RAPP is an independent grassroots organizing and policy project that works to end mass incarceration and advance racial justice by getting elderly and infirm people out of prison. The RAPP Campaign mobilizes currently and formerly incarcerated people, their families, and other concerned community members; works alongside other prison justice advocates to raise public awareness about the destructiveness of mass incarceration and the benefits to society in releasing aging people, including those convicted of violent crimes who do not threaten public safety; and promotes the use of key mechanisms for releasing elderly people, such as parole, compassionate release, and policy changes.
RAPP is led by Lead Organizer and Co-founder, Mujahid Farid, a 2013 Soros Justice Fellow, comprises a team of 3 full- and part-time staff, and is supported by a committed network of 15 core campaign volunteers and 35 coalition organizational partners. While RAPP was founded in New York State and has programs specific to New York, there are projects around the country that consider themselves chapters of RAPP or work closely with us.
RAPP’s work has been featured nationally in media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Law Journal, The Associated Press, The Village Voice, The Washington Examiner, The Times Union, The Advocate, NY1 Television, International News Services, Democracy Now, the Ronnie Eldridge CUNY TV Show, radio broadcasts, and online publications. For more information about RAPP, visit http://rappcampaign.com.
Position Summary: Volunteers play an essential role in supporting RAPP’s work. By contributing your valuable time and expertise, you support our team and enable us to increase our impact in many ways. The following responsibilities and duties are most impactful to RAPP at the present moment, and can be customized depending on your skills and interest.
This unpaid position is a great opportunity to gain experience in nonprofit and community organizing work. Volunteers report to the Associate Director but collaborate closely with other RAPP core group members.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES
Campaign Administration and Operations:
• Complete initial orientation/training.
• Attend a RAPP staff meeting at least once a month.
• Attend quarterly meetings of volunteers.
• Support basic office functions, such as answering and making phone calls, receiving and distributing mail, preparing correspondence, photocopying and printing, and coordinating meetings.
• Attend and assist with coordinating community events organized by RAPP and our allies, such as preparing necessary background information packets, coordinating meals/catering, set up and break down of event space, distributing RAPP materials (such as the RAPP petition), and staffing a RAPP table at events.
• Assist RAPP’s grassroots organizing and community engagement through local canvassing efforts and coalition building
Research and Advocacy:
• Research and compile facts and statistics on aging in prison, parole and mass incarceration.
• Craft and design program materials, such as training materials and information packets.
• Support logistical planning and coordination of public and legislative forums addressing the issues of an elderly prison population in New York State.
• Keep track of petitions.
Grantwriting and Development:
• Support preparation of grant proposals to foundations, corporations and government funders.
Communications and Technology:
• Support RAPP’s social media presence (Facebook, website, twitter, email).
• Create and manage the digital communications calendar.
REQUIREMENTS AND QUALIFICATIONS
• Deep commitment to RAPP’s mission and values, and social justice
• Must be dependable and punctual
• Ability to work cooperatively with a wide variety of individuals internal and external to RAPP
• Willingness to provide own transportation to make visits
• Intermediate computer skills
• Excellent written and oral communication skills
• Formerly incarcerated individuals strongly encouraged to apply
• A commitment of at least 6 months is expected, for at least 4 hours per week or 16 hours per month; flexible schedule to be agreed upon at the start of assuming this role
• Willingness to work at RAPP’s 22 Cortlandt Street office, in the field, or remotely, and to travel to support all of RAPP’s campaign and advocacy efforts as needed.
• Volunteers must attend an initial project orientation and training session, and a RAPP coalition meeting
• Ongoing support is tailored to each volunteers’ needs
• Ongoing volunteer meetings are held every quarter and are optional for attendance
If you are interested in learning more and contributing to one or more of these areas, please apply by completing the questionnaire here https://goo.gl/forms/PctoGGxseJGFuFwM2 to help us match your skills and interests with our needs. If you want to submit a resume, please complete the online questionnaire anyway, before sending your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title “RAPP Volunteer Position.” Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.