Environmental Justice Director


Do you want to make a difference in the community by being a visionary leader for COPAL’s Environmental Justice team? COPAL is hiring an Environmental Justice Director to set the strategic direction COPAL’s Environmental Justice team, in coordination with COPAL’s Executive Leadership, and work with the Environmental Justice team members to ensure the meeting of programmatic goals.


  • $75,000 annual salary

  • 8 paid holidays

  • Reimbursement for cell phone use

  • Generous PTO policy 

  • Affordable health, dental and vision insurance 

  • Employer paid term life and disability coverage

  • Competitive retirement plan with matching contribution, immediate eligibility, and vesting

JOB SUMMARY:  The Environmental Justice Director position requires strategic engagement with all of COPAL’s departments. This is a supervisory role, and responsibilities include funder engagement, budget management, strategic planning, and engagement with high-level policy players and other social justice organizational level leaders working to build a statewide movement on environmental justice. COPAL’s Environmental Justice team goals are to strengthen the power and influence of BIPOC, and specifically the Latinx community in Minnesota, on environmental justice; build a collective movement across environmental justice communities and organizations to affect structural change at the policy level; and shift the public cultural narrative to center the most impacted environmental justice voices. Core issues include cumulative pollution impacts, forced climate migration, green jobs, and a just energy transition. Our Environmental Justice work centers first, second, and third generation immigrants/climate migrants from Mexico and Central America, who live and work on the frontline of pollution in Minnesota.


Environmental Justice

  • Oversee and direct COPAL’s Environmental Justice (EJ) strategy; work with the EJ team to sharpen COPAL’s EJ vision and strategy to be reflective of, and responsive to, COPAL’s core constituency concerns and organizational goals.
  • Work closely with COPAL’s leadership to develop and support the organization’s strategic initiatives.
  • Create and maintain an EJ team annual plan, adjusting as needed throughout the year given changes in circumstances and strategic work plan.
  • Manage EJ related grants budgets, authorize expenses and assume responsibility for balancing the budgets.
  • Analyze and document the effectiveness of EJ organizing and policy strategies.
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with neighborhood businesses, policy makers, and organizations to increase visibility and support EJ strategic goals.
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with EJ funders, grant writing to meet EJ vision and goals.
  • Represent the organization at media and community events as needed.
  • Invest in internal EJ team and external leadership development of COPAL’s Environmental Justice Committee.
  • Ensure the EJ team has the tools to support COPAL’s Latinx leaders in building their own bases and capacity.
  • Work with communications team to elevate COPAL’s Environmental Justice work.
  • Coordinate EJ team to plan and execute cross-organizational events, grassroots fundraising, new member cultivation, communications plans, digital outreach plans, training, and other issue campaign actions.
  • Set strategic involvement in local, statewide, and national coalitions, representing COPAL in meetings & events as necessary, coordinating organizational involvement.

Supervisory and Leadership Responsibilities

  • Grow the EJ team; manage the hiring process for positions within this team; develop and update job descriptions; develop performance expectations, identify essential functions and knowledge, skills and abilities required; ensure compliance with organization processes for interview and selection of employees.
  • Manage and ensure effective employee relations; create an ethical, inclusive, non-discriminatory, and safe work environment; establish effective communication lines/methods; identify and solve employee problems; manage conflict, respond to and resolve grievances.
  • Manage employee and team performance; ensure adequate training for employees; communicate job expectations and coach employees; support employee professional development aspirations; investigate complaints and performance concerns; implement disciplinary action as needed and in consultation with VP of Human Resource Services.
  • Plan and facilitate/lead effective EJ team meetings with clear outcomes.


Education and Experience:

  • Degree in environmental justice or another relevant field, or an equivalent combination of education and work experience.
  • Bilingual (Spanish and English) and cultural competency, required.
  • Knowledge of environmental justice, climate change, social justice – specifically cumulative impacts, forced climate migration, green jobs and just energy transition issues as they apply to the Latinx community.
  • A relational leader and good team player, able to work with a broad team of staff and grassroots leaders, work well with others in a coalition setting, and motivate diverse groups of people.
  • Demonstrated strategic thinker that can help lead a team toward common goals; committed to creating a healthy and productive work environment.
  • Committed to promote COPAL’s goals and priorities in compliance with all policies and procedures and have a deep investment in our shared agenda for change.
  • Experience supervising staff and contractors.
  • Experience in budget planning.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills.
  • Ability to make quick decisions, exercising sound judgment.
  • Ability to be creative and flexible in responding to changing priorities and emerging needs.
  • Ability to manage time effectively, prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work independently and with limited supervision.
  • Ability to be detail-oriented and highly organized.
  • Ability to develop and manage budget, and direct team to work within budgetary constraints.
  • Ability to maintain staff and agency confidentiality.
  • Strong analytical and management skills.
  • Ability to work within an organizational management team.
  • Exceptional motivational and leadership skills.
  • Proficiency with MS Word, Excel, Power Point.
  • Must be able to work effectively in a mission-driven agency whose clients and staff exhibit significant diversity with respect to race, ethnicity, gender orientation, socio-economic status, nationality, and religion.

Licenses and Certifications:

  • Valid MN Drivers’ License, access to reliable transportation, and the ability to meet COPAL’s driving record requirements.
  •  Must have completed COVID-19 vaccination and/or will have completed the vaccine before starting; COPAL can provide vaccination resources if needed.

ORGANIZATION SUMMARY: COPAL is a grassroots organization that seeks to impact the quality of life for Latinos in Minnesota through working on public policy, leadership, and community service. We are working to build a world that is fair, equitable, enjoyable, and environmentally sustainable by uniting Minnesotan Latinos in a community democracy focused on racial, gender, social, and economic justice.

Diversity and open expression are fundamental to the work of COPAL. We are passionate about building and sustaining an inclusive and equitable working environment where everyone can belong. Every member of our team enriches our work by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and to discover, design, and deliver solutions. We welcome everyone to apply, especially those individuals who are underrepresented in our sector: individuals who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQI+ and gender fluid or gender nonconforming, individuals with disabilities (both seen and unseen), veterans, people of any age or family status. We encourage you to apply even if you feel like you don’t fit 100% of the technical requirements. Equal Opportunity Employer: All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, disability, marital status, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status, genetic information or a protected veteran’s status.

Our organization has a partnership with Metropolitan Alliance of Connected Communities (MACC) to provide administrative services including management of the recruiting process. If you apply for this position, you may see references to MACC in some online materials.