At the Vera Institute of Justice, our vision is of a society that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for all. At a propitious moment for justice reform, we are standing up and driving change on a variety of fronts—ending cash bail, ending mass incarceration, vastly improving life behind bars, ensuring that immigrants get due process, and centering all this work in racial equity. Convincing people to change the way they think and act in order to serve justice is in our DNA. We have a robust and growing communications team, advocating for our vision with our stakeholder and public audiences. Are you interested in helping a super dedicated and productive team use best-in-class communications strategies and tactics to drive change in the justice system?
If so, read on.
Over the past five years—with 2.3 million people behind bars—we’ve reached a tipping point, and justice reform has become mainstream. It’s on the front pages, it’s bipartisan, it’s got new funders, it’s attracting cultural attention. Vera has been on the cutting edge of this change. Long known for our research and technical assistance, communications has more recently become one of the core pillars of how we do our work. Accordingly, we have more than tripled our communications team and devoted unrestricted dollars to our work over five years. Importantly, we embed communications in our program and project work from the start. Our efforts have paid off—with an award-winning rebranding and website overhaul, significant media attention, dramatic growth in social media followers, and new partnerships.
We need to leverage the increased attention to justice and to Vera’s work in particular by deploying communications strategies to elevate our issues and our brand. We are seeking an Editor to join a growing and diverse team of strategic content, messaging, digital, and media experts.
What You’ll Do
Reporting directly to the Editorial Director for Research, the Editor will perform line and developmental edits for rapid response communications materials—including fact sheets, policy briefs, op-eds, blog posts, reports, infographics, and data visualizations—based on the current news cycle, Vera’s strategic priorities, and the output of the Vera Insights rapid response data team. The Editor will also manage and maintain Vera’s Think Justice blog, facilitating the creation of blog posts to support the campaign goals of the institute and working collaboratively to support and strengthen the communications efforts at Vera. In particular, the Editor will develop and curate a diverse collection of op-ed style pieces to reach both community audiences and justice system actors through compelling narratives backed by data and connected to the crucial work that Vera is doing.
The Editor will be responsible for:
What We Need in You
Expertise. Exceptional writing, editing, communication, and interpersonal skills. The ability to write and edit quickly, clearly, persuasively, and accessibly across a variety of products and for a variety of audiences.
Project management skills. You are detail-oriented but can see the big picture. You have keen time management and multitasking skills, including the ability to take initiative, prioritize tasks and duties, pay close attention to detail, and work independently while meeting specific deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
Passion. A deep knowledge of and demonstrated commitment to criminal justice issues or work with a similar mission-driven organization.
Creativity. The ability to find and develop stories from Vera’s existing work and the news cycle.
A collaborative attitude. We thrive when we learn and build on each other’s ideas. We’re open to giving and receiving feedback and see it as an opportunity to learn and grow on our team and across the institute. The Editor must be able to respectfully raise issues about clarity, accuracy, and structure and work to resolve sometimes competing feedback from various stakeholders.
A deep commitment to racial equity. In a system built on racism and inequity, we are working to ensure equity both in our workplace and in the world. You incorporate this value and share it with others.
Emotional intelligence. You demonstrate strong social and emotional awareness with your team and external partners. You’re open to opportunities to learn and grow. You exercise good judgment and don’t allow urgency to trump relationships.
At least seven years of editing and writing experience, preferably in criminal justice, public policy, or the social sciences.
Experience in a rapid response environment such as a news desk or similar fast-paced editorial role.
A demonstrated ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds.
Bachelor’s or advanced degree in communications, English, or a criminal justice-related field.
Knowledge of and facility with statistics and data visualization and experience in data-driven storytelling.
Knowledge of search engine optimization and certification in content strategy and/or SEO writing.
Who We Are
The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, envisions a society that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for everyone. Vera is committed to securing equal justice, ending mass incarceration, and strengthening families and communities.
We work with others who share our vision to tackle the most pressing injustices of our day—from mass incarceration and racial disparities in the criminal legal and immigration systems to the unmet needs of the vulnerable, the marginalized, and those harmed by crime and violence. Vera has offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace—specifically, we value diverse experiences with regard to educational background and justice system contact. We hire employees who reflect our values: respect, independence, collaboration, and commitment. If you want to learn more about life at Vera click here
When You Join Our Team
You can expect to work with a team of amazing, tenacious people who are creative, scrappy, and committed to getting the work done. Why? Because our work is more important than ever.
You will have great benefits and work-life balance. Driving meaningful change is hard work. But we also know that you have a life, places to go, and people to see.
How to Apply
Please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample combined into a single document. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Online submission in PDF format is preferred.
However, if necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to:
ATTN: Human Resources / Editor Recruitment
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.
Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, or current employment status.
Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.
For more information about Vera please visit www.vera.org