The NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the country’s first and foremost civil and human rights law organization. Founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, who subsequently became the first Black U.S. Supreme Court Justice, LDF was launched at a time when the nation’s aspirations for equality and due process of law were stifled by widespread state-sponsored racial inequality. From that era to the present, LDF’s mission has been transformative — to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society.

LDF’s litigation, public policy advocacy and public education programs in the substantive areas of criminal justice, economic justice, education and political participation seek to ensure the fundamental and basic human rights of all people to quality education, economic opportunity, the right to vote and fully participate in democracy, and the right to a fair and just judicial system.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) seeks an experienced, dynamic and innovative Community Organizer to advance its Policing Reform Campaign. 

The Thurgood Marshall Institute at LDF:

In 2015, LDF celebrated its 75th anniversary with the launch of the Thurgood Marshall Institute.  The Thurgood Marshall Institute is a collaborative hub within LDF that combines a multidisciplinary approach to advocacy with LDF’s traditional litigation strengths to advance a modern vision of racial justice.  The Institute’s goal is to advance racial equity, justice and a more inclusive democracy through research and public education, targeted policy reform, advocacy and communication campaigns.

Through the Thurgood Marshall Institute, LDF generates and integrates innovative research, organizing, advocacy, and communications aimed at educating the public and key decision makers. This added capacity leverages LDF’s litigation expertise, policy advocacy experience and unique leadership role on matters of race, law, and policy to shape the narrative on racial justice and equity. Through targeted policy reform campaigns that attack entrenched problems of racial bias, the LDF Thurgood Marshall Institute is partnering with local advocates to advance holistic strategies to achieve obtainable and lasting solutions on issues of criminal justice, political participation, education and economic opportunity.

The Thurgood Marshall Institute’s Policing Reform Campaign:

As one of its inaugural initiatives, the Thurgood Marshall Institute launched a Policing Reform Campaign.  The United States is undeniably in the depths of a national policing crisis. The life-threatening reality of racial bias in policing has undermined public confidence in our justice system, in law enforcement, and in the rule of law itself. Outrage over police-involved assaults and killings of unarmed African Americans—with many incidents captured in graphic and devastating detail on citizen cell phone videos—has inspired a movement of young activists, captured the public attention, and generated intense calls for a fundamental change in policing.

Through the Policing Reform Campaign, LDF is partnering with attorneys and activists across the country to reform policing policies and practices through work at the federal, state and local levels.  For more information about Campaign’s work, please visit


Community Organizer for the Thurgood Marshall Institute’s Police Reform Campaign:

LDF understands that advocacy outside the courtroom – specifically, community organizing – is a critical component of any effort to achieve sustained and comprehensive reform.  Thus, to advance its Policing Reform Campaign, the Thurgood Marshall Institute seeks an experienced, dynamic and innovative Community Organizer to support communities of color that are advancing police reform issues.  The duration of this position is one year.

At the end of the one-year period, the successful candidate may apply for a permanent Community Organizer position at LDF.  As a permanent Community Organizer, s/he would be responsible for organizing in all 4 core LDF issue areas including economic justice, education, and political participation and criminal justice issues.

The Community Organizer will report to LDF’s Senior Community Organizer, the Thurgood Marshall Institute Director, and the Deputy Director of Policy and Senior Counsel, who directs the Policing Reform Campaign.  



  • Identifying and advancing connections between local issue campaigns and LDF’s policing reform priorities;
  • Working with lawyers and activists in three to four cities to build their capacity to effectively organize issue campaigns to address police misconduct/violence and discriminatory policing; and
  • Developing and maintaining relationships, partnerships, and coalitions with organizations, community members/leaders, and public officials.



The ideal candidate will possess the following:

  • Five or more years of experience organizing communities or coalitions to advance reforms to public systems, including but not limited to juvenile or criminal justice systems;
  • A college degree or equivalent work experience;
  • A demonstrated commitment to racial justice and criminal justice reform;
  • A willingness to advocate for LDF’s policing reform and other priorities;
  • Experience with police misconduct/violence and discriminatory policing issues and campaigns and with the organizations and coalitions currently working on these issues nationally;
  • A demonstrated commitment to valuing, highlighting and building the capacity of impacted communities to effectively organize initiatives to address police misconduct/violence and discriminatory policing;
  • Willingness to travel extensively to both urban and rural areas in the United States;
  • Willingness to adhere to a fluid/dynamic and sometimes demanding schedule;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to convey complex information effectively to a wide range of audiences of varying sizes;
  • A demonstrated ability to plan, implement and coordinate successful community outreach and public education campaigns;
  • A demonstrated ability to develop and maintain relationships, partnerships, with coalitions of organizations, community members/leaders, and public officials via the internet, in-person and telephone;
  • The integrity, professionalism, discretion, and sound judgment to handle sensitive, high-profile, legally privileged and otherwise confidential information in an appropriate manner;
  • The ability to work both in a team structure and independently, as required by different circumstances;
  • Strong initiative and creative thinking; well-developed interpersonal skills with the ability to collaborate with diverse groups;
  • Excellent organizational skills; and
  • A valid driver’s license. 



  • This position is located in our New York or District of Columbia office.

To Apply:

Please submit your resume and cover letter to:


Monica Garcia

Director of Human Resources/Administration
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
40 Rector Street, 5th floor
New York, New York 10006


The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer.  We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities to you without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, age, veteran status, disability or genetic information.

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The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities to you without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, age, veteran status, disability or genetic information.