Farmworker Outreach Advocate - Kalamazoo, MI
POSITION: Farmworker Legal Services (FLS) is seeking candidates for a bilingual Outreach Advocate in our Kalamazoo office. The outreach advocate will have a key role in assisting FLS’s efforts to educate Michigan farmworkers about their legal rights and to enforce farmwokers’ and their dependents’ rights. The advocate’s responsibilities will include driving to migrant labor camps throughout the state and talking with workers about FLS’s services and presenting information about farmworker legal rights at community events. Office work will include assisting attorneys in case development and the creation of community education materials, communicating with clients, and performing other clerical and administrative assistance. Evening and occasional weekend hours will be necessary and extensive travel is required.
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM: FLS is a statewide division of the Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP). MAP is a high quality, non-profit law office that provides access to the justice system for those who need it the most through its five local legal aid offices as well as several statewide advocacy programs: Farmworker Legal Services, Michigan Poverty Law Program, the Michigan Rights Center, the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative, and the Michigan Legal Help Program. MAP has a staff of around 100 people in offices in Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Detroit, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Monroe. The FLS legal team is based out of the Kalamazoo office and consists of four attorneys, a community advocate, a legal assistant, and numerous seasonal interns and outreach advocates.
FLS provides a full range of civil legal services to Michigan’s eligible population of around 95,000 migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their dependents. Farmworkers in Michigan hand harvest a diversity of crops, including asparagus, strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers, cherries and apples. Farm work is the second most dangerous occupation in the United and the average farmworker earns less than $15,000 per year. The majority of farmworkers in Michigan are Spanish-speaking from the southern U.S. and Mexico. Case priorities address their critical legal needs in employment, workplace health and safety, housing, public benefits, and immigration law. Our services include basic legal advice, community education and referrals, and direct representation of individuals and groups in the full spectrum of local, state, and federal forums. Visit www.FarmworkerLaw.org for more information.
QUALIFICATIONS: Excellent communication skills in English and Spanish are required. An Associate’s Degree or commensurate educational and professional experience is required. Candidates must be detail-oriented, with strong organizational skills, and able to work flexible hours that will include evenings and weekends, especially during the harvest season. Candidates must have access to reliable transportation and must be proficient with Microsoft Office. Preference will be given to candidates with a demonstrated commitment to social and economic justice, especially in the areas of worker or immigrant rights.
BENEFITS: This is a full-time position with a salary starting at $30,000, depending on years of relevant experience. The position includes an excellent health, disability and fringe benefit package. Kalamazoo is a college town in southwestern Michigan, located 35 miles east of Lake Michigan, and two hours from Chicago and Detroit. This position is currently funded until September 30, 2019 with extension beyond that time dependent on funding.
MAP is an equal opportunity employer. Apply by email with “FLS Outreach Advocate” in the subject line. Send a cover letter that confirms your qualifications and includes a description of your level of Spanish competency, your current resume, and a list of three professional references to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications received by May 11, 2018 will be given priority.