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Community Organizing Careers Available to U of M graduate students and alums!

Low-moderate income communities across the country are feeling the bite of the recession that began in December 2007. Cutbacks in human services and education, layoffs and persistent unemployment, home foreclosures, increased youth violence, predatory lending, and other serious issues are day-to-day realities for many. Now is the time for a new generation of community organizers to step up, unite people, and transform our communities. DART is recruiting and training that new generation.

DART is now accepting applications for the 2011 DART Organizers Institute -- a paid, four-month field school for people interested in launching a career in community organizing. After years of research into best practices, experimentation, evaluation, and refinement, the Organizers Institute has become THE elite field school in the training of grassroots community organizers in the country.

Participants will undergo a combined classroom and field training covering such topics as:

* Entering a community
* Identifying and training local leaders
* Strategic planning and issue cutting
* Relationship and community building
* Direct Action on community issues
* Fundraising

The DART Center has built coalitions throughout the country that have won important victories on a broad set of justice issues including:

* Education reform in low-performing public schools
* Job Creation
* Criminal Recidivism
* Predatory Lending
* Affordable Housing
* Wage Theft

The DART Organizers Institute combines a 7-day classroom orientation with 15 weeks of infield training at a local grassroots organization and in-field training site. Organizer Trainees are provided with a cost of living stipend and travel. Room, board, and tuition will also be paid by DART during the seven-day classroom training. After successful completion of the program, DART will place graduates into permanent full-time salaried positions. DART is a 501(c)(3) organization, therefore, employees of the DART Network are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness under the recently enacted College Cost Reduction and Access Act.

The 7-day classroom orientation and 15-week infield training start in July 2011. Training locations and permanent placements will include cities in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia and Florida.

Although it may be helpful, no direct experience is necessary. Organizer Trainees (OTs) hired to participate in the DART Organizers Institute must demonstrate a desire to pursue community organizing as a long-term professional career.Prior to the start of training on July 10, 2011, candidates must have completed a master's degree, JD, or equivalent professional experience. Also, candidates must have proven capacity to build relationships of trust, create and execute a plan, feel comfortable working with religious institutions, demonstrate disciplined thought and action, and work in a team setting. OTs must also have access to a car during training and be flexible regarding relocation. Fluency in Spanish/English is a plus and people of color are encouraged to apply.

The national application deadline is December 20, 2010. To apply or find out more about DART, contact: Erica Horton at erica@thedartcenter.org or (785) 841-2680. Also, you can download the application or view profiles from previous OTs at the DART website: www.thedartcenter.org.

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