We are a global human rights organization, a collective of passionate human rights activists with (mostly remote) team members all over the world. WITNESS’ mission is to help people use video and technology to protect and defend human rights. We are a 40-person multi-disciplinary team with staff based across 5 continents. While we’re legally a non-profit that is registered as a 501(c)3 in the U.S, we are a global collective: our staff members (as well as consultants, interns, fellows and a vast community of partners and collaborators) are based around the world and reflect a group of activists with diverse skills and backgrounds.
WHAT WE DO
WITNESS pairs grassroots community support with advocacy at a systems level. Our team works holistically on a global scale to understand how communities are using and want to use video and technology for human rights. With a cellphone camera, anyone can become a human rights defender and expose injustice, making it harder for perpetrators to hide or for systems of oppression to remain invisible. But using video for community organizing, justice and accountability can be dangerous – videos can put defenders (or those they film) at risk, can be used against communities in court or deceitfully discredited by tired old power narratives. Filming is almost never enough – for videos to make a difference they need to work alongside strong advocacy or legal strategies; they also need to be created, preserved and shared in ways that avoid creating more harm or trauma.
New threats to human rights are emerging at the intersection of artificial intelligence, misinformation and disinformation and a global wave of rising authoritarianism.
When it comes to systemic challenges we are on the watch for both existing problems – like how large amounts of critical human rights footage are lost because of the arbitrary decisions of platforms – but also emerging threats and opportunities, such as those posed by ‘deepfakes’, new ways to manipulate media to make it look like someone said or did something they never did.
WITNESS 2021 Year in Review
ABOUT THE TEAM
The WITNESS United States Program supports activists, advocates, and legal experts across the U.S. to better utilize digital video and technology to expose abuses, create counter-narratives, uphold human rights values, and advocate for change. Currently, our work is focused on (but not limited to) ending state violence through the thematic areas of police accountability, decarceration, immigrant and Indigenous rights, and land defense. To address these issues, we engage in partnerships, provide workshops and develop training resources that touch on everything from documenting human rights violations, to effective and ethical storytelling, to holistic digital security practices. This summer, the U.S. Program began collaborating with several other regional and thematic WITNESS programs to strategically design and implement a 3-year “Collaborate for Impact” project that aims to support youth and Indigenous communities in using video/technology for earth/land defense in the context of the climate crisis.
We are seeking a Program Assistant to help ensure Program leads are supported in meeting program goals, and also ensure smooth functioning of administrative systems at WITNESS. They will be responsive to the operation’s team requests to support the smooth functioning of our systems across WITNESS: financial, human resources, security, technology, external reporting and donor tracking. They will also support program work with necessary tasks related to trainings, convenings and presentations.
Provide general administrative support to WTNESS’s Program work in your region
Assist with the management of WITNESS databases, updating and tracking partner’s and other important contact information
Assist with organizing materials for in person and online trainings and presentations
Support trainings and events/convenings when needed
Assist with coordinating travel and logistics for conferences based in the region
Assist the team as necessary with other tasks to support our Program work.
Cross Team Support and Collaboration
This role will act as the primary liaison between the Regional Program Team and our core support functions Fundraising, Finance, HR and IT.
The position will be focused on ensuring the effective flow of information, supporting compliance, reporting and the correct application of our policies and procedures. There will be a strong need for effective cross-team collaboration and communication, ensuring that expectations are well communicated and deadlines are met.
Typical support tasks will include:
Provide support with budgeting, tracking spending and the timely completion of expense and credit card reconciliations, along with other finance related requirements of Program leads
Lead on working with the Finance team to address Visa card and payment issues as they arise.
Support the team with HR reporting requirements including timesheets, vacation, sickness and other time off reporting, updating calendars and meeting required deadlines
Support with the process of recruitment, pre-hire setup and coordination of onboarding new team members and regional consultants
External Relations (Fundraising and Communication)
Support with information requests for donor reports, funding applications, the updating of contact databases, and helping to arrange Donor meetings
Assist with the management of the regional team’s hardware and software requirements
Troubleshoot with Tech team on computer problems and with equipment shipping as needed
Assist in creating and updating travel memos and other security assessments and reports
Reports to: Program Leads
Start Date: ASAP
Principle Relationships: Program Leads, Finance team, HR, IT Team
Title: Program Assistant- U.S.
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
Experience: Human Rights Background in (or passion for) human rights; understands networks, grassroots organizing and how activists mobilize online. Committed to social justice and WITNESS’ values/mission and to a global, human rights lead approach.
Languages: We are a global team who use English as our shared language, as such this role requires a high proficiency of written and spoken English. Additional languages are a plus.
Other Important Skills:
Applicants will need to demonstrate organizational skills including attention to detail, time management, taking initiative, and to take ownership of assigned tasks.
Strong communication will be essential
WITNESS works as a digital team and a comfort and familiarity with technology will be essential.
Experience communicating via email, using online calendars, documents, spreadsheets and creating presentations will be required.
Characteristics: Strong interpersonal skills and aptitude for cross-cultural communication. Team-minded. A doer. Is organized and follows through. Espouses good humor under pressure; inspires others.
Education: You can tell us about your degrees, but we’re more interested in what your passions are and what you can do. If your degrees are part of that story, great! (But no formal education required).
Location: We are a globally distributed, remote workforce; this is a full-time position, the location is flexible with a strong preference for candidates located in the United States. Flexibility in location will be considered provided some overlap of working hours with the rest of the team can be ensured and subject to the organization’s ability to offer employment in new locations.
At this time, our team members are working through hybrid office arrangements, combining remote at-home work with intermittent use of offices and/or co-working spaces.
These include: USA, Mexico, Brazil, UK, Netherlands, Nigeria, Kenya.
Typically, we can only consider applicants who are already legally able to work in the country in which the role is based. Visa sponsorship or relocation allowance are rare, and offered only for specialized positions. The successful candidate must have the legal right-to-work in the location in which they will be based.
Compensation: WITNESS operates a salary localization policy using a combination of regularly reviewed FX and salary adjustment multipliers for location.
Based on current rates, gross salaries for some of our current locations are given as an example:
United States – USD 46,000
Duration: This is a full-time fixed term contract with a flexible start date and end date of October 31, 2024.
Health: WITNESS also offers competitive and robust medical benefits that cover an individual’s medical, dental and vision at 100% and covers a % of the individual’s dependents.
Life Insurance & AD & D: WITNESS provides life insurance and AD&D payable at one time (1x) the employee’s salary, to the beneficiary, in the event an employee were to expire while employed by the organization.
Remote Work Stipend: WITNESS recognizes that flexible working arrangements are key to equity and inclusion in the workplace and we provide a $175 USD monthly remote work allowance, we are happy to talk about the type of flexible arrangements that might work best for you. This remote work stipend is provided to all staff members to pay for extra equipment, electricity, stationery, internet, wellness, or whatever an employee deems necessary in order to work remotely. Please note that a computer and basic accessories are provided to all employees at the time of hire.
Pension Contributions: After 1 year of service at the organization, WITNESS will contribute 3% of an individual’s gross salary towards a global retirement fund.
Paid Time Off: WITNESS has a range of paid time off types that support our staff.
Vacation leave: that meets local statutory levels or 15 days whichever is higher, in addition to staff’s local public holidays.The vacation allowance increases by 5 days to 20 days after 3 years of service.
Personal / Wellness leave: 5 days staff can use at any time to recharge in recognition of the importance of supporting positive mental well being.
End of Year closure: which usually is equivalent to a minimum of 5 days leave in addition to any public holidays across the last week of December and early January.
Sick Leave: follows local statutory guidance however; WITNESS ensures a minimum of 10 days paid time off for occasional sickness and health related absences.
A minimum of 6 weeks of full pay in instances of longer term absence.
Sabbatical Leave: At the 10 year mark we offer staff 10 weeks of paid time off in order to take a break, gain new insights and expand their horizons.
Work/ Life Balance :WITNESS believes in creating a healthy work environment in which flexible schedules are available, we also understand that sometimes an employee may just require a few hours to take care of personal issues in which case they can adjust their hours to make up for the time instead of taking a full day of leave. Both are allowable once agreed upon with the departmental supervisors.
Mental Health Policy: WITNESS feels that all employees should feel supported both physically as well as mentally while they are at work and realizes that many times the issues that we deal with, the materials that we watch and the events surrounding some of the work that we do, can lead to feeling “unwell” and not in a “good space”.
Should a situation arise in which an Employee requests support on mental health, WITNESS will award (10) days of “WITNESS” paid leave.
Professional Development: In support of the growth and development of our staff, WITNESS regularly seeks opportunities for professional development, exposure to new skills and supports a culture of learning. As part of this we offer staff Reading Days (1 day per month) where staff can take a day to read, study and connect more deeply with peers, partners and colleagues to further functional knowledge relevant to their role or deepen their general understanding and ability to support human rights work.
HOW TO APPLY
If you are interested in joining the WITNESS team, please apply through BambooHR. You will need to attach your resume, cover letter, and contact information for 3 references.
Please include a cover letter. We are interested in hearing about what you’ve done, what you can do, and what you want to do at WITNESS.
Please note that if you are applying via a link in a 3rd party system (Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Zip Recruiter etc), be sure that you are going through the application link in BambooHR.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until candidates have been shortlisted; early applications encouraged. Please note that due to the volume anticipated, we will not be able to respond individually to each applicant. We kindly ask that you do not send duplicate applications via mail or email, and no phone calls. No recruiters please.
WITNESS is a global human rights organization and aims to build an inclusive workforce that is reflective of the communities we work with. We are interested in building a talented team that brings their true selves with diverse backgrounds, cultures and perspectives. We are interested in receiving applications from those who are marginalized and underrepresented.
WITNESS is an equal opportunity employer. People of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, religions, genders, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, and individuals protected by any other statuses under international federal, state or local laws, including but not limited to, disability, marital, domestic partnership, familial, caregiver, transgender, military or veteran statuses, are encouraged to apply.