Appointed as Advocacy Director, University Settlement Society of New York


Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows

PhD field of study

PhD, English, University of Buffalo, State University of New York

Position Description

University Settlement Society of New York is one of New York City's most dynamic social justice institutions, with an impressive legacy as the first settlement house in the nation. Its mission is to empower residents by building on their strengths and knowledge through comprehensive, quality services that meet the current needs of the community, innovation that anticipates future needs, and advocacy to improve the community as a whole. Every year, University Settlement impacts the lives of over 40,000 New Yorkers across 30 sites through a wide range of programs that set a standard for excellence. Our programs include early childhood education, youth development, adult literacy, family support and mental health, housing services, healthy aging programs, and community-centered arts. Systems change is integral to our founding principles, and to achieving our larger goals of a more equitable and just society for our communities. The Advocacy Director will spearhead and operationalize University Settlement’s preexisting advocacy efforts more fully across its programs and sites, and support University Settlement’s ongoing culture shift towards integrating more advocacy and systems-change. The role will involve: creating a variety of resources to engage and support staff and participants in developing advocacy campaigns; training staff to implement advocacy and education efforts; leading community engagement efforts, including leading the participatory budgeting process, which engages the community in determining how a portion of the public budget will be spent; and, creating campaign-specific resources. The impact of this work will include: increased organizational impact in advocacy campaigns; a stronger integration of considerations of systems-change; increased exposure to broaden our reach to community members and prospective funders; and greater presence in the field of advocacy leaders in NYC.