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We're hiring: Community Engagement Lead - Associate Director

The University of Minnesota Libraries is seeking a Community Engagement Lead who will lead our highly-collaborative, trans-disciplinary team in community outreach that is grounded in Mapping Prejudice’s commitment to co-creation. The Community Engagement Lead is responsible for coordinating and building upon the existing outreach work of Mapping Prejudice. This includes presentations and leading volunteer transcription sessions. This position is also responsible for launching a new Community Fellows program that is designed to build new relationships and anchor the team’s efforts to create a replicable model for co-created community projects that use the documentation of racially-restrictive deeds as an engine for racial justice.

Mapping Prejudice has earned wide recognition for its efforts to reshape popular understandings of structural racism. The team has collaborated with policymakers and researchers from many different fields to document the legacies of these practices for the built environment and the people who inhabit them. The work has been recognized with awards from public historians, journalists, GIS professionals, and librarians. The team is looking to welcome a new colleague who wants to help to shape the future of this innovative initiative. It seeks someone who understands the importance of inviting community members to shape research and who wants to work creatively with the team to engage a wide range of scholarly and community partners.

Mapping Prejudice is mobilizing people of all ages and backgrounds to map racial covenants, legal clauses in property deeds that barred people who were not white from occupying land. The project is leading a collective examination of these “unjust deeds” in order to open the door for systems-level change. Volunteers read historical property deeds in search of racial covenants, generating data that can be mapped by the Mapping Prejudice GIS specialists. This process nurtures a constituency for transformative change, empowering participants to demand data-driven and community-engaged efforts to build more sustainable and equitable communities.

The Mapping Prejudice team has delivered hundreds of presentations and reached millions of people across the country through the TPT documentary, Jim Crow of the North. More than 6,000 volunteers have read approximately 425,000 property deeds from Hennepin and Ramsey Counties. These contributors embraced the documentation of structural racism with enthusiasm, transcribing deeds and sharing their new understanding of contemporary racial disparities with friends, family members and elected officials. Minnesotans see Mapping Prejudice as an important resource as they confront yawning racial disparities, which are some of the highest in the nation. But the Mapping Prejudice team is cognizant that it has been most effective at engaging white audiences and policymakers, who report that this mapping work has helped them to see structural racism for the first time.

Mapping Prejudice is building a long-term program of community-embedded research related to the history of structural racism in housing policy and practice, as well as the legacies of these practices for the built environment and the people who inhabit them. This new addition to the team should be able to draw on knowledge of BIPOC communities to make connections that can serve as the foundation for mutually-beneficial relationships between the research team and the larger community.

Detailed Description of Community Engagement Lead Position

The Community Engagement Lead will shape the relationship between the project team and its community partners and stakeholders. This will include devising a strategy for handling incoming communications, coordinating and delivering public presentations, overseeing social media activities and website content, and leading research and documentation around the community engagement practices of Mapping Prejudice. This team member will lead the work of creating a meaningful feedback loop between the research team and the people being served by this work.

The Community Engagement Lead will lead the work around the new Mapping Prejudice Think Tank, which will bring together scholars who are using racial covenant data for academic or policy research with six community fellows who are working for racial equity and housing justice as organizers, artists, or creatives outside of the University. The Community Engagement Lead will work with the Mapping Prejudice Community Advisory Board to recruit these fellows, who will agree to work in collaboration with the Mapping Prejudice team and its associated researchers through a series of monthly gatherings that will include presentations, discussions and meals. The Community Engagement Lead will lead the planning and logistics of the Think Tank in advance of its first meeting in June, 2022. As the Think Tank meets, the Community Engagement Lead will assess how the collaborations that emerge from these meetings should shape the work of Mapping Prejudice. At the end of the Think Tank, the Community Engagement Lead will be responsible for documenting and compiling a model for co-creation that can be shared with other organizations.

The Community Engagement Lead contributes to the intellectual development and facilitates logistics, documentation, research support, and evaluation of the program. This position is part of the University of Minnesota Libraries and receives a workspace (when in person) and computer. The Community Engagement Lead works in collaboration with the rest of the Mapping Prejudice team and the UMN Libraries to develop, implement, and maintain the community engagement strategy. This person continues to develop relationships with established community collaborators. The Community Engagement Lead is also responsible for coordinating communications plans with team members, collaborators and stakeholders.

The team seeks a leader who can build relationships both within the University and contribute to efforts to reshape the relationship between the University of Minnesota Libraries and the Minnesota communities it is intended to serve, especially BIPOC communities. This position works closely with the Program Director, Program Co-Director (Head, Borchert Map Library), the Geospatial, Technology, and Data Lead (Associate Director), and the Volunteer Property Research Specialist. This person works in concert with other initiatives at the University of Minnesota committed to this same goal. These include the Heritage Studies and Public History Program and MN Transform, two other Mellon-funded initiatives that are seeking institutional transformation within the University through placed-based projects that can prompt broader structural change. This Community Engagement Lead is helping the UMN Libraries develop relevant expertise to better support the larger effort of institutional transformation at the University of Minnesota to encourage research with, rather than about, communities.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

Outreach (35%)

  • Develop mutually-beneficial relationships with community partners.
  • Identify points of collaboration with organizations outside of the University committed to housing justice and racial equity.
  • Deliver presentations and workshops that explore structural racism and share the goals and findings of Mapping Prejudice.
  • Conduct volunteer transcription sessions .
  • Develop social media strategy and oversee social media activity.
  • Help to write web copy and material for publication that describes goals and findings of Mapping Prejudice.
  • Work to collaboratively develop strategies for facilitating local or cohort conversations, moderating public conversations, and providing complementary resources.
  • Work with team and collaborators to ensure smooth logistics for programming, exhibits, workshops, and courses.
  • Serve as a resource to connect Program participants, collaborators, community partners, the Mapping Prejudice Community Advisory Board and University members.
  • Draw on knowledge of BIPOC communities and Mapping Prejudice values to make connections and reach mutually determined goals.

Oversee Core Project Activities (30%)

  • Lead Community Fellows program, which is designed to identify and nurture areas of potential collaboration between the UMN Libraries and community organizers working for housing justice and racial equity.
  • Lead development of a replicable model for community co-creation that can be offered to other communities that would like to use the documentation of racially-restrictive deeds as an engine for racial justice.
  • Supervise and coordinate the work of student interns/research assistants.
  • Work with colleagues and partners to chart long term project goals.
  • Help develop processes to ensure that Mapping Prejudice is accountable to communities of color in Minnesota
  • .
  • Help develop and oversee assessment for outreach and engagement, including transcription work.
  • Work with Community Advisory Board to identify priorities and approaches for Mapping Prejudice.

Coordination (25%)

  • Develop and oversee strategy for communication with community stakeholders and partners .
  • Facilitate transcription sessions for volunteers, both in person and virtual.
  • Coordinate and facilitate requests for presentations by all Program members.
  • Identify priorities and opportunities for grant funding.
  • Lead, train, and coordinate staff involved in delivery of educational programs.

Research Support (10%)

  • Synthesize research relevant to community co-creation, participatory action research, public history and other models of community-engaged research.
  • Identify areas for research with community partners.
  • Resource research directed by community partners.
  • Work with Mapping Prejudice team to execute research priorities.

Additional Information: Must be able to work regularly at University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus location. Position available immediately. While applications will be accepted until the job is filled, the search committee will begin reviewing submissions on February 14, 2022.

This is a full-time, 12-month, annual renewable (over 2 years), academic professional position with the possibility of extension pending funding. The salary range for this position is $66,000 - $70,000. The Libraries offer a competive salary commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits including health insurance, funded retirement plans, ample sick and vacation time, Regents Scholarship and more.



  • BA/BS with at least six (6) years of relevant experience.
  • Experience with program development.
  • Demonstrated interest in community service, social justice, or racial equity work.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and commitment to the benefits of diversity and inclusion throughout an organization.
  • Experience working both independently and in cooperation with colleagues in a service-oriented, collaborative environment.


  • Undergraduate or graduate degree in Social Work, Urban Studies and Planning, Public Policy, Sociology, History, Geography, American Studies, or similar relevant disciplines.
  • Advanced degree in field with relation to subject areas of community engagement and/or racial justice.
  • Experience facilitating active learning in classroom and community learning settings as well as creating lesson plans and instructional materials.
  • Experience leading teams of people, as a supervisor of students, interns, volunteers, and/or staff.
  • Experience coordinating social media content and digital media projects.
  • Experience in project management or the equivalent coordination of complex research and community-engaged projects.
  • Willingness to learn, or demonstrated understanding of, community-based research methods and/or public history praxis and organizing strategies.
  • Excellent communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills.
  • Experience fundraising from private donors, foundations, and/or governmental agencies.


The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the U: http://diversity.umn.edu.

Employment Requirements

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

Please note: All employees at the University of Minnesota are required to report complete vaccination against COVID-19 or submit documentation requesting a medical or religious exemption on their first day of employment. To learn more, please visit the University's COVID-19 Response webpage.

How To Apply

Applications must be submitted online here.