The Highlander Mission // La Misión de Highlander

Highlander serves as a catalyst for grassroots organizing and movement building in Appalachia and the South. We work with people fighting for justice, equality and sustainability, supporting their efforts to take collective action to shape their own destiny. Through popular education, participatory research, and cultural work, we help create spaces — at our center and in local communities — where people gain knowledge, hope and courage, expanding their ideas of what is possible. We develop leadership and help create and support strong, democratic organizations that work for justice, equality, and sustainability in their own communities and that join with others to build broad movements for social, economic, and restorative environmental change. //

Highlander sirve como catalizador para las organizaciones de base y como desarrollador de movimientos en Appalachia y el sur. Trabajamos con personas que luchan por la justicia, la igualdad y la sostenibilidad, apoyando sus esfuerzos para emprender acciones colectivas y dar forma a su propio destino. A través de la educación popular, la investigación participativa y el trabajo cultural ayudamos a crear espacios — en nuestro centro y en las comunidades locales — donde las personas adquieren conocimiento, esperanza y coraje, ampliando sus ideas de lo que es posible. Desarrollamos liderazgo, ayudamos a crear y apoyar organizaciones fuertemente democráticas que trabajan por la justicia, la igualdad y la sostenibilidad de sus propias comunidades y que se unen a otras para construir amplios movimientos para el cambio ambiental, social, económico y reparador.

Learn more about Highlander’s current and past work here:

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Kitchen & Dining Crew Member (Part-Time)

Highlander is searching for a talented, self-motivated, and detail-oriented Kitchen & Dining Crew member to serve on our Radical Hospitality staff. Highlander provides lodging and dining services to thousands of program participants and guests every year. As a member of the Radical Hospitality staff, this position will often be asked to tell the stories of Highlander’s educational and accompaniment work as a catalyst for grassroots organizing and movement building in the US South and beyond.


The Kitchen & Dining Crew member will be on the Radical Hospitality department and work under the supervision of the Chef. The Radical Hospitality department works closely with other departments to fulfill the organization’s mission. The ideal candidate is someone who can work as part of a dynamic and diverse staff, who can participate in collective problem solving and communicate clearly and directly, and who is committed to providing the best services to all people who gather at Highlander.

More specific responsibilities are listed below. Please note: the statements below are intended to describe the general nature and scope of work being performed by this position. It is not, however, a complete listing of all responsibilities, duties, and/or skills required. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Be a part of departmental & organizational trainings and events
  • Welcome and engage program participants and other Highlander guests
  • Ability to orient people where they need to be when arriving to Highlander
  • Assist in planning and cooking meals for guests (meal prep, cooking, baking, serving etc.)
  • Receive task delegation in-person and on project management app
  • Organize kitchen supplies stocking areas
  • Support in taking inventory and prepare lists for ordering ingredients and supplies
  • responsible for receiving orders and keeping track of invoices
  • Keep track of multiple inventories (supplies, equipment, food, etc.)
  • Inform the Chef and/or appropriate staff of maintenance issues and repairs
  • Maintain a clean and functional kitchen
  • Washes dishes and kitchen equipment
  • Assist in the proper care of equipment and sanitation of the kitchen
  • Service and operate an assortment of kitchen and food service equipment
  • Demonstrate consistency, dependability, organizational skills, and cleanliness
  • Support with the community garden planning, planting, harvesting, and general upkeep



 Applicants invited to an initial interview will show evidence of a majority of the following:

  • Excellent communicating skills, listening skills, and organizational skills
  • Commitment to working in a multi-racial, cross-class, multi-gendered work place that centers the leadership of people most directly impacted by systems of oppression
  • At least 2 years professional food service experience
  • Familiarity with; email, spreadsheets, word, and general technology
  • Ability to work closely and proactively with the different departments and staff members across the organization
  • A desire and capacity to learn the work (and keep up with the fast-pace changes to that work) of the various departments that fulfill Highlander’s mission
  • The ability to proactively engage and build rapport with guests and other staff members
  • Ability to self-motivate and make good independent decisions based on your training and experience, regardless of supervisory oversight



  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • A demonstrated understanding of sanitation standards
  • Previous experience with hospitality
  • 2 years cooking in a professional kitchen
  • Comfort working in a rural setting
  • Speaking/writing abilities in language(s) other than English (Spanish would be a huge plus)



This role will report directly to the Chef, who is supervised by the Radical Hospitality Coordinator, and the Radical Hospitality Coordinator is supervised by the Executive Director(s). Members of Highlander’s staff are expected to participate in regular departmental meetings, monthly staff & Board committee meetings, and three Board meetings per year. Highlander is a highly participatory workplace, and the expectation is that staff work collegially and interdependently with one another to achieve the organization’s mission. There is ample opportunity for staff members to work both autonomously and interdependently across the organization.


This Kitchen & Dining Crew position is a part-time hourly position (averaging between 20-30 hours/week) that will earn $24.71 per hour. This position will earn sick, vacation, and holiday leave at a pro-rated basis. This role also comes with exceptional employer-paid health, vision, and dental benefits through Blue Cross-Blue Shield Tennessee (health) and Guardian (dental/vision), and is made available to dependents. The coverage is available for purchase by spouses/partners. The health benefits include a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) to cover eligible out-of-pocket expenses. A TIAA-CREF employer-paid annual retirement contribution after a year of employment and a nominal life insurance plan are also included. Other current benefits include a generous staff development stipend and other opportunities for professional development on a case-by-case basis. A more detailed summary of benefits can be provided upon request.

Due to the nature of the role, this position is a non-exempt position, which means it qualifies for overtime pay. Highlander staff are highly encouraged to take advantage of existing benefits to account for a fast-paced environment, occasional weekend work, and occasional travel.


Highlander is located on 186 acres of land in rural East Tennessee (near Knoxville) and is considered a “movement home” by thousands of people from all over the world. We encourage applications from East Tennesseans and anyone who can commit to being on-site daily, during evenings, and weekends (when most of our guests and groups are with us). Highlander offers up to $1,000.00 in relocation reimbursements and, when available, temporary transitional housing on-site.


Step 1: In one PDF document, compile:

  • cover letter, (tell us a little about yourself and your relationship with food)
  • resume/CV,
  • name & contact information for 3 references


Step 2: Email that PDF document to Write “Kitchen & Dining Crew” in the Subject Line. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Timeline: The application process will be open until position is filled. We hope to fill this position as soon as possible. Select applicants will receive an initial invitation to interview with the Chef. The final candidate(s) will interview with the entire Radical Hospitality staff either in-person or virtually.

Highlander is an equal opportunity employer, and we especially encourage applications from Black, brown, and indigenous people, women, LGBTQ+ and gender non-conforming folks, and working-class/cash poor people. Folks directly impacted by the criminal justice system are also encouraged to apply.


If you have a question about the position before applying, please send it to and someone from the Highlander committee will reply.