Southern Regional Director : Louisiana

ROC - Restaurant Opportunities Center United

Restaurant Opportunities Center United

Southern Regional Director

Based in New Orleans, LA

Founded initially after September 11th, 2001, the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) has grown into a national organization with 130,000 restaurant workers, employers and consumers nationwide. Over the last fifteen years, we have won more than a dozen workplace justice campaigns, winning more than $10 million in misappropriated tips and wages and discrimination payments for low-wage workers, and significant policy changes in high-profile fine dining restaurant companies covering thousands of workers. We have partnered with more than 700 responsible restaurant owners to promote the ‘high road’ to profitability and trained more than 5,000 restaurant workers to advance to livable wage jobs within the industry. We have also published more than 50 ground-breaking reports on the restaurant industry, obtaining significant media coverage, played an instrumental role in winning a statewide minimum wage increase for tipped workers, and initiated other policy campaigns at the local, state, and federal level. We have organized restaurant workers to open COLORS restaurants and training facilities in New York and Detroit.

We have launched affiliates in New York, New Orleans, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, Washington, DC, and Massachusetts. Across the country and in each region, our focus is One Fair Wage, a campaign pass policy that would require all restaurants to pay the full minimum wage to all workers, tipped and non-tipped. To win this policy, we must above all else organize and mobilize restaurant workers; to date we have done this through outreach in restaurant-heavy districts, restaurant job training programs that bring workers in and allow us to develop workers’ leadership over time, workplace justice campaigns that allow us to both establish the need for One Fair Wage and mobilize workers against exploitative employers to build energy and momentum on the issue, and research surveys of workers that both help us establish the need for One Fair Wage and reach workers to mobilize. Nationally, we develop workers’ leadership and uphold their voices and stories to support One Fair Wage through national convenings of restaurant workers, Congressional briefings, public fora, and more. In these ways, ROC continues to build power and voice for low-wage restaurant workers at the local, state, and federal levels.

ROC-U is hiring a Southern Regional Director to lead our work in the Southeast organizing and mobilizing workers to win the One Fair Wage Campaign, under the leadership of the Deputy Director of Organizing & Campaigns.


RESPONSIBILITIES: The Southern Regional Director will be responsible for growing the base of restaurant workers in the Southeastern United States that is joining ROC, mobilizing for One Fair Wage, and moving up leadership ladders through the process. The Southern Regional Directors will oversee ROC chapters and ROC stars (emerging ROC chapters) in the Southern region – this currently includes a chapter in Louisiana, plans to hire staff in North Carolina and Mississippi, and an active online base in Tennessee. The Southern Regional Director will hold Lead Organizers each in these states responsible for meeting metrics with regard to worker recruitment, mobilization, and leadership development; each state will have varying grant deliverables with regard to job training, workplace justice campaigns, conducting research surveys and more – all of which are tools that should help local chapters and stars meet their worker organizing and mobilizing metrics. Specifically, the Southern Regional Director will:

  1. Ensure that the ROC chapters and stars under them are meeting their worker organizing, mobilizing and leadership development metrics, and also achieving their grant deliverables in a way that helps them meet their worker organizing, mobilizing and leadership development metrics – using ROC’s workforce development, legal, and research programs as tools to accomplish these metrics.
  2. Coordinate with the Deputy Director of Organizing & Campaigns to ensure that organizers in the Southern region receive sufficient training and development around worker outreach, mobilization, and leadership development
  3. Ensure that a significant number of restaurant workers are mobilizing visibly in these Southern states for One Fair Wage in monthly actions, quarterly National Days of Action, and in the context of local, state and federal One Fair Wage policy campaigns, in coordination with the Deputy Director for Organizing & Campaigns.

Coordination – With regard to Industry Shift, this work will include coordinating Southern chapters’ and stars’ relationships with ‘high road’ employers with national ‘high road’ leadership and management inside and outside of ROC. With regard to Narrative Shift, this work will include coordinating Southern chapters’ and stars’ workplans to utilize research, books, films, television, and other narrative and culture shift tools that support the One Fair Wage campaign – in coordination with the One Fair Wage campaign leadership, the UC Berkeley Food Labor Research Center and the Communications Director.

Strong candidates need not necessarily bring immediate expertise in all of the areas of our One Fair Wage Campaign, but must have strong worker organizing, management skills, effective leadership qualities, and a creative or entrepreneurial energy in visioning and launching new initiatives.


  • At least 5-7 years of worker organizing, in the community or union context, with some experience in mobilizing workers around policy campaigns;
  • At least 3 years of experience supervising and/or managing work teams;
  • Ability to work independently, yet collaboratively to drive multiple projects and programs in a fast-paced work environmental;
  • Excellent writing and communication skills;
  • Results-focused, organized, attention to detail, and strong planning skills;
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial, social, and economic justice; and
  • Willing to carry significant travel schedule


  • Restaurant work experience; Additional language skills

To Apply
Please send cover letter and résumé detailing your qualifications to:
Immigrants, women, and people of color encouraged to apply.

John O’Keefe
O’Keefe Search

O’Keefe Search is dedicated to building strength in progressive organizations and to helping
social justice, labor, environmental and other progressive activists find the right job.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.

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