Freedom Reads is a first-of-its-kind organization that uses literature to confront the hopelessness and desperation that accompany time served in prison. The aim of the organization is to place millions of books into prisons by installing a 500-book, micro-library in every prison dormitory and housing unit in the United States. In the tradition of Freedom Schools and Freedom Riders, the libraries are named Freedom Libraries because of the organizational belief that freedom begins with a book. Founded in 2020 with a $5.25 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, Freedom Reads is the only organization in the country with a mission to provide a specially curated library to people in prison and in doing so radically transform the means by which literature can be accessed.
Since July 2022, Freedom Reads has opened 60 Freedom Libraries across seven states and 19 prisons. This unprecedented success includes opening libraries in notoriously violent prisons and jails such as the Louisiana State Prison and Rikers Island Jail. The organization has also transformed a cell into a library at MCI-Norfolk in Massachusetts, the prison where Malcolm X once served time. The libraries are in solitary confinement units and protective custody units and in women's prisons, men's prisons, and juvenile detention centers. Since its founding, Freedom Reads has distributed more than 100,000 books to incarcerated readers across 34 states and to more than two dozen prisons and juvenile detention centers. In 2023, the organization will open 200 libraries a year across several states and will have reached a quarter million incarcerated people.
Located in New Haven, Connecticut and supported by foundations and private donors, Freedom Reads currently has a $3 million annual budget and a growing network of full- and part-time staff and consultants. As Freedom Reads embarks on its next phase, it seeks a highly organized, talented, and experienced Director of Programs and Operations to help build this unique organization.
For more information on Freedom Reads, please visit https://freedomreads.org/.
Freedom Reads is currently in a stage of accelerated growth and seeks an experienced organizational leader to serve as its Director of Programs and Operations. The Director of Programs and Operations will play an integral role in shaping and delivering on the strategic goals of the organization. The Director of Programs and Operations must be well positioned to provide the leadership, management, and discernment necessary to ensure that Freedom Reads has the proper programmatic implementation and people systems in place to effectively steer the organization towards operational and programmatic efficiency.
This is a full-time, in-person role. The Director of Programs and Operations will reside within commuting distance of the New Haven offices and fabrication partners.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Reporting to the Founding President and CEO of Freedom Reads, the Director of Operations and Program will collaborate closely with the executive team and staff to implement the strategic plan. The Director of Operations and Programs will lead the programming team and advance operations across the organization, including the following responsibilities:
QUALIFICATIONS, SKILLS, AND KNOWLEDGE REQUIREMENTS
The salary range for this position is $110,000 to $130,000 and based on experience.
Freedom Reads is committed to the principles of justice and tries to build an environment where everyone is treated fairly and enjoys working together. The organization values new perspectives and does its best to make its positions accessible to people of any ethnic background, age, and sexual orientation, as well as women and other underrepresented communities – including communities most impacted by injustice.
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