29 Jun UPDATED: New job posting: Education Program Associate! New application deadline: July 29!
SAAFON is seeking an Education Project Associate!
Position Overview: This is a part-time, temporary position at SAAFON, expected to last 9-12 months, supporting our new “Learning What They Can Teach Us” education project.
Reporting to the Agroecology and Education Resource Coordinator, the Education Project Associate (EPA) will have a key role in the start-up of SAAFON’s “Learning What They Can Teach Us” initiative. (See initiative description below.) Specifically, the primary task of the EPA will be to co-anchor the design, refinement, dissemination, and analysis of SAAFON’s first network-wide survey of education programs being run by our membership. This includes taking the lead on drafting discussions, survey, assessment, and documentation materials, with support and supervision by the Agroecology and Education Resource Coordinator and incorporating feedback from the SAAFON team.
This is an exciting opportunity for anyone with skills in survey design and administration, strong people skills, and a strong desire to support Black liberation through supporting Black, Southern farmers.
Based on SAAFON’s regional network model, the person who comes on as our EPA will need to be a strong self-starter and quick learner, able to work highly independently, but also an accomplished collaborator and people-person who will be comfortable in and around Southern Black agricultural context.
Project Description: “Learning What They Can Teach Us: Assessing and Deepening SAAFON’s Educational Offerings Across the Southeast”
SAAFON’s >80 farmer members hold vital practical, historical, and cultural knowledge and memory of how current and previous generations created viable lives on the land. This project would assess the existing educational efforts in SAAFON’s network (extending from Maryland to Mississippi and the US Virgin Islands), from youth work to farmer apprenticeships; followed by providing support for curriculum development and cross-pollination across our network. In short, this project seeks to refine our knowledge of and support for educational efforts already underway within our own network.
SAAFON members are currently offering programs across the region for children, for aspiring young Black farmers, and other audiences. This initiative’s purpose is to better understand the geographical distribution of existing programs, the content our farmers are already teaching, the infrastructure they have and what they need, and the skills and practices they teach. Thus, deepening SAAFON’s understanding of, and supporting exchange between, our elder knowledge-holders and contemporary farmer-educators.
- Black children and young aspiring farmers will have a greater understanding of and engagement with Black food and farm systems in the Southeastern US and US Virgin Islands.
- Infrastructure is built up within SAAFON and its membership for guided and linked educational opportunities throughout our network in the region.
Responsibilities: The purpose of the Education Project Associate (EPA) will be to oversee the development, refinement, dissemination, and analysis of survey(s) of SAAFON’s membership to determine the scope and type of educational opportunities on offer by our members.
Additional duties of the EPA to support this project will likely include:
- Convening focus groups and/or small group discussions to develop the initial survey and to provide further data beyond the survey
- Assisting in the development of project pamphlets or other materials to introduce and explain the project to internal and external stakeholders
- Working to ensure sufficient survey response rate for project success
- Follow-up with survey recipients for clarification and elaboration
- Supporting the Agroecology and Education Resource Coordinator in analysis and preparation of a report of initial findings
- Developing and maintaining on-going relationships with farmer members engaged in educational programs
Work Environment: This part-time position (20-25 hours/week) will be a mix of remote home office work and in person work to attend staff events, convene in-person focus groups, conduct participant observation, and otherwise support the project alongside the Agroecology and Education Resource Coordinator.
It will require a variable travel schedule, with some weeks spent primarily in the field with our farmers, staff, and allies; and other weeks spent wholly on desk/remote work. On-site field work that requires travel is estimated to be 40% of this position with the other 60% being remote/desk work. Please note that this is a new position and thus these are anticipated estimates. The on-site vs. remote/desk work may vary in actual practice. Candidates for this position should be prepared to be flexible.
Travel within the Southeastern United States for this project will be eligible for reimbursement or pre-payment by SAAFON.
- Experience and ability in the design of online, mail, and phone-based surveys, and flexibility and adaptation to respond to the needs and obstacles of our member survey population.
- Experience conducting, writing up, and presenting field research.
- Skilled in database maintenance and entry.
- Excellent communicator with the capacity to work with diverse constituencies with a variety of interests and styles.
- Excellent written, organizational, interpersonal, analytical, and computer skills.
- Ability to work well independently as well as collaboratively.
- Valid license to drive in the US.
- Have own transportation for travel throughout the SE USA (mileage for SAAFON business will be reimbursed).
Highly Desirable But Not Required:
- Experience cultivating and sustaining relationships with groups within the Black Southeastern food and farming landscape.
- Experience using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
- Experienced user of productivity/collaboration software (for example, Microsoft Suite, including Teams; Asana; Podio; Google Suite)
- Hands-on farming/growing experience
- Knowledge of Curriculum Development, particularly related to sustainable agriculture and food
- Experience in group facilitation and coordination
- Experience with/knowledge of agro/afroecology movement spaces, alternative economies, Black ancestral and herbal knowledge, cooperative economics and practices
Expected Time Commitment: Part time employment (~20-25 hours/week)
Please send cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Education Project Associate” in the email Subject.
About SAAFON: Southeastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network (SAAFON) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Durham, NC. Since 2006, SAAFON has been working to strengthen Black farmers’ collective power to build an alternative food system rooted in progressive values. We are a network of Black farmers in the Southeastern United States who are committed to culturally relevant, ancestrally guided, and ecologically sustainable agricultural-based living. For more information on the organization, please visit www.saafon.org
P.O. Box 51266
Durham, NC 27717