Ready for School, Ready for Life (Ready Ready) is a collaborative effort to build a connected, innovative system of care for Guilford County’s youngest children and their families. Our focus is ensuring all children in Guilford County and their families get the resources they need for healthy development. We want every child born in Guilford County from 2023 and beyond to enter kindergarten developmentally on track in five key areas:
- Language and communication
- Approaches to play and learning
Family voice informs our work, and we share our learning with residents and community stakeholders. We also work with more than 100 community partners in Guilford County and North Carolina to create this system of care. As a backbone organization, our goal is population-level change.
The Director of Equity and Engagement will lead Ready Ready’s work focused on equity and community engagement in Guilford County with the goals of:
- decreasing disparities between white children and children of color at birth, kindergarten entry and in 3rd grade.
- being responsive to the needs of families with children prenatal to age 8 as identified by families.
- supporting the implementation of strategies specific to targeted neighborhoods
The Director of Equity and Engagement will work closely with Ready Ready staff, community stakeholders, family leaders and organizational partners to implement the Equity Action Plan, Family Engagement Plan and launch a targeted neighborhood strategy to improve child and family outcomes in Guilford County’s highest need areas. The neighborhood strategy will support and amplify the overarching early childhood strategy focused on navigation services, program expansion, data tracking, and public will building. By investing in interventions and services in targeted high need areas, children and families with the greatest risks and least opportunities will be empowered to navigate through a system centered on the values and principles of Ready Ready. The Director will lead a team and possess strong management and communication skills.
The Director will possess:
- A deep understanding of equity with a focus on racial equity and a commitment to being a change agent in the community.
- Successful history in project/program design, management, coordination, implementation and evaluation.
- Knowledge about Guilford County’s early childhood needs, assets, and partners.
- The ability to work well with a diverse group of stakeholders and community service providers.
- Demonstrated ability to manage a team and multiple complex projects and deadlines at once.
- The Director of Equity and Engagement will report to the Vice President of Public Will-Building.
The Director of Equity and Engagement will oversee Ready Ready’s equity strategies which include family/caregiver engagement and neighborhood strategies ensuring activities align with Ready Ready’s Values and Principles and Equity Statement. Key responsibilities include:
- Provide support, coordination, consultation, and assistance regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion matters to Ready Ready.
- Serve as a thought partner with the leadership team to provide support for internal staff training and training for partners and stakeholders.
- Supervising the Family Engagement Manager and supporting the Family Engagement Team (Family Engagement Manager and Parent Liaisons).
- Supervising contract roles, and vendors working directly with equity and engagement.
- Serving as the Staff Liaison to the Equity Strategies Committee of the Board of Directors.
- Designing a process to update and implement Ready Ready’s Equity Action Plan and related equity strategies.
- Design and coordinate a community-driven process to identify strategies, at the neighborhood level, to support children and families with a focus on ensuring success in 3rd grade for young children.
- Design a neighborhood strategy that incorporates parent voice, staff, board, external stakeholders and partners.
- Support the piloting, testing and implementation of neighborhood strategies.
- Researches existing programs and initiatives, including evidence-based and informed practices, to determine their effectiveness and their relevancy and applicability to local conditions in Guilford County.
- Cultivating relationships with and communication to a variety of stakeholders, to identify and create opportunities, develop strategies, and make investments that lead to positive outcomes for children and families.
- Initiating, leading, and guiding the Neighborhood Strategies Steering Committee meetings, communicating regularly with the committee and developing support materials and meeting documentation.
- Actively seeking out opportunities for synergy with other early childhood and place-based efforts in Guilford County and across the state.
- Developing metrics and dashboards to ensure accountability, tracking, and monitoring of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
- Foster a sense of synergy, ownership, and personal connection among neighborhood partners to Ready Ready’s work and the community we serve.
- Build knowledge, skills, and competencies around diversity, equity and inclusion for staff, Board and other appropriate partners connected to the work of the organization.
- Providing regular reports on progress to RR leadership team and liaise across other partners/consultants
- Other activities as assigned.
- Bachelor’s degree in community development, public policy, or a related field such as social work, public health, or public administration. Masters preferred.
- Five or more years of experience working on community-based or community organizing projects with multiple team members.
- Three or more years of experience managing employees (including tracking performance, completing performance reviews and delivering feedback).
- Superior oral and written communication skills: articulate communicator and active listener; understanding and responding effectively with consummate professionalism at all levels.
- Experience developing and managing budgets.
- Experience working with social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
- Knowledge of the early childhood, education and/or healthcare systems is desirable.
- Demonstrated ability to cultivate partnerships both inside and outside of an organization and to move a group towards a common goal.
- A strong work ethic, with a results-oriented philosophy and personal qualities of trustworthiness, openness, accessibility, kindness, flexibility, and a sense of humor.
- Ability to handle multiple assignments and accomplish deadlines; ability to pay attention to accuracy and detail while thinking broadly.
- Sound judgment and ability to handle confidential information with discretion and professionalism.
- Ability to work autonomously.
- Intermediate to advanced skills with Microsoft desktop programs, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Teams, and others.
- Must have a valid driver’s license, reliable transportation and pass a criminal and driving background check.
- Understands, incorporates, and demonstrates Ready for School, Ready for Life’s Mission, Vision, and Values in behaviors, practices, and decisions.
- Supports the Ready Ready Equity Statement and commits to implementation of the Equity Action Plan.