Program Specialist – Parks, Land Use, and the Built Environment (temporarily remote)

Prevention Institute (PI) is a national nonprofit with offices in Oakland, Los Angeles, Houston, and Washington, D.C. Our mission is to build prevention and health equity into key policies and actions at the federal, state, local, and organizational level to ensure that the places where all people live, work, play and learn foster health, safety, and wellbeing. Since 1997, we have partnered with communities, local government entities, foundations, multiple sectors, and public health agencies to bring cutting-edge research, practice, strategy, and analysis to the pressing health and safety concerns of the day. We have applied our approach to injury and violence prevention, healthy eating and active living, land use, health systems transformation, and mental health and wellbeing, among other issues.

Prevention is a systematic process that promotes health, safety, and wellbeing and reduces the frequency and/or severity of illness and injury. Our prevention approach emphasizes:

  • Transforming community environments to prevent problems from occurring before the onset of illness or risk of injury;
  • Elevating equity in health, safety, and wellbeing outcomes; and
  • Prioritizing communities that are most vulnerable to harm and communities that are experiencing the greatest harm.

For more information about how we create healthier, more equitable communities through prevention, see

About the Program Specialist position:

We are seeking a seasoned, versatile practitioner who can apply their values, experience, leadership skills, and network to high-visibility national initiatives. As a health equity organization working to advance racial and environmental justice, PI seeks candidates with a strong grounding in public health strategies and principles. The new position of Program Specialist – Parks, Land Use, and the Built Environment is an exciting opportunity to contribute high-level strategy and content expertise to help implement the innovative People, Parks, and Power (“P3”) national funding initiative, and to grow PI’s portfolio of projects at the intersection of health equity, climate/environmental justice, racial justice, and park equity.

Strong candidates will have played an influential role in winning community-driven policy campaigns grounded in power building, health equity, and racial justice. Beyond excelling in policy advocacy and organizing for change, candidates should have content area expertise in health equity, park and green space equity, land use, environmental justice, climate justice, or related issues, as well as a strong network in these fields. Experience providing high-level technical assistance and serving in an intermediary role is strongly preferred. A track record of working in movement building settings and managing large initiatives is also desirable. Working closely with PI’s senior leadership and project staff, the Program Specialist will be responsible for implementing high-level programmatic duties.

Responsibilities include:

  • Serve as a collaborative thought leader and core member of PI’s Park Equity team (10%): Work in a variety of capacities with PI’s internal team, Local Partners (grantees), consultants, and funders to support upstream policy and systems change for park equity in communities across the U.S. Apply public health, environmental justice, and racial justice knowledge and skills to co-create strategies that support equitable communities. Identify and pursue opportunities to grow PI’s body of park and green space equity work. Manage funder relationships, write grant proposals, and prepare grant reports. Monitor and communicate progress in key project areas and maintain awareness of the organizational “big picture.” Contribute to strategy discussions to enhance alignment across PI projects. Provide subject matter expertise internally and externally on areas of specialization. Assist in overseeing external program evaluation with a focus on policy advocacy and field building.
  • Provide high-level technical assistance (TA) to support our Local Partners’ success (25%): Provide high-level leadership for one or more national funding initiatives, acting as a funder intermediary and TA provider. Establish and maintain strong working relationships and communications with Local Partners to understand their assets and identify and be responsive to their needs. Working with an external consultant team, provide and/or facilitate targeted, need-based TA to support community-driven policy change initiatives. Facilitate peer learning opportunities and connections among Local Partners that build on individual and collective assets and strengthen their capacity to achieve their objectives.
  • Field building (25%): Advance the movement for park equity beyond our Local Partner sites by identifying and facilitating dialogue with equity allies in government and traditional environmental groups around the concept of operationalizing equity. Track and analyze municipal park and urban greening policies and ballot measures throughout the U.S. Analyze primary research, grey literature, program documents, and evaluation materials. Interface with partners to identify needs in the field, and co-design evidence/practice-based training and convening strategies reflecting PI’s unique vantage point.
  • Issue framing and communications (20%): With PI’s communications team and consultants, advance a new narrative about park equity that centers health equity, racial justice, and policy and systems change, as well as power building and leadership by communities most impacted by inequities. Collaboratively conceptualize, research, and write papers, policy briefs, technical reports, fact sheets, presentations, blogs, and other materials on areas of specialization. Build in adequate time for multiple layers of internal review and integrate input that results in improved products. Develop materials for a range of audiences, from professional to general public, and for various learning styles.
  • National network building (20%): Conceptualize and lead network building efforts to grow the movement for park equity throughout the U.S. Build bridges with environmental justice, climate justice, and racial justice allies. Cultivate high-level partnerships with leaders and staff of public agencies, equity allies, research partners, and other key stakeholders. Analyze and communicate the impact of PI’s network building work and the growing park equity movement. Represent PI in external meetings, interviews, conferences, and convenings.

Due to physical distancing measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, this position will begin remotely. We are looking for candidates who can navigate the challenges of remote onboarding. Ultimately, when we return to our offices, our expectation is that this staff member will be based in either our Oakland or Los Angeles office.

Required qualifications: 

  • A minimum of 10 years’ relevant experience working on health equity, park and green space equity, environmental justice, climate justice, and/or closely related issues. 
  • Demonstrated understanding of the links between community/built environments and health equity, and a strong commitment to racial justice.
  • Extensive experience working in/with low-income communities and communities of color.
  • Track record of working on community-driven local policy initiatives or legislation, power building strategies and tactics, and local level policy analysis/development/advocacy.
  • Hands on experience providing high-level technical assistance on topic areas relevant to park and green space equity from a policy and systems change perspective.
  • A strong, active network in fields relevant to PI’s work.
  • A high degree of flexibility, initiative, and willingness to roll up one’s sleeves in a dynamic, small-team environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in partnership with a wide range of groups including community-based organizations, intermediary groups, multi-sector coalitions, government agencies, and funders.
  • Strong communications skills including public speaking, and ability to represent PI in external settings and with the media.
  • Excellent research, analytical, and writing skills with a grounding in policy and systems change.
  • Demonstrated experience growing a portfolio of work including fundraising, working on large philanthropic initiatives, managing funder relationships, and building partnerships.
  • Collaborative and team-oriented with strong interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to travel across the U.S. when conditions permit.
  • A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, as well as lived experience.

Desired qualifications:

  • A master’s degree in a relevant field.
  • Strong facilitation skills.
  • Experience with strategic communications focused on policy advocacy, narrative change, and media advocacy.
  • Familiarity working or collaborating with traditional environmental/conservation organizations from an equity perspective.
  • A continuous learner, a desire to learn and grow, and consistency in integrating feedback to improve work quality.
  • Supervisory experience and skills.

Prevention Institute has a strong commitment to building a staff that is rich with cultural, social, and experiential diversity. Candidates who want to join us on this journey and can contribute to that goal are encouraged to apply and to identify their strengths and experiences in this area.

Salary and Benefits: This is a full-time position with a salary range of $115,000 to $150,000 per year. The appropriate salary level is determined by a review of relevant experience and qualifications and how they compare to stages within the range, as well as others in the level. Compensation includes a generous benefits package, including healthcare and dental insurance, paid time off, a wellness benefit, and retirement plan, among others.

To apply: Please email all required information to; please include “Program Specialist – Parks, Land Use, and the Built Environment” in the subject line of your email. The requirements for a complete application are a cover letter, resume, and brief writing sample. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Applications will be considered as they are submitted; the position remains open until filled.

No phone calls, please.