Board of Directors Announcement of Executive Director Search

Dear friends and loved ones,

The Education for Liberation Network (EdLib) seeks to bring in our third ever director following founding director, Tara Mack, and current director, Thomas Nikundiwe. As many in our community know, Thomas is living with terminal cancer and is looking to be a part of the EdLib leadership transition process. With that in mind, we’re announcing a search to fill the Executive Director role for the Education for Liberation Network.

Those who are part of the EdLib and Free Minds Free People family know how much both Tara and Thomas are adored for the beautiful gifts they’ve brought to this work, holding various roles since 2006. We’re truly grateful for the foundation they’ve set for our collective commitment to education justice during their respective times as executive director. Our executive directors have helped us to strengthen as a collective, refine our vision for the joyful struggle of liberatory education, and center relationships and well-being. They have guided us to use our mission as a screen for every move we consider and make.

It breaks our hearts to move into a leadership transition under these circumstances. And we’re deeply grateful that Thomas is still very much with us, and is part of the process of welcoming a third EdLib Director to build on this deep and powerful legacy. Please learn more about the new executive director position below

We’d like to share a few words directly from Thomas:

“It has been a great privilege and honor to direct the Education for Liberation Network for the last six years and even more so because I was handed the reins by my good friend and visionary director, Tara Mack. Having started on the Advisory Board at the onset of the organization more than a decade ago, I have watched it grow from the Little Engine That Could to an engine that does. This progress and process has only been possible because the Education for Liberation Network itself, like the Free Minds, Free People Conference, is what Tara always called a labor of love. And it is the EdLib community’s loving labor that has carried us through the foothills of the mountain. We have a long way to go, but I think we can, I think we can, I think we can. 

Your love and commitment to justice has literally given me life during my sickness and carried me through some very tough times. Only my family’s love has had a greater impact on my survival well beyond the doctor’s prognosis. So if you are part of the EdLib community – whether you’ve helped to plan FMFP, contributed to Planning to Change the World, made a donation, attended a convening, forwarded the Ethnic Studies movement, brought the anti-Prison Industrial Complex and education worlds closer together, participated in Liberation 101, or any of the other many points of connection we have – please know that I am forever grateful for and to you. When my time comes, I will know that I did the best I could as a father and as a partner, and have done something in the world because of the EdLib community. I could not ask for anything more.”

The Education for Liberation Network is grateful for the labor of love that Thomas has gifted us over many years. His unique ability to ensure that EdLib’s work is, and always will center, the love we seek to be, create, spread, and sustain in the world is part of our organizational family DNA. We’ll continue to be in loving community with Thomas as he continues to support and nurture EdLib. His unique and endless supply of love and wit will still be present at FMFP planning meetings, EdLib Board meetings, and our other collaborative spaces in the near future. It is in t(his) light, we invite you all to continue being part of that family and look forward to our work together in the future. Your love and care is always welcome, and is truly what has made EdLib possible for the last 15 years. 

AND, we ask that you honor the space Thomas and his family need as they navigate his health, their collective wellbeing, and his commitment to continue living out his purpose through the powerful education justice work we all bring to life each day. We invite you to find a balance that is good for you and considerate of this time regarding personal communication with Thomas. 

For questions related to the executive director position, please contact the board at ELNBoard@edliberation.org

With love and care,

EdLib Board of Directors

Job Description and Posting Announcement for Executive Director of the Education for Liberation Network

The Education for Liberation Network (EdLib) is a national coalition of teachers, community activists, researchers, youth and parents who believe a good education should teach people—particularly low-income youth and youth of color—how to understand and challenge the injustices their communities face. The network aims to help improve the practice of Education for Liberation by bringing people together to learn from each other’s experiences. The network provides a space for members to share knowledge and work together to create tools for liberatory education. By building alliances that cross the boundaries of geography, occupation and age the organization hopes to nurture communities of thoughtful, socially-engaged people and to maximize the impact of their work. EdLib connects people to people, people to knowledge, and people to resources.

EdLib was created out of a need to have an organization that could connect many kinds of educators for liberation. The organization has a commitment to being led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. EdLib moves as an intentional community that values and emphasizes radical love — love for each other, love in and for the struggle for justice, and love as both a means and an end.

EdLib became an independent 501c3 in 2018, after being fiscally sponsored by the Brotherhood/SisterSol and the Chicago Freedom School for over a decade. The Executive Director is currently the sole staff member and reports to a working Board of Directors. Resources have been allocated to hire a second full-time staff member in the 2021 fiscal year. The scope of this role and hiring process will be determined by the incoming Executive Director, in collaboration with the Board of Directors.

Application Guidelines

To apply, please send a cover letter, CV, and contact information for two references to hiring@edliberation.org. The cover letter should address the question, “What’s your vision for education justice, and why are you well-suited to bring it to life through this leadership position in the Education for Liberation Network?” The priority deadline for applications is Monday, March 1, 2021.

General Information

  • Full-time position
  • Salary: $60K – $70K, commensurate with experience
  • Health Care Benefits
  • Location flexible

Job Description

PROGRAMMING

  • Facilitate the planning of the national Free Minds, Free People conference (www.fmfp.org)
  • Facilitate the production, including editing and marketing, of the Planning to Change the World plan book
  • Coordinate projects and develop new projects that reflect EdLib’s mission

RELATIONSHIPS AND MANAGEMENT

  • Maintain relationships both within the EdLib network and with external partners
  • Support and liaise with the Board of Directors and its committees
  • Manage and coordinate a large network of volunteers
  • Supervision of one full-time staff member

FUNDRAISING

  • Fundraise for the organization via individual donors, foundation grants, and the organization’s revenue-generating convenings and educational products

COMMUNICATION

  • Maintain EdLib online presence and listserv
  • Represent EdLib in meetings, convenings, coalitions, collectives

ADMIN

  • Management and administration of organizational finances
  • Management and administration of program logistics

Qualifications

  • Must share the values of the Education for Liberation Network
  • Fundraising experience (grant writing, individual donations)
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to work collaboratively
    • Facilitating teams within the Board of Directors and the EdLib network
    • Partnering with other organizations
  • Non-profit management experience
  • Community organizing or grassroots coalitions experience
  • Social media skills
  • National education justice landscape analysis and perspective
  • Must have relationships in the field of education justice
  • Experience working with youth and supporting their leadership development
  • Detail-oriented
  • Experience working with volunteers
  • Strong writer, facility with spreadsheets, experience with WordPress

People who come from communities that have been oppressed are strongly encouraged to apply. This includes Black, Indigenous, and People of Color as well as those people who are gender diverse and have dis/abilities. A prevailing value of EdLib is that our people are our power.