BCID job opening: Systems Advocate (part-time)

Systems Advocate job opening

Founded in 1956, the Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled’s mission is to improve the lives of people with disabilities. Led by and staffed by people with disabilities, we offer services, support groups and peer counseling, along with an active advocacy and outreach program. BCID is part of the independent living movement, which works to advance the independence and civil rights of all people with disabilities in countries around the world. 


BCID is seeking a part-time (14-28 hours per week) Systems Advocate. The advocate must be a part of the disability community and ready to work to make sure that people with disabilities are guaranteed their civil rights by promoting systematic changes in transportation, housing and other areas. The advocate is a grassroots organizer, a strategizer and a public face of BCID. Systems advocates are part of a state-wide Systems Advocacy Network (SSAN) organized by NYAIL, the New York Association on Independent Living. The network works toward the full inclusion of people with disabilities across New York State. 

The advocate recruits volunteers and involves them in BCID and SSAN projects already underway and in new projects they develop as a group. The advocate also seeks partnerships with other community organizations and leaders and works to win support for our initiatives from elected officials and favorable coverage from news outlets. 


The systems advocate: 

  • takes a lead role in developing strategy for advocacy campaigns on transportation, housing and other system change priorities. 
  • organizes grassroots campaigns, including recruiting and training volunteers, public education and connecting with allies. Turns out people to attend and speak out in support of BCID priorities at meetings, local events and public hearings. 
  • plans and leads visits to decision-makers in Albany, City Hall and Brooklyn to educate them about BCID priorities. Networks to educate them on issues and concerns of the disability constituency and how they help us make change. 
  • writes statements and testifies at public hearings, community organizations and other forums to advance BCID’s goals, the independent living philosophy and other important issues on the disability agenda. 
  • develops relationships with media to advance BCID’s advocacy and programs. 
  • distributes action alerts and other material to volunteers, staff, allies and the public from BCID, the SSAN network and other allies and make sure calls, letters or in-person visits follow. 
  • travels in Brooklyn, New York City and to Albany to attend coalition and task force meetings, briefings, rallies, news conferences and to give testimony. 
  • cultivates and monitors a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Systems Advocate works as part of a team with the Access-A-Ride advocate, the voting engagement advocate, the executive director and other staff. Tracks activity, volunteer efforts and leadership cultivation and drafts reports to NYAIL, the BCID board and funders. This position is currently supervised by the executive director. 


  • Past advocacy experience is highly desirable.
  • Strong organizing and organizational skills. 
  • Knowledge about the independent living movement and philosophy. 
  • A minimum of two years of college or equivalent background. 
  • Excellent verbal and written English, including public speaking required. 
  • Spanish, ASL or other language skills are welcome. 
  • Computer proficiency is necessary. 

How to apply 

Please email your resume and cover letter. In the cover letter, describe your interest in the position and highlight any specific qualifications you have. 

Email to: careers@bcid.org with the subject line: SSAN position. Do not call.

BCID is an equal opportunity employer with an emphasis on outreach to people with disabilities. We actively recruit and hire qualified people who may have disabilities and without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or sexual orientation, or any other protected characteristic as established by law. 

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