About Weeksville Heritage Center:

Recently announced as New York City's newest Cultural Institutions Group (CIG) member, the first since 1998, Weeksville Heritage Center (Weeksville) is one of New York City’s cultural treasures. Located in the heart of central Brooklyn, Weeksville is a multidisciplinary historic cultural center dedicated to preserving and modernizing the story of the 19th century African American community of Weeksville.

Rediscovered in 1968 by community activists and restored and renovated in 2005, Weeksville includes three historic and fully furnished homes which date back to the 1860’s, 1900’s, and 1930’s, as well as a 20,0000 sq ft. cultural and educational center. Today the work of Weeksville is to document, preserve, and interpret the history of free African American communities and to create, inspire, generate, and catalyze innovative, contemporary uses of Black history through education, the arts, and civic engagement.

Weeksville is a nationally significant, exceptionally well-documented and rare extant example of an independent African American community organized by Black entrepreneurs and land investors to promote economic, social, and political rights. Unlike other known antebellum free Black communities, Weeksville survived by becoming the core of the racially mixed Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn after the Civil War, and is now a haven for the community, where people can come together with a sense of shared history, birthright, and purpose.

About the Opportunity:

The story of Weeksville is different from the traditional Black history narrative, providing a unique and extraordinary opportunity for discussions of economic freedom and social justice that is universal and timeless. This history has particular significance and resonance in today’s climate of racial reckoning, making Weeksville primed to be a national symbol in the quest for equity and racial justice. Weeksville is currently at an inflection point in its history. With a strong legacy, recent designation as a CIG, and an expanded portfolio of programming, we seek a leader to take us into the next stage of our evolution and impact, seizing the opportunity to build on what has been done and define the story we tell for the future.

Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the President will set the vision for how Weeksville will evolve to meet the current moment, as well as lead, expand, and inform the implementation of Weeksville’s recently developed strategic plan. This exciting work will include continuing to build the organization’s infrastructure, team, and culture; expanding and diversifying philanthropic revenue opportunities; overseeing the strengthening of Weeksville’s programming; and defining Weeksville’s identity as a meaningful institution in Black American history, present, and future.

What You Will Do:

  • Executive Leadership: Collaboratively implement the current strategic plan and lead Weeksville’s future growth as a premiere institution dedicated to the elevation and inspiration of Black history through expanded programming and impact, and a concurrent expansion of the organization’s structure, people, and resources to support a strong and sustainable future.
  • Fundraising and Partnerships: Increase and diversify earned and philanthropic revenue, with a focus on stewarding and developing new and existing individual donor revenue; cultivate a portfolio of relationships and partnerships with national and local institutions and elected officials.
  • People and Culture Building: Build processes and practices that result in a healthy, inclusive, and collaborative team culture; effectively manage support and develop team members at all levels to achieve goals.
  • Financial Oversight: Oversee all fiscal activities including the implementation of the appropriate systems and staffing to ensure fiscal compliance and sustainability.
  • Programmatic Oversight: Hire and enthusiastically support the VP of Learning & Education who will build on Weeksville’s existing intellectual materials and resources and work to expand public knowledge and emphasize learning and engagement.
  • Organizational Spokesperson & Brand Elevation: Serve as a clear, powerful spokesperson and ambassador for Weeksvile’s history and its relevance in current Black consciousness conversations in a variety of audiences and contexts; build media and strategic partnerships to elevate and expand the brand and reach of Weeksville as an institution.

What Qualifies You:

  • Mission Alignment: A demonstrated commitment to elevating the stories of all Black people — past, present and future; a sophisticated understanding of Black history in America and how it influences the present day Black experiences; a nuanced and articulable understanding of racial equity, social justice, and their intersections.
  • Strategic Vision & Planning: You have envisioned, expanded, and led the implementation of a strategic plan with accountability measures.
  • Resource Development: Track record of raising resources ($2M+), developing partnerships, and diversifying funding, ideally with experience raising money at the low seven-figure level and with your own well established relationships and networks.
  • Financial Oversight: Strong understanding of financial principles to ensure the organization’s financial health and to manage the proper systems and people in charge of managing the day to day budgeting and accounting.
  • Culture and Team Building: Through collaborative leadership, you have developed strong organizational cultures where teams are cohesive and motivated to achieve shared goals.
  • Infrastructure and Systems Building: Experience building out the functions and systems of an organization; proven ability to design and operationalize systems and processes to build and improve infrastructure.
  • Board Management: Experience reporting to, working in partnership with, and building a fundraising board of trustees.
  • Years of Experience: At least 10 years leading, building, and developing organizations in a growing, mission-driven context.

Commitment to Equity

The Weeksville Heritage Center is an equal opportunity employer, and strongly encourages applicants from all identities inclusive of race, gender expression, gender identity, sexual identity, ability, religion, age, education, national origin, citizenship, and ethnicity as well as applicants from historically marginalized communities.

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