Systems Change Advocate, Center for Independent Living, Inc., Berkeley, CA

About the position

The CIL is seeking a Systems Change Advocate to support community organizing and systems-change advocacy in local and statewide campaigns and coalitions.


Who We Are

The Center for Independent Living (CIL) provides advocacy and services that increase awareness, collaboration, and opportunity among people with disabilities and the community at large.

CIL's programs provide people with skills, knowledge, and resources that empower them to eliminate damaging and stereotypical notions of disability so that they can strive toward realizing their full human potential.

Position Summary

The is seeking a Systems Change Advocate to support community organizing and systems-change advocacy in local and statewide campaigns and coalitions, in order to advocate for greater justice, independence and interdependence, and community living for people with disabilities.

The ideal candidate would have experience with community organizing and grassroots advocacy, a passion for working on disability rights and Disability Justice issues, a strong intersectional politic and understanding of how power, identity, and privilege operate across multiple systems, and interest in recruiting and supporting community members to drive advocacy priorities and change campaigns. Knowledge of, or willingness to learn, disability-related policy is preferred but not required. Candidates should be familiar with, or willing to learn, tracking measurable results and producing both numbers-driven and narrative campaign plans and outcome reporting.

This person is also a member of the CIL Community Engagement team, and may represent the organization to the general public, partner organizations, government officials, and funders.


  • Demonstrates commitment to CIL and to the vision, mission, and Independent Living philosophy of the organization.
  • Adheres to agency policies and procedures – particularly those dealing with confidentiality – in all aspects of agency operations.
  • Participates in developing and sustaining an organizational culture based on safety, mutual respect, justice and equity, and open communication.
  • Is reliable, organized, able to work independently, meets deadlines, and supportive of other employees
  • Is able to define problems, collect and report data, work with data collection and storage systems, establish facts and draw conclusions that support advocacy and community organizing
  • Possesses the personal skills needed to interact effectively with consumers, staff, volunteers, members of the community and civic leaders.
  • Maintains accurate and detailed records; documenting, in particular, service to consumers.
  • Advocates for the rights and dignity of consumers, regardless of disability, age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and more.


  • Alongside consumers and community members, the Systems Change Advocate develops new systems change campaigns, supports campaign strategy and vision, and coordinates direct actions, including engaging with elected officials or other points of campaign pressure.
  • Recruits and supports consumers and community members in developing leadership, advocacy, and community organizing skills; responsible for list-building community members interested in engaging in distinct advocacy areas.
  • Attends coalition meetings, builds and strengthens cross-organizational partnerships, and engages cross-disability communities in current advocacy campaigns related to affordable and accessible housing, IHSS and long-term supports and services, COVID-19 equity and masking, and more.
  • Develops and facilitates presentations on Disability Rights and Disability Justice, grassroots and public policy advocacy, Independent Living priorities and community organizing, and other topics as assigned.
  • Builds community capacity for disability engagement through education, outreach activities, community organizing, and mentoring and designated community events.
  • Supports the Community Engagement Program Manager in community capacity by establishing effective working relationships with local, state and federal elected representatives and participates on committees, commissions, and councils as deemed appropriate.


  • Develops, conducts, and participates in outreach efforts including visits with other community-based organizations, grassroots groups, local and state entities, and other community events, etc. to present on CIL’s programs and services
  • Provides educational forums and presentations on topics related to independent living, Disability Engagement, Disability Rights and Disability Justice, to consumers and other community members or groups.
  • Attends relevant community meetings and collaborates with other agencies on programs, advocacy campaigns, and special projects.


  • Bachelor's Degree or a combination of education and experience that would be considered equivalent.
  • Life experience with disability.
  • Valid California Driver’s License, proof of insurance, and/or the ability to arrange necessary transportation for travel.
  • High degree of confidentiality, diplomacy, discretion and tact.
  • Sign language, Spanish, and/or other language skills preferred.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounter while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

This position is intended to be hybrid, working partially from CIL offices with options for days working from a remote location. This position often works in the community at events and meetings.

Reasonable accommodations will be made for individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions on request.


If you’re interested in joining CIL's team, please submit the following application materials:

  • A cover letter describing your interest in CIL and how your past experience has prepared you for this role.
  • Resume

All job offers are contingent on passing a pre-employment background check.

If you need reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify HR at or 510-841-4776 x3132.

Center for Independent Living Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity), national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or status as a protected veteran. Persons with disabilities, veterans, women, and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Center for Independent Living Inc. is an E-Verify participating employer.


$23 - $25 per hour

Apply for Systems Change Advocate

Center for Independent Living, Inc.
Berkeley, CA
Additional Info Email: