Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities

See posts below to find a job or volunteer opportunity in our field.

To post an opportunity, contact

Please Note: Justice Arts Coalition does not currently have any paid positions available, but we are always looking for support from volunteers! To complete our volunteer survey, please follow this link. To support our efforts to be able to hire and compensate staff, click here

Pongo Poetry Project – Executive Director

Executive Director Job Description

The Executive Director (ED) reports to the board of directors and has overall responsibility for Pongo’s staff, operations, programs, expansion, and implementation of its mission.


Strategic Leadership and Organizational Growth

  • Lead Pongo in its journey to become an anti-racist organization and promote and instill diversity, equity and inclusion in all we do
  • Implement national expansion
  • Present at national and regional conferences and organizations to promote Pongo
  • Begin to build partnerships in new markets, establishing relationships with practitioners and funders, and with political and community leaders at each expansion site
  • Serve as an external local and national spokesperson who communicates program results with an emphasis on the successes of the local program as a model for regional and national replication
  • Build board capacity and involvement with strategic direction for both ongoing local operations as well as for the national expansion

Fundraising & Communications

  • In collaboration with the Development Manager, expand revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing program operations and national expansion
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a stronger brand
  • Use external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities for growth

Management & Operations

  • Work with staff to ensure ongoing programmatic excellence and consistent quality of finance and administration, programs, fundraising, communications, and systems
  • Create and maintain a collaborative environment in which all staff are valued and have opportunities for personal and professional growth
  • Actively engage and energize Pongo staff, volunteers, board members, committees, partnering organizations, and funders
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong and diverse Board of Directors; serve as ex- officio of select committees
  • Develop effective systems to track scaling progress, and regularly evaluate program components to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the board, funders, and other constituents

The ED must be thoroughly committed to Pongo’s mission. Candidates will be considered based on the range of their lived and learned experiences, professional background, and direct and transferable skills. Pongo seeks candidates with a compelling combination of demonstrated experience and skills.

Required Qualifications include:

  • At least 5 years of senior management experience; track record of effective leadership and growing a nonprofit organization regionally and/or nationally; ability to point to specific examples of having developed and operationalized strategies that have taken an organization to the next stage of growth and impact
  • Excellence in staff management with the ability to create and maintain a collaborative work environment in which everyone feels valued
  • Demonstrated fundraising experience including strategy, a track record of having achieved increased financial support, donor stewardship and retention, and major donor solicitation
  • Commitment to anti-racism and experience helping an organization move forward in its anti-racism journey
  • Experience working with diverse communities
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • Experience in providing financial administration including developing and monitoring a budget and providing relevant reports to board and staff

Preferred Qualifications include:

  • Appreciation for poetry and the role of expressive arts in healing
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships
  • Strong marketing and public relations experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures

Our ideal candidate will be:

  • Action-oriented, collaborative, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative
  • Passionate, positive, mission-driven, and self-directed
Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time position. Salary range is $75,000 to $85,000 DOE plus benefits. The position starts on or around January 4, 2022.

Benefits include health insurance stipend, paid time off, 9 paid holidays, a one-week winter break and a flexible work schedule.

To Apply

The position will be open until filled. Applicant review will begin in late summer. Offer will be made in November.

Please submit a resume and cover letter addressed to:

Pongo Poetry Project is an equal opportunity employer. All people who add to our diverse community are encouraged to apply.

Insight Garden Program – Executive Director

Insight Garden Program (IGP) is seeking an Executive Director. Our ideal candidate will be a visionary, adaptable, experienced leader who is passionate about criminal and environmental justice, and can guide IGP into its next phase of growth in California and nationally through our in-prison programs, re-entry model and community based-programs.

Who We Are

Founded in 2002, IGP is a nonprofit organization that facilitates an innovative 48-week curriculum that combines environmental education, permaculture gardening, “inner gardening” and re-entry skills.  Our core purpose is to reconnect people in prison and re-entry  to “self, community, and the natural world”. This “inner” and “outer” gardening approach transforms lives, ends ongoing cycles of incarceration, and creates safer communities. We currently run our program in ten adult prisons and one youth facility in the state of California, as well as one program in Indiana. We recently expanded our work to include reentry support for incarcerated IGP participants who are being released from prison through pre- and post- release referrals for housing, employment and educational opportunities; safe and compassionate transport; and emotional support.

Grounded in the belief that access to the natural world is a human right, our holistic program seeks to empower IGP participants and alumni to become food justice leaders, environmental stewards, urban gardeners, and criminal justice reform advocates both within prison and in the communities to which they return.

For more information, please see

What You’ll Do

The Executive Director’s major areas of responsibility include:

  • Lead the development of a vision for the future and a strategic plan for expansion of IGP’s programs that is aligned with the vision and values of the Board, staff and the community with whom we work.

  • Lead and oversee fundraising programs to ensure fiscal sustainability while financing organizational growth.

  • Build strong relationships with external partners in the criminal justice and environmental justice movements in California and nationally.

  • Be a respected external voice and advocate on criminal justice issues.

  • Work closely with a strong and experienced senior management team to foster and maintain an organizational culture and management system that ensures ongoing programmatic excellence.

  • Provide a consistent caliber of financial management and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems management; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve strategic goals.

Who You Are & Keys to Success (the must-haves)

To be successful in this job, you should be able to:

  • Speak from a place of authenticity and have content expertise in criminal justice issues; systems impacted persons encouraged to apply.

  • Have a commitment to racial equity and social justice: You recognize the role of race, income, age, immigration status, and other identities in shaping disparities. You amplify voices to advocate for more equitable policy solutions. You recognize how your own identities show up in the work, and welcome, reflect on, and act on feedback with an eye toward continuous learning about race, gender, ability, and other lines of difference.

  • Inspire and align the Board, staff and community around a common vision.

  • Cultivate relationships with funders and donors, and effectively communicate the vision and value of IGP’s programs.

  • Have experience working within the culture and operational parameters of state correctional systems.

  • Bring your passion for nature, criminal justice reform and environmental justice movements to the job.

  • Work with, develop, and expand the Board of Directors.

  • Practice inclusive and collaborative leadership and management; approach leadership with a mindset of “power with” rather than “power over” and regularly include others in decision-making. Be comfortable working in a team-based organizational culture with an experienced senior management team.

  • Develop and maintain strong, collaborative working relationships with a diverse group of stakeholders, and bring in allies and coalition partners. Know how to build alliances and find points of collaboration even when there are competing interests.

  • Appreciate holistic thinking and apply systems thinking to IGP’s work.

  • Comfortable with public speaking at conferences, events, etc.

  • Have an aptitude for, or a willingness to be trained on, budgets and financial oversight.

Bonus Points (the nice to haves)

  • Legislative and policy experience; connections to the broader criminal justice world and social justice advocacy organizations in California and nationally.

  • Nonprofit organizational management experience, including working with Board of directors.

  • Gardening experience.

  • Understanding and connections to re-entry organizations and models.

  • Ability to write Op-Eds or other thought pieces for newsletters, social media, websites, etc.

  • Familiarity with IGP’s programming.

  • Knowledge of restorative justice.

  • Connections to funders and individual donors.

What Else You Should Know

Insight Garden Program is an equal opportunity employer and we value having staff who come from communities that are most impacted by the issues we aim to address. We especially encourage people of color, LGBTQ people, systems impacted people, and people with disabilities to apply.

Reporting Relationships: The Executive Director will report directly to the Board of Directors and supervise a senior management team.

Salary & Benefits: This is a full-time position with a target start date of July 1, 2021. IGP offers a competitive salary (commensurate with experience) and benefits package which includes cell phone/internet stipend; medical, dental, and vision insurance; and vacation and sick time.

Location: The position is based in California. Since the onset of COVID19, we have been working virtually, but pre-COVID19 our office was in the Bay Area with staff working throughout the state. Travel will be required to visit program sites across California.

How to Apply

To apply, please submit a resume and a cover letter explaining why you are interested in the position to the Executive Director Search Committee at Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until June 1, 2021.


Art Editor

Iron City Magazine is currently seeking an art editor for Issue 6, with the possibility for renewal of the role in future issues.

Iron City Magazine is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and journal devoted entirely to writing and art from the prison world. It is our hope that through this creative platform, incarcerated artists and writers find value in their stories, fuel for personal growth, and pride in their accomplishments. Prisoners are, first and foremost, people. They own stories worthy of telling and sharing. Iron City Magazine aims to highlight these stories in a way more permanent than a private journal.


Job Announcement: Director

The Prison Education Project at Washington University in St. Louis is seeking a full-time director. Please see the attached job description for more details about the position. Feel free to circulate this widely among your networks, and if you know anyone who may be interested in applying, please do not hesitate to forward this information to them. We welcome and encourage applications from people who are formerly incarcerated and system-impacted.

To request a copy of the full-length job description, please email For more information and to apply, visit and search for the position using Job ID 50398.


Project Admin, Marketing, and Teaching Artist opportunities at the Mural Arts Program

Check the website for new opportunities.

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Mural Arts Philadelphia is a public private partnership dedicated to the belief that art ignites change.

We create art with others to transform places, individuals, communities and institutions. Through this work, we establish new standards of excellence in the practice of public and contemporary art. Our process empowers artists to be change agents, stimulates dialogue about critical issues, and builds bridges of connection and understanding. Our work is created in service of a larger movement that values equity, fairness and progress across all of society. We listen with empathetic ears to understand the aspirations of our partners and participants. And through beautiful collaborative art, we provide people with the inspiration and tools to seize their own future.

Annually, Mural Arts engages more than 25,000 people. This includes more than 2,000 who enroll in ongoing art and muralism workshops offered by our Art Education, Restorative Justice, and Porch Light programs; more than 8,000 who co-create our stunning works of public art; and more than 15,000 who tour our multi-neighborhood collection. Annually, we produce between 80 and 100 temporary and permanent pieces, which together tell an incredible story of Philadelphia’s beauty and resilience.


Volunteers Wanted: The Messages Project


Location: Norfolk, Virginia

The Messages Project is looking for volunteers to assist in filming personalized messages from incarcerated parents, which are then sent home to their children. This is a great opportunity for college students (especially those studying film production, criminal justice, or social work).


Call for Volunteers: Pongo Teen Writing


Location: Seattle

Pongo volunteers are well trained, and they work in teams under an experienced leader. We have two sites currently, inside juvenile detention and inside the state psychiatric hospital for children.


Volunteers and Facilitators Wanted: The Beat Within


Locations: California, DC, and New Mexico

The Beat Within’s mission is to provide incarcerated youth with consistent opportunity to share their ideas and life experiences in a safe space that encourages literacy, self-expression, some critical thinking skills, and healthy, supportive relationships with adults and their community.


2 thoughts on “Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities

  1. theprisonartscoalition

    Hi Julia, please reach out to me at We will need a signed consent form, which you can find here: Once your son has received and signed it, he can either mail it to me, or send it back to you and you can email me a scanned copy or photo of it. Then, you can email me photos of his artwork, or if he’d rather send his work directly to PAC, that’s an option too. Let’s chat more over email. Thanks so much for visiting the site. I’m sure your support means the world to your son.

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