DSA-LA Conflict Resolution Team: Job Descriptions and Call for Applications

Within our organization, we’re deeply committed to building and maintaining structures that support our members and ensure our spaces do not reproduce the systems of oppression we collectively seek to dismantle.

Over the next two months, the Steering Committee will be working to recruit, interview, and train a Conflict Resolution Team. Once in place, the Conflict Resolution Team will play a critical role in providing members ongoing access to:

  • appointments for informal, confidential peer support from trained comrades;
  • clear mechanisms to make formal reports of misconduct (including harassment) to be investigated and mediated by external third parties;
  • opportunities to engage in educational forums on organizational culture that enable all of us to examine and unlearn patterns of behavior normalized under capitalist social relations.

It’s our collective responsibility to ensure that our organizational spaces are safe and empowering, and that our members have the support they need to engage in our collective political struggle. To this end, the DSA-LA Steering Committee is opening a call for members to apply to join the DSA-LA Conflict Resolution Team, to fulfill either the responsibilities of:

  1. DSA-LA Ombudspeople as outlined in Section B of the DSA-LA Misconduct Policy (ratified on November 2, 2017); or as
  2. Local Harassment Grievance Officers, outlined in Section 2(b) of Resolution 33 (passed at the DSA National Convention in August 2017).

Through this call, which includes an application and an interview with the Steering Committee, we seek to establish a Conflict Resolution team of 3-4 Ombudspeople, and 2 Harassment Grievance Officers.

The responsibilities of DSA-LA Ombudspeople primarily include:

  • Maintain a strong working knowledge of processes outlined in DSA-LA’s Bylaws and Misconduct Policy and Resolution 33
  • Maintain a working knowledge and familiarity with external resources for the purposes of referrals as appropriate, such as empathy circles, low- or no-cost mental health support, trainings on non-violent communications, etc.
  • Commitment to maintaining up to 8 hours of available time for appointments with members  per month, for a year
  • During appointments with members, provide informal peer counseling to members with issues and concerns about their experiences within DSA-LA
  • When asked, share instructions on how to file a formal report of misconduct at the Local level, or a report of harassment at the Local or National level  
  • If persistent themes and patterns concerning organizational culture and practices emerge across sessions, work with the Conflict Resolution Team and Steering Committee to figure out how we can improve as a whole
  • Fulfill annual reporting requirements at the Local level
  • Contribute to the planning and assist in the facilitation of ongoing chapter forums and trainings focused on organizational culture in collaboration with the Anti-Oppression Committee

The responsibilities of DSA-LA Grievance Harassment Officers primarily include:

  • Maintain a strong working knowledge of processes outlined in DSA-LA’s Bylaws and Misconduct Policy and Resolution 33
  • Maintain confidential email “hotline” for reports of misconduct and harassment and respond to emails within 48 hours with confirmation
  • Commitment to responding to reports of harassment as outlined in Section 3 of Resolution 33, including formal contact with the accuser, the accused, and the Steering Committee, on an as-needed basis for a year
  • In cases where reports entail forms of misconduct other than reports of harassment, liaise with the external Investigative Commission and notify the Steering Committee as appropriate.
  • Maintain confidential records of reports, and fulfill annual reporting requirements at the Local and National levels.
  • Contribute to the planning and assist in the facilitation of ongoing chapter forums and trainings focused on organizational culture in collaboration with the Anti-Oppression Committee.

Training, Relevant Skills, and Eligibility for the Conflict Resolution Team

Before undertaking Conflict Resolution Team responsibilities, both DSA-LA Ombudspeople and Harassment Grievance Officers will be provided extensive training by the DSA-LA Steering Committee (focused on chapter processes and recordkeeping), external training by organizational resources with expertise in transformative justice, and trainings from the National Grievance Committee as they become available.

While trainings and opportunities for skill-building will be provided before undertaking responsibilities and on an ongoing basis, relevant skills, experience, and assets of applicants include:

  • Active listening skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Experience maintaining confidential records and/or documents
  • Training or experience in fields such as social work, counseling, education an asset
  • Fluency in languages other than English an asset
  • A strong commitment to supporting liberatory, transformative organizational responses to misconduct rather than punitive ones

All members in good standing who do not currently hold elected leadership roles on the Steering Committee, as Committee Chairs, or as Committee Coordinators are invited to apply to join the DSA-LA Conflict Resolution Team to fulfill either the role of Ombudspeople or Harassment Grievance Officers.

If you are interested in applying, please find the application here. Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis, but applications should be submitted by March 5, 2018 at midnight.   

For any questions regarding the application process, the DSA-LA Misconduct Policy, or Resolution 33, please email steeringcommittee[at]dsa-la.com.