and history in order to achieve power in all sectors. 

The flagship programs of the institute will be intensive cohort programs for early and mid-career participants that will provide a broad, ecumenical curriculum to give leaders a grounding in the history and theory of social change, in addition to real-world practice and experience. Leaders in the cohorts will participate in paid internships, fellowships, and sabbaticals; have options to connect to degree-granting academic programs; and have access to robust wrap-around services including mentorship, career services, and community building. 

Leadership for Democracy and Social Justice is seeking a Co-Instructor for its Emerging Leaders Fellowship, an intensive cohort program designed for people with 3-5 years of experience in movement work, including but not limited to, labor unions, policy, organizing, and advocacy work. The program will provide special training, support, mentoring, and career services as fellows gain theoretical grounding and practical experience to help deepen their understanding of their work and become more effective social change agents.

Our ideal instructor is someone with 10+ years of social justice leadership experience (at the director level or above) who has a passion for leadership development/mentorship, and who would be available to co-facilitate two 3-day retreats, as well as be available to the cohort participants in between retreats as a mentor. Instructors can be based anywhere in the United States, as long as they can fly in for the fall and winter retreat dates, September 18-22, 2023 and December 4-8, 2023, respectively.

Leadership for Democracy and Social Justice primarily seeks leaders who identify as Black Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC), working-class, immigrant, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and other historically marginalized identities and strongly encourages these people to apply.

Core responsibilities:

  • Work with the other Co-Instructor to develop an approach and pedagogy for delivering content over two 3-day retreats
  • Attend weekly virtual meetings to collaborate with Program Manager and additional LDSJ team members on structure and content of curriculum to be offered in the Emerging Leaders Fellows program
  • Be present at the two 3-day retreats programs and co-facilitate in-person instruction
  • Work with Program Manager to create schedule for guest speakers and presenters for in-person sessions
  • Plan virtual sessions for in between retreats to ensure cohesive cohort experience
  • Serve as a mentor for cohort participants, ensuring they have an overall positive experience, and that the LDSJ’s unique DNA is being communicated at all times, and valuing and being responsive to participants’ feedback, questions, and concerns
  • Participate in the recruitment of fellows by reviewing applications and participating in interviews


  • 10+ years’ experience in social justice leadership 
  • Strong facilitation skills and strong mentorship skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity based on race, gender and class; demonstrated cultural competency skills and ability to connect with people from historically marginalized identities
  • Flexible, positive attitude and someone who brings joy to their work

Available to travel to the two retreats (Fall 2023: September 18-22 & Winter 2023: December 4-8, Locations TBD)

This is an independent contract position that pays $20,000.

Interview Process

  1. If you are interested in applying to be a Co-Instructor, please submit your resume along with a brief paragraph explaining your interest and fit for the role.
  2. After an initial screen, the next step in the process is an interview with LDSJ staff along with a submission of sample agendas you’ve facilitated and a brief facilitation scenario to help us get a sense of your approach and style.

If you are interested in applying to be a Co-Instructor, please submit your resume along with a brief paragraph explaining your interest and fit for the role in one PDF document to with “[Full Name] – Emerging Leader Co-Instructor” by August 11, 2023.

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