Research Fellow

African American Community Services Agency
San Jose, CA
Closing date
Dec 12, 2021

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Organization Type
TITLE: Research Fellow

REPORTS TO: Policy and Advocacy Coordinator

DEPARTMENT: Policy and Advocacy

CLASSIFICATION: Full Time Employee, Non-Exempt

HOURS/DAYS OF WORK: Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. | Friday 8:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. (Weekday evenings and Sat/Sun vary) and Flexible schedule

COMPENSATION: $52,000 - 1 year

Organization Background:

The African American Community Service Agency (AACSA) is a mission driven organization with 43 years invested in serving Santa Clara County. The African American Community Service Agency (AACSA), founded in 1978, is one of the only African American cultural centers in Silicon Valley. Our Vision is to-provide quality educational, cultural, social, and recreational programs, services, and activities in order to perpetuate and strengthen African American identity, culture, values, traditions, knowledge and family life-is at the heart of all programs. AACSA's membership is open to everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, or disability. The Agency's diverse activities and services offer a natural gateway to African American life.

Our Mission:

It is the mission of the African American Community Service Agency to preserve the dignity and culture of a diverse African American Community and to provide services that promote full participation of all of Santa Clara County and the general society.

Research Fellow (Full-Time) (1 position)

JOB DESCRIPTION: Policy and Advocacy Research Fellow

Position Summary:

The African American Community Service Agency was awarded a grant to focus efforts on educating the community and advocating for reparations in Santa Clara County. AACSA created the Research Fellow position to assist Policy and Advocacy by conducting research, volunteer coordination, phone outreach, scheduling, and other tasks required to successfully meet goals relating to building momentum.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Work 40 hours per week
  • Attend a week orientation
  • Engage with staff, board members, and volunteers to understand the basis for reparations; seek to understand perspectives
  • Participate in signature events and programs
  • Research current status of H.R. 40 in Congress and extent of legislator support, reach out to regional elected officials for information, and lay the groundwork for the campaign's approach.
  • Determine other regional and national efforts in support of the bills.
  • Research efforts in other cities that are exploring reparations, such as San Francisco, California; St. Paul, Minnesota; Portland, Oregon; Providence, Rhode Island; Chicago, Illinois; and Burlington, Vermont.
  • Develop and draft public policy, attend briefings, observe committee hearings, conduct research, write speeches, and develop rapport with key leaders in all areas of social justice allowing for continued representation of African Americans in the public policy process.
  • Maintain relationships with the Native/ Native American community
  • Attend community groups meetings/ sessions
  • Approach regional community-based organizations and allies to form a diverse, cross-discipline education and outreach effort in support of reparations with at least ten members - the Santa Clara County Coalition for Reparations (SCCCR).
  • Assist with convening members of the SCCCR to determine campaign strategy, messaging, shared responsibilities, and timelines.
  • Launch public education campaign with call to action as determined by the SCCCR, expecting to reach 50,000 County residents, using the established networks of AACSA and other members of SCCCR, including social media messaging, online and print media outlets, door-to-door canvassing, and presentations at community meetings.
  • Establish core messaging and materials for ongoing education and outreach to County residents about reparations, continuing the momentum regardless of the outcome of H.R. 40/S. 40.
  • In the latter half of the program, Reparation Fellow will host policy briefings on Capitol Hill and locally and engage in discussions that examine Congress's agenda to address reparations and its implications as it relates to the African American/Native community. Reparation Fellow will produce policy session(s) creating awareness around Black social justice issues and legislation.
  • Support research and data analysis - including the collection, analysis, and reporting of a wide range of data from a variety of public and private datasets, surveys, and other primary and secondary research sources.
  • Conduct primary and secondary research, engage in rigorous quantitative and qualitative analyses, synthesize findings, and develop strategic insights to move projects forward
  • Support general communications and outreach
  • Additional tasks as assigned


We hire people, not resumes. But we also expect excellence, which is why we require:
  • Must show passion or record of interest around improving the quality of life for the most marginalized
  • Some experience working in a professional setting
  • Expertise in grassroots outreach
  • Required Documents: the following items are required as part of the application. No exceptions will be made for incomplete applications after the deadline.
  • Knowledge of: Contemporary office practices, procedures, and techniques; Spelling, vocabulary, math and grammar skills appropriate to the level of the position.
  • kills in: Operating a computer and various software packages; Operating a variety of office equipment; Identifying student needs and matching them with available resources; Creating, organizing and keeping records.

Additional Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
  • Must be able to read, write, speak, and understand the English language; usage, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and punctuation
  • Ability to work with diverse workgroups and serve families with diverse economic, social, racial, and cultural backgrounds
  • Knowledgeable of local community resources
  • Ability to establish and maintain personal and programmatic boundaries while providing supportive services
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to relate to individuals who may not share basic commonality, including value systems and behavior norms
  • Demonstrate strong time management and organizational skills
  • Maintain a professional and confidential work environment
  • Ability to plan, organize, prioritize, and multi-task
  • Serve effectively as a member of a team internally and externally, to Communicate effectively verbally and in writing
  • Experience working with community members from diverse ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds, with the ability to be culturally sensitive and appropriate flexible, proactive, and adaptable; and ability to work in a fast-paced and changing environment
  • Be professional, trustworthy, respectful of others, and display a positive attitude
  • Knowledge of modern office methods and practices, including filing systems, presentations, invoicing, business correspondence, and report writing
  • Knowledge of computer programs and internet (i.e., Microsoft Word, Outlook, Power Point, Excel).

Academic and Experience Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's Degree or Master's degree
  • Ph.D candidate from an accredited educational institution
  • Strong Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) and G-Suite skills, including experience using Excel for data analysis/budgeting
  • Experience with Salesforce, QuickBooks Online, Constant Contact, Webflow, and online survey tools

Licenses, Certifications, Registrations:

Must possess a valid California Driver's license, reliable transportation or method to travel, and current auto insurance.

Other Qualifications:
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
  • Clearance of fingerprint background check
  • Must have valid TB (Tuberculosis) screening
  • Bilingual language capacity as a representative of the community served is a plus

Physical, Emotional and Intellectual Demands:
  • Fast paced, diverse and dynamic environment
  • The work is sometimes physical, requiring setting up for events which may require transporting or lifting cumbersome materials (i.e., easels, flip charts, refreshments, brochures, chairs, tables)
  • Must be able to report to service site on a regular and reliable basis
  • Able to deal with stressful situations
  • Able to travel between sites and to offsite events throughout the county, as appropriate
  • Position involves sitting for extended periods of time while working on a computer
  • May be assigned more physical duties such as transporting or carrying office supplies and equipment weighing up to 25 pounds.

To apply, submit a cover letter and resume to:

ATTN: Human Resources

African American Community Service Agency

304 N. 6th Street

San Jose, CA 95112

Or via e-mail at: (Attn: Research Fellow Job Opening)

Cover Letter Directions: Please include answers to the following questions in your cover letter: What connects you to our organization's mission? What connects you to reparations and racial justice work? What interests you in the position? How has your experience prepared you for the position?

We will consider content, grammar, and spelling in cover letters. Please be sure to proofread your submissions.

Application Deadline: Open until filled. No phone calls, please.

For more info, contact us at (408) 292-3157 or learn about us at:

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) & Affirmative Action (AA) Statement

AACSA is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.

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