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Assistant Director of Communications
Service Employees International Union
Job Location: Washington, DC


SEIU (Service Employees International Union)

Job Title: Assistant Director of Communications Grade MGT: E- $104,389/YR

Job Location: Washington, DC


In order to achieve our Vision of a Just Society for All, we must center the voices, experiences, and leadership of impacted people of color in our communications approach. This position is responsible for getting us there by providing the overall leadership on internal and external communications in order to support our commitment to achieving racial justice.

SEIU adopted a resolution at its 2016 convention staking out that there can be no economic justice without racial justice and established the Racial Justice Center (RJC) to facilitate the union's work and program to fulfill this commitment. This Assistant Director of Communications position is the communications lead for the RJC.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES: (Any one position may not include all of the specific duties and responsibilities listed. Examples provide a general summary of the work required and should not be treated as a total and complete list of expected duties to be performed by employees in the classification.)

Performs a wide range of duties as assigned by the International Union, including some or all of the following:

Overall SEIU Communications

  • As a part of the International Union's communications lead management team, help promote the application of racial justice practices and tools to SEIU's communications strategy and align it with the union's commitment to racial justice.
  • Direct the production of original communications and edit materials written by others.
  • Direct the implementation of a broad, inclusive narrative that elevates the stories of marginalized communities through media engagement, messaging, and digital platforms.
  • Coordinate with other Assistant Directors and Communications Department staff to develop and deliver production and distribution strategies for campaign communications and media materials.
  • Direct outreach to national and local news media.
  • Direct strategies and activities to improve the public image and visibility of the labor movement, and SEIU, and to maintain effective relations with national and local media.

Racial Justice Center Communications

  • Direct the Racial Justice Center's internal and external communications strategy, implementation, message, and print and digital materials.
  • Serve as a racial justice communications subject area expert for the Center, campaigns, and locals.
  • Advance communications policies and campaigns that center and protect those most vulnerable to anti-Black and structural racism and seek to invest in groundbreaking and innovative communications approaches to uplifting communities of color.
  • Direct message research, development and implementation to highlight the inextricable link between racial and economic justice.
  • Collaborate with other teams on the management and planning of communications efforts and support any number of shared projects in order to advance SEIU's racial justice agenda.
  • Direct the identification and execution of long and short-term communications objectives for the Racial Justice Center.
  • Direct the development and delivery of racial justice communications, media support, and capacity building for local unions, campaigns, divisions, and leadership.
  • Support internal and cross-sector movement building.
  • Direct development and delivery of racial justice communications and media training to international union, local union leaders, staff, and members.
  • Author and edit remarks, editorials, speeches, public statements, and scripts on behalf of members and leadership to incorporate racial justice messaging.
  • Serve as key Racial Justice Center communications contact for campaign leadership, local leaders, local staff, allies, and partners.
  • Manage the communications components of the Racial Justice Center's member education and engagement program that builds racial and economic justice through popular education, direct action, and worker-owned alternatives.
  • Attend and present at racial justice conferences and other racial justice networking events relative to the union's mission and communications industry.

Management and Administration

  • Assist in the management of Racial Justice Center's communications, including planning, budgeting, hiring, and project management, and coordinates with divisions and departments on racial justice issues and priorities.
  • Serve as surrogate for the Racial Justice Center Director and Director of Communications in a wide variety of settings.
  • Supervise the work of campaign communications managers, staff, and consultants, if applicable.
  • Performs other duties as required to assist the SEIU's international communications department and the Racial Justice Center.


  • Must be able to represent the International Union with local leaders, members, staff, and outside organizations utilizing independent judgment and a high level of professionalism.
  • Interfaces with high level organizational and external contacts, including:
    • SEIU officers, division leadership, International senior staff, project and program managers, field, political, and organizing directors, local union officers and staff.
    • External: news media, politicians, government officials, partners and allies.
    • Vendors: design and production companies, consultants, pollsters, freelancers, video and multimedia producers, advertising agencies.

Direction and Decision Making:

  • This position reports directly to the Racial Justice Center Director. The Communications Director provides secondary guidance in partnership with the Racial Justice Center Director.
  • Must have demonstrated ability to manage own work and work of others without supervision.
  • Requires a high level of judgment and ability to take initiative and work independently.
  • Must use a high level of judgment and discretion in resolving problems within the Communications Department, the division, and throughout SEIU.
  • Must maintain the highest level of confidentiality in handling SEIU affairs.
  • Must be able to work with International and local union elected leaders and senior staff in complex and sometimes politically sensitive situations.
  • Must be able to act and organize time with extreme independence.
  • Must be able to handle multiple “priority” projects simultaneously and set and meet deadlines, and ensure that staff team does the same.

Education and Experience:

Bachelor's Degree in communications-related field preferred. Eight or more years of experience in communications or related work, including at least five years managing strategy, planning, and program development, equity, or a combination of education and experience that would provide for the following knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Experience working within a racial justice and racial equity framework.
  • Experience developing and implementing strategy on a wide range of campaigns, including organizing, contract, political, and legislative, as well as experience working with community allies.
  • Thorough and extensive knowledge of media relations strategies.
  • Thorough knowledge of labor unions and or other advocacy organizations.
  • Thorough knowledge of electronic and print media systems.
  • Knowledge of advertising techniques and familiarity with all aspects of literature, audiovisual, and online production process required.
  • Excellent writing, verbal, and analytical skills.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of electronic and print media systems, advertising techniques, production of printed and audiovisual materials.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage effective relationships with union leaders and staff, news media and allied organizations.
  • Skill in the use of personal computer including Microsoft Office Suite.

Physical Requirements:

Work is generally performed in an office setting, but job may require work in the field or in other settings to perform the tasks required to complete assignments. Must be available for frequent travel with overnight stays. Long and irregular hours.

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