CREEC is Hiring an Executive Director

Executive Director Position Description

Summary:

The Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) is a legal nonprofit and membership organization. We are widely recognized for systemic change litigation and for education and support for lawyers, advocates, and individuals with questions about the areas in which we practice. CREEC is looking for an Executive Director to succeed the co-founders, who have served as Co-Executive Directors since CREEC was formed in 2013.  The co-founders, both lawyers, intend to stay on as lawyers — one as Litigation Director — but look forward to standing down from executive and managerial duties.

Our mission:

CREEC’s goal is to ensure that everyone can fully and independently participate in our nation’s civic life without discrimination based on race, gender, disability, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. We challenge discrimination through litigation and education, seeking systemic change and improvement in individual lives. CREEC provides legal expertise as well as education and resources to individuals, advocates, and lawyers in the immigrant and civil rights communities.

CREEC’s work focuses on empowering communities through education and instructional resources, discourse, outreach, advocacy, collaboration, and well-timed humor.  However, our work doesn’t stop there. We investigate and hold to account the powerful and the privileged. We file individual, systemic, and class-action lawsuits while tenaciously protecting the civil rights of protected classes.

Based in Denver, Berkeley, Nashville, and Los Angeles, our scope is nationwide. Through our advocacy and litigation, CREEC has successfully transformed the practices of major companies and government entities.

Our work:

Our work, at present, falls under two main subject matter areas: disability rights; and the rights of detained immigrants. This work is organized into the Accessibility Project and Immigration Detention Accountability Project, respectively, each of which has a Director.

We engage in informal advocacy, for example through our Fast Advocacy for Communication program, advocating for sign language interpreters for Deaf clients through educational letters and negotiations.  We also bring litigation on behalf of individuals, organizations, and classes of people. This includes large, cutting-edge, class action cases throughout the nation. For example, under the Accessibility Project, we have litigated systemic cases on behalf of prisoners with disabilities in Colorado, Montana, and Tennessee.  Under the Immigration Detention Accountability Project, we have brought multiple class actions against ICE, including a nationwide class action challenging medical and mental health care, segregation, and disability access at more than 150 immigration detention prisons. You can learn more about our cases on our website.

We also have a number of educational projects, ranging from one-time webinars and continuing legal education courses to our ongoing “help desk” projects, providing technical assistance in the areas of disability rights and immigration detention conditions to other lawyers, advocates, and interested parties.

Our people and work culture:

Our team of 11 people currently includes the two Co-Executive Directors who founded CREEC and who are attorneys with their own caseloads in addition to executive duties. We have a Director of Development and Communications, four other attorneys (Directors of the Immigration Detention Accountability Project and Accessibility Project, a Senior Counsel, and a Senior Staff Attorney), a Director of Outreach for the Accessibility Project, and three paralegals one of whom is also the Office Manager.  Our main office is in Denver where, pre-pandemic, seven of the 11 employees worked. We also have one-lawyer offices in Berkeley, Nashville, and Los Angeles, and employees currently working remotely from New York and New Jersey. When we work on-site in Denver, we are joined by several office dogs.

Many of our cases are on behalf of people in urgent circumstances, for example, deaf people in need of prompt medical attention but being denied interpreters; detained immigrants facing mental or medical health crises; and prisoners confronting inaccessible systems. As a result, the work at CREEC can be intense. For this reason — and because we’re all pretty cool people — we strive for a friendly, congenial workplace, which we try to foster through weekly office lunches, taking the staff out for drinks, and, during the pandemic, zoom happy hours. We work hard, but try not to take ourselves too seriously.

The two current Executive Directors are practicing lawyers. From 1996 to 2013, we practiced as a plaintiffs’ civil rights firm where we litigated class and individual civil rights cases with a focus on disability rights.  We founded CREEC in 2013 to continue to bring impact litigation, expand beyond disability rights, and conduct more extensive outreach, education, and proactive investigation. We are lawyers by trade and education, so we’ve been sort of making up the executive/management part as we go along (with excellent support and input from our board and staff).  We are excited to go back to being lawyers — though one of the current EDs will take the position of Litigation Director — while someone who knows what they’re doing runs the joint.

Responsibilities of the Executive Director:

  • Running the joint.
  • With input from board and staff, creating and overseeing a strategic plan that continues and builds on CREEC’s track record for sustainable high-impact litigation and education.
  • Being the chief spokesperson for and public face of CREEC, including working with the Director of Development and Communications to cultivate messaging and media relationships.
  • Working with the Director of Development and Communications to develop and maintain a strong fundraising program, meeting with and cultivating individual and corporate donors at all levels.
  • Working with our office manager, bookkeeper, and accountant to prepare audits, tax reports, and other public filings, and to monitor the financial health of the organization.
  • Working with the Litigation Director and Directors of CREEC’s Projects to coordinate workload and resource allocation.
  • Managing personnel policies, hiring, and transitions; staffing annual reviews and serving as human resources contact; working with our office manager to maintain compliance with federal, state, and local labor and business laws and requirements.
  • Doing a bit of everything. We’re a small outfit, so everyone pitches in from time to time on random and/or menial tasks.

This is an opportunity for an experienced nonprofit leader to grow a successful organization and lead it into a sustainable future.

What we’re looking for:

The ideal candidate will share our values and have executive experience leading a nonprofit, including most or all of the following:

  • Familiarity with (or willingness to become familiar with) the relevant areas of law in which we practice. You don’t have to have a law degree, but it will help to understand disability rights, immigrant rights, and how relevant laws affect our case and project selection and staffing.
  • Experience with and ties to one or more relevant communities, including disability rights, immigrant rights, and/or other civil rights communities.
  • Experience with and enthusiasm for development, including a proven track record of successful fundraising.
  • Experience with strategic planning.
  • Experience managing or running a legal nonprofit would be ideal but, at a minimum, ability to understand the ebb and flow of litigation and its impact on resources.
  • Skills and creativity to help CREEC navigate the transition to this new org chart and to proactively form the role of CREEC Executive Director.

Salary & benefits:  $125,000 in salary.  Benefits include a healthcare plan, a SIMPLE retirement plan to which CREEC contributes, three weeks PTO, payment of dues for relevant organizations, and free parking.

CREEC is an equal opportunity employer that values a diverse workforce and promotes an inclusive culture. CREEC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or veteran status.

Applicants from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Process:

Please submit to resumes@creeclaw.org a resume or CV and a cover letter explaining why you would be ideal for this job in light of the description above and your experience.  While staff will do an initial screening, final interviews and decisions will be made by the Board.