Who We Are: Political Research Associates
Political Research Associates is a progressive think tank devoted to supporting movements that are building a more just and inclusive democratic society. We expose movements, institutions, and ideologies that undermine human rights.
PRA is the preeminent progressive think tank that monitors and challenges the U.S. Right Wing. For 35 years PRA has built the capacity of social justice change makers to understand, adjust, and do battle with their organized adversaries on the Political Right. We are a broadly respected and trusted source of information and analysis among advocates, journalists, and academics alike, combining a social justice movement orientation with deep expertise on the key groups and individuals at the center of the Right’s new governing coalition, including the Christian Right/theocrats, white nationalists and the “alt-right,” economic libertarians, and Patriots and other right-wing forces.
At PRA our main objectives are to: 1) inform and strengthen the work of frontline social justice partners; 2) expose and isolate organized opponents of human and civil rights; and, 3) shape public debate of key issues, using our profile as a think tank to open space for partners to advance needed solutions. Distinct from some other “watchdog” organizations, social justice groups comprise PRA’s principle constituency. PRA is likewise unusual in having a broad focus across many sectors of the Right, from neo-Nazis to free-market neoliberals.
Who You Are: Research Analyst
You are a talented researcher, analyst, and writer. Driven and committed to social justice, big ideas and even bigger challenges excite you. You recognize that in this moment of crisis, social justice advocates will have to make significant adjustments to refashion ourselves as an effective resistance movement capable of robust defense of rights and liberty—with emphasis on those threatened by racism, xenophobia, and gender & sexual violence. You also see that we need a forward, welcoming stance that looks outward to the millions of people not yet part of our networks who are alarmed and fearful of what they see happening in our country and will join with us if we create appropriate opportunities for them. The idea of helping build such a movement is what gets you out of bed in the morning.
PRA is currently seeking a Research Analyst for our program on Gender and Reproductive Justice. This role will contribute to work focusing on the Religious and Secular Right’s strategies and discourses to curtail gender and reproductive health and rights, strengthen the building of an intersectional agenda to advance gender and reproductive health, rights, and justice, and build links to other social movements. Reporting to the Research Director and working with the Senior Research Analyst you will be contributing to research and educational efforts that are actionable for advocates and allies and that respond to the demands of the current moment: that we address.
The Research Analyst key responsibilities include:
- Contribute to annual programmatic goals and priorities for the Gender and Reproductive Justice program and contribute to program team goals and priorities.
- Contribute to expanding our knowledge of the Right’s, and particularly the Christian Right’s, strategies to limit reproductive justice, rights and access and impose gender conformity/uniformity, to understand intersections with the economic Right, and to support the building of an intersectional resistance agenda.
- Regular writing, including analyses, profiles, and activity updates of these anti-reproductive rights entities for publication, as well as educational materials tailored to various audiences and social justice constituencies.
- Contributing to our blog and web resources.
- Develop and maintain ongoing productive relationships with organizing and advocacy groups in order to improve the quality and impact of both our and their work.
- Keep research team and development and communications staff informed of and conversant in your areas of research.
- As appropriate, and with support of Research Director, identify opportunities for collaboration with staff and outside researchers/writers.
- Contribute to PRA’s media and communications strategy in the area of gender and reproductive justice.
- Assist organizing and advocacy partners with written and oral briefings, action research, and communications support.
- Support the development function by contributing to proposals, briefing funders, and reporting on program outcomes and impact.
- Participate in organizational development and administrative projects as needed and assigned.
Qualifications: Commitment to the vision and mission of PRA; experience researching and writing on the U.S. Right, the Christian Right, and Gender and Reproductive Justice; familiarity with social justice movements and organizing and advocacy groups in the gender and reproduction health, rights, and justice sectors; excellent research and analytical skills; good writing, editing, and proofreading skills; excellent time management and attention to deadlines; critical and creative thinking; ability to speak publicly and present complex ideas interactively; ability to work both independently and as part of a team; ability to support and contribute to all areas of the organization’s research program; and willingness to learn new skills.
More on PRA:
Our contributions to social justice come in the form of strategy memos; workshops, briefings, and consultations; investigative articles and reports; an award-winning quarterly magazine, The Public Eye; op-eds and expert media commentary; a large online archive of research and analysis and a unique research library open to the public; adaptation of some of the best academic research for use by activists; and long-term strategic partnerships with visionary social justice organizers. A small sample of our many and varied accomplishments over our 35-year history include:
- Becoming a leading resource on white nationalism, right-wing populism, and fascism. With deep expertise on the histories and contemporary expressions of these movements, PRA has played a prominent role over the past year educating audiencesabout the threat of a right-wing populist upsurge as open bigotry became an increasingly prominent feature of the U.S. presidential campaign, particularly around the candidacy of Donald Trump. We were a contrarian voice of caution to those who disregarded the viability of an electoral strategy rooted in a cross-class and -gender coalition of white people. Since the election, we have been overwhelmed with requests interpret what happened and prepare social justice communities for the consequences.
- PRA anticipated the current resurgence of right-wing paramilitaries, and we have exposed leading so-called Patriot movement groups, including the III% militiaimplicated in armed attack on Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis as well as the recent plot to bomb a mosque and Somali immigrant housing in Kansas. In particular, we have backstopped rural community resistance to right-wing paramilitary groups with opposition research, strategic counsel, community and press briefings, and co-publication (with Rural Organizing Project) of Up In Arms, a report and activist resource kit.
- PRA is a leading national resource for challenging one of the leading threats to civil rights and labor laws, namely the dominionist (soft theocracy) strategy of claiming exemptions under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. This approach got a big boost in the 2014 Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision and has been attempted in a number of states, including Indiana, Arizona, and Mississippi. We expect religious freedom claims may emerge as a prominent strategy of the incoming administration, in which dominionists are playing a prominent role.
- Exposing the role of right-wing U.S. evangelicals in promoting state persecution of LGBTI people in Uganda and elsewhere on the African continent. PRA’s groundbreaking research in this area has shaped activist, media, policy, and academic responses to this human rights crisis. Our research provides one of the bases for a lawsuit charging crimes against humanity brought by Sexual Minorities Uganda against American anti-LGBT campaigner Scott Lively. And, PRA has worked closely with U.S. activist groups to confront and challenge Lively and other “exporters” of U.S. culture war politics.
- Collaborating with community and labor groups to expose & challenge forces attempting to privatize schools, transit, and public health systems in Massachusetts. PRA is the research partner to a coalition that is pushing back against the conversion of public services into profit centers for private enterprise.
- Shaping press coverage and public debate on current events and major news stories ranging from the Oklahoma City bombing by neo-Nazi Timothy McVeigh, to the anti-Obama Tea Party backlash, to the January 2016 occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge by Patriot movement paramilitary groups.
Salary is on a social justice nonprofit scale, commensurate with skills and experience, with a target range of $47,000 - $50,000 annually. Generous compensation package includes full medical & dental, retirement, fabulous colleagues, and a collaborative working environment. This is a full-time 2 year salaried position based in Somerville, Massachusetts, with the possibility of extension. PRA is a racial justice and equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. People of color, LGBTQ persons, and women are strongly encouraged to apply.
Political Research Associates is committed to hiring someone with the right mix of experience (both traditional and nontraditional), political commitment, and potential to grow with us. We strongly encourage people from communities most negatively affected by right-wing ideologies & campaigns to apply, particularly: people of color; immigrants; women and feminine-identified people; lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and Two-Spirit people; genderqueer, trans, intersex, and gender non-conforming people.
HOW TO APPLY
To apply please send a cover letter, resume, a writing sample, and references to Jennifer Worden at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for a guaranteed review of your application is Dec. 20, 2018.