Community Design Manager

Chicago, IL


Urban Initiatives is seeking a Community Design Manager who will implement and facilitate the organization’s effort to deepen the potential power of sport and play within individual communities and across Chicago over time. This manager will help cultivate trust-based relationships with a wide variety of stakeholder groups in concentrated communities. They will lead through three primary areas of responsibility, including:

  • Cultivate + Implement Community-Based Sport + Play Activation

  • Support Parent Engagement + Organizing

  • Organizational + Team Support

Due to the evolving and expanding nature of UI’s vision to significantly scale sport- and play-based social and emotional learning across Chicago, these responsibilities have potential to significantly grow over time.


Activate individual communities to impact and influence the role sport- and play-based SEL has locally and across Chicago through three priority areas:

Cultivate + Implement Community-Based Sport + Play Activation 

  • Implement new SY23 community-centered pilot initiatives across 3-5 UI partner communities to align to community-driven design strategy, ensure stakeholder satisfaction, and UI team effectiveness.

  • Coordinate program logistics including calendars, schedules, equipment procurement, and evaluation with program partners

  • Uphold high program quality standards in alignment with UI methodology to foster participant social and emotional learning

  • Manage, organize, and coordinate convening events that build connective tissue between stakeholders in priority areas (e.g. individual communities, partnerships, etc.)

  • Provide consistent communication to various stakeholders about pilot progress, including UI’s Innovation, Learning + Instruction, and Program teams, as well as key school and community partners

  • Serve as primary liaison on community-based pilot development and organizational investment

  • Cultivate trust-based relationships across all stakeholder groups in individual communities, including but not limited to young people, UI staff, schools, parks, libraries, nonprofit organizations, businesses, neighborhood associations, block clubs, and public officials.

  • Be persistently present to gather community insights to inform UI’s community design strategies, including through asset-mapping, empathy interviews, community research, etc.

  • Manage a portfolio of community-based partners within prioritized communities, including but not limited to local schools, parks, libraries, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and neighborhood associations.

    1. Support processes of needs assessment and school-driven design of program models with prospective new 21st Century Learning partners.

  • Manage stakeholder satisfaction, addressing challenges and strengthening UI’s work when necessary.

  • Build connective tissue within communities across all stakeholders and partners.

  • Be persistently present to gather community insights to inform UI’s community design strategies, including through asset-mapping, empathy interviews, community research, etc.

Support Parent Engagement + Organizing

  • Implement organizational strategy around parent engagement, organizing, and activation in individual communities.

  • Support Learning team to equip program team members on parent engagement across existing UI programs.

Organizational + Team Support

  • Represent UI with various stakeholder audiences, such as parents, community organizations, community leaders, and public officials.

  • Manage consistent communication with UI team members.

  • Collaborate closely with UI’s Innovation and Learning teams around design, partnerships, and learning.

  • Collaborate consistently with UI leaders to identify and connect with community-based opportunities, including but not limited to:

    • Support community-based talent recruitment efforts,

    • Support Learning opportunities for UI coaches regarding community engagement,

    • Implement Community Impact Days across OST school partners; collaborate with the development team to secure volunteers,

    • Support recruitment of mentors for the Coach for Success program,

    • Secure community sites for TTL + CFS programs,

    • Connect potential vendors with the CSI team,

    • Share community resources for inclusion in family communications.

  • Perform other duties as needed to support UI’s mission and vision.


  • Passion for sport and play to drive social-emotional learning across Chicago

  • Expert relationship builder with variety of stakeholder groups and across lines of difference

  • High-energy, determined optimist that naturally identifies strengths and assets to amplify

  • Experience with equity-based, liberatory, and/or community-driven design processes

  • Commitment to interrupting all forms of oppression in the workplace

  • Commitment to supporting a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for young people

  • Experience living and/or working deeply with historically marginalized communities

  • Ability to communicate fluently in Spanish is strongly preferred

Compensation Package

  • $50,000 base salary

  • Health, dental, and vision insurance premiums paid 100% by Urban Initiatives (for employees and for their children)

  • Life, short term disability, and long term disability insurance paid 100% by Urban Initiatives

  • Option to contribute to a 401K with up to a 3% match of your salary after one full year of employment

  • Flexible schedule and work from home environment

  • 120 hours of paid time off (PTO), accrued monthly (PTO may be prorated based on start date.)

  • Paid holidays (Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day)

  • Comp time

How to Apply 

Submit an application by clicking the link below. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis beginning July 25, 2022.

Target Start Date is September 12, 2022


Urban Initiatives is dedicated to intentionally fostering a climate of purposeful inclusion in our workplace, and candidates of diverse backgrounds and identities are strongly encouraged to apply. Urban Initiatives is an Equal Opportunity employer. Personnel are chosen on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. This is in accordance with federal and state law.

Urban Initiatives Overview

Founded in 2003, Urban Initiatives is a nonprofit organization that runs youth development programs in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Urban Initiatives’ mission is to use the power of sport and play to empower Chicago’s youth to achieve academic success, develop social-emotional skills, and build social capital. Currently, Urban Initiatives serves an estimated 60 schools throughout the City of Chicago.

Urban Initiatives is preparing to scale program operations to have a significantly greater impact across Chicago. Our programs support social emotional learning (SEL) and demand for these services is greater than ever. Maturing the administrative capacity of our fundraising team is critical to raise the funds necessary to accelerate our impact.