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Organization Summary
Founded in 1932, the Highlander Research and Education Center is a popular education center that works with grassroots groups in Appalachia and the South to promote social, racial and economic justice. Highlander is located 25 miles northeast of Knoxville, TN on a 186 acre farm. Highlander’s program work takes place at Highlander and in local communities across the South, as well as the country and sometimes world. Highlander’s long and proud history includes cutting edge work with labor education and organizing, the Civil Rights Movement, environmental justice in Appalachia, and more recently, on the changing demographics of our region. Highlander is world-renowned as a beacon for progressive organizing and widely acclaimed as a leadership development center for grassroots activists across race, culture and generations.

Position Available

Program Associate,

Appalachian Transition Fellowship

Overview of position: 

This staff position will provide administrative support to Highlander’s Education Team, which works together to plan, carry out and evaluate the movement and capacity building educational work of the Highlander Center, and in particular to our Appalachian Transition Fellowship Program. This is a 50% FTE position, with the potential to grow into a full time position.


Primary Responsibilities:

The Appalachian Transition Fellowship ( is a program designed for emerging community leaders committed to working in Central Appalachia for the economic transition of the region.  These fellows will be placed in host communities that are working in in partnerships across the sectors of education, non-profit, business, philanthropy and government.   This position will provide administrative to members of the Education team to carry out this fellowship program, including:

  • Maintaining consistent correspondence with Fellows, Host Communities, funders, and others involved in the program
  • Booking travel for Education Team staff
  • Booking travel for Fellows and other program participants
  • Tracking staff calendars
  • Documentation and storage of meeting notes
  • Assist with grant writing and research
  • Providing support for financial reporting, including credit card reports and tracking of workshop income and expenditure
  • Assisting in development, editing, printing, and copying materials for workshops
  • Scheduling meetings as needed
  • Assisting in the application and interview process for host communities and fellows
  • Organizing orientation, tour and training sessions
  • Helping develop, store, and print documents, reports, and materials
  • Supporting curriculum development
  • Maintaining database
  • Providing ongoing communications, including website updates, reporting, publicity

 Helpful skills and experience for this position:

  • Excellent communication skills, written and verbal
  • Able to establish rapport with activists and community members in diverse ethnic, racial, social and economic groups
  • Commitment to and analysis of racial, gender, economic, environmental and social justice and civil and human rights
  • Experience with social media
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office, including Word and Publisher
  • Computer savvy and willingness to explore and utilize new technologies
  • Detail oriented, big picture understanding
  • Solid administrative skills
  • Time management ability and strong organizational skills
  • Problem-solving, initiative, not afraid to ask questions
  • Writing skills
  • Willingness to work long and irregular hours at times
  • Willingness to travel

Location:  Highlander is a residential workshop center located on 186 acres in east Tennessee northeast of Knoxville in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Some staff live on the Highlander grounds while others live in the surrounding areas, including Knoxville.   This position will be based at the Highlander Center.

Expectations of all staff positions at Highlander:

  • Passionate about Highlander’s purpose and able to communicate our program work effectively.
  • Committed to racial, gender, economic, environmental and social justice.
  • Self-starter as well as a team player.
  • Organized and ability to balance multiple responsibilities with grace.
  • Be an active participant in a democratically participatory organization.
  • Keep Highlander’s purpose and the people with whom we work central.
  • Sense of humor welcome and most helpful.
  • High degree of honesty and integrity.


Salary and Benefits:

Highlander has an existing pay scale and excellent benefits package.

Start Date:

This position starts as soon as possible with plans to fill the position by June 1st. Highlander will start reviewing applications immediately, and the position is open until filled.

 To Apply: 

Send letter of interest, resume, one page writing sample and 3 references to:


Search Committee: Education Team Admin Support

Attn Matt Griffin

Highlander Center

1959 Highlander Way

New Market, TN, 37820

 Email applications are accepted at or by fax at 865-933-3424. Women, people of color, and lesbigaytrans encouraged to apply.



Workshop Center Job Openings at the Highlander Research and Education Center

Positions are part-time and scheduled as needed



Overview of Position

This position is hourly and scheduled on an as-needed basis.

This person will be a member of Highlander’s Workshop Center Team.  This team works together to carry out the responsibilities of Highlander’s Workshop Center and other facilities at Highlander.

Duties Include:

  • Share in cooking and cleaning responsibilities to provide safe, efficient, clean and welcoming spaces at Highlander.
  • Help to plan and prepare workshop center meals, in order to serve a wide variety of healthful menus utilizing a maximum of fresh produce and  a minimum of processed food.
  • Greet workshop participants and help them have the info they may need to get settled
  • Help in the garden and help to insure the maximum usage of on-site organic garden as well as locally grown organic foods.
  • Share Highlander’s rich history and current work with visitors and workshop participants through workshop introductory sessions or      leading tours.
  • Help with childcare services when needed
  • Participate in staff meetings and educational sessions, as requested


Helpful skills and experience for this position:


  • Cooking experience with groups a plus, willingness and interest will be considered.
  • Good communication skills and the ability to speak to groups.
  • Able to establish rapport with activists and community members in diverse ethnic, racial, social and economic groups.
  • Commitment to racial, gender, economic, environmental and social justice and civil and human rights.
  • Belief in Highlander mission and purpose.
  • Gardening interest helpful.


Start Date:

Highlander hopes to fill this position by April 15, 2014.  Position will remain open until all spots are filled.

To Apply: 

Send resume and 3 references to:

Stephanie McAninch

Operations Coordinator/CFO

1959 Highlander Way

New Market, TN  37820

Women, people of color, and lesbigaytrans encouraged to apply.