Careers

Join our team and be on the frontlines of Environmental Justice in DFW!

Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume and 2 examples of writing and one piece of printed outreach material you designed or video you edited to downwindersatrisk@gmail.com : 

  • Short-form
  • Long-Form
  • Flier/brochure/post or video 

We encourage women, LGBTQIA+ candidates, and BIPOC individuals to apply. 

 

Title: Executive Director, Downwinders at Risk Education Fund 

Compensation: $45,000-$65,000 depending on experience and qualifications (Benefits Package: negotiable) 

Description:  The Executive Director is the spokesperson and public face of Downwinders. They manage all program activities and administrative duties. They work alongside an active volunteer Board of Directors and are responsible for overseeing all contracted assistance and additional hires. With the Board, the Director is responsible for creating and implementing the organization’s strategy for winning its community campaigns. Because of this, the Director must have the self-discipline to draft and carry out their work plans on schedule. Reliability is prized. 

The Director should be highly-motivated, results-driven, and imaginative. They should have an appetite for addressing injustices creatively and effectively through the application of grassroots community organizing principles. This is a great job with lots of latitude to get into good trouble on behalf of righteous causes. We don’t need a lawyer. We don’t need a scientist. We need a confident, articulate organizer who can parachute into a situation, think on their feet, visualize victory, and build a campaign to deliver it. If successful, you’ll be able to deliver real change most elected officials would envy.

Responsibilities Include but not limited to:

  • Short and long-form reporting and commentary on campaign events and developments
  • Design and content of outreach materials in all media
  • Participating/Partnering in original scientific research on environmental health and justice problems
  • Maintaining constant and reliable social media presence across all platforms 
  • Helping raise funds for the group via individual donors, events and grant writing 
  • Public speaking, advocacy, and lobbying 
  • Facilitating meetings, retreats, and campaigns
  • Drafting strategy and tactics for social justice campaigns 
  • Drafting policy recommendations, including new ordinances, codes, legislation, etc
  • Event planning 

Qualifications:

  • Minimum 2+ years fundamental community organizing experience (“Alinsky School” preferred)
  • Bachelor Degree in a “relevant field” (environmental science, public health, political science), or be prepared to tell us in what way the degree you did get assists you in doing this job
  • Experience with fundraising and grant writing 
  • Familiarity with Environmental Health issues in education or experience (preferred)
  • Bilingual English/Spanish (preferred)

Skills:

  • Experience navigating complicated interpersonal and political dynamics with multiple stakeholder groups (politicians, scientists, frontline residents, board members etc).
  • Community organizing and strategizing to win environmental justice campaigns with fenceline communities
  • Demonstrated project management skills over multiple projects with ranging timelines and demands
  • Strong writing skills for blog posts, grants, research reports and correspondence with elected and appointed officials
  • Public speaking at meetings, in outreach/engagement settings, at public hearings with local government and state/federal officials as needed
  • Working knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Canva, MSW, and/or equivalent platforms (preferred)
  • ArcGIS mapping (preferred)
  • Basic video editing 
  • Lifting loads of at least 25 pounds 

Applicants should have access to a vehicle and phone. Laptop provided. 

Applicants must submit 2 examples of writing and one piece of printed outreach material you designed or video you edited:

Short-form

Long-Form

Flier/brochure/post or video 

We encourage women, LGBTQIA+ candidates, and BIPOC individuals to apply. 

About Downwinders at Risk: 

Over almost 30 years Downwinders at Risk has acquired the reputation of being one of the most effective grassroots groups in the country. We pride ourselves on working with, and on behalf of, those most impacted by air pollution. We show a fierce, unwavering dedication to our constituency. We advocate with imagination and creativity. We use the best science. The Executive Director is expected to embody Downwinders’ culture of being the group that “undoes done deals,” “moves mountains” and “sends polluters packing.”

Founded in 1994 by Midlothian and Southern Dallas County residents living next to the largest concentration of cement manufacturing in the US, Downwinders at Risk led the national campaign to close EPA loopholes that allowed cement kilns to operate as cut-rate hazardous waste incinerators. In 2008, hazardous waste-burning in Texas cement kilns ended and in 2010 the last obsolete “wet kilns” were closed. Downwinders became Dallas-Fort Worth’s full time clean air watchdog. In 2010-11 we assisted Frisco residents in shutting down a 50-year old lead smelter that had been operating illegally and emitting dangerous levels of lead-tainted air pollution. In 2012-13 we led a successful campaign among Dallas residents to write and pass the most protective gas drilling ordinance in Texas, essentially banning it in the city. 

In 2017 Downwinders centered its work around the reduction and elimination of Particulate Matter air pollution. Because predominantly BIPOC neighborhoods suffer from disproportionate exposure to PM, our focus on eliminating that pollution means we’re working to actively dismantle the institutionalized racism responsible for so many disparate health outcomes in those neighborhoods. We’ve partnered with overburdened neighborhoods to defeat new batch plants, led the fight to close and clean-up the infamous “Shingle Mountain,” and worked to roll back racist zoning in Southern Dallas. We’re one of the few groups in the nation using land reform to clean the air. We’re the leading Environmental Health and Justice organization in North Texas, an area the size of several New England states. 

Downwinders at Risk Education Fund is a 501c3 group. Downwinders at Risk is our 501c4 organization.

Our mission statement: 

“Downwinders at Risk Education Fund is dedicated to taking effective action on behalf of those being harmed by air pollution. Our goal is to build a strong grassroots constituency and create new strategies for clean air in North Texas. We do this by informing, connecting, and mobilizing citizens to become active participants in the decision-making that affects the air we breathe. In doing so, we improve both the quality of our air and the quality of our democracy. 

We’re committed to working for environmental justice with communities impacted by the worst pollution; to deliver the best science to those communities; to make decisions about pollution and polluters more democratic; to provide solutions to the problems we spotlight, and to funding staff devoted to grassroots empowerment.”