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Hiring: Broadcast DJ Lead Teacher For Prison Training Program (Bay Area, Part-Time)

Uncuffed producer Brian Thames working at the Uncuffed studios at Solano State Prison
Peter Merts
Uncuffed producer Brian Thames working at the Uncuffed studios at Solano State Prison

Join the team behind Uncuffed, KALW’s award-winning podcast and audio training program in California prisons.

We’re looking for a part-time Lead Teacher to deliver classes in Broadcast DJing for participants in Solano State Prison. Preference will be given to those personally impacted by the carceral system, or who have experience working with individuals within the system.

Apply at this link: https://bit.ly/Uncuffed_DJ_Teacher by Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 11:59PM PT.

About the Program

KALW teaches courses in audio media at San Quentin and Solano State Prisons. The producers create the podcast Uncuffed, and stories that air on KALW 91.7 in the Bay Area. This year, we will launch a new Broadcast DJ training program at Solano State Prison in Vacaville, with funding from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

In the Broadcast DJ program, participants will learn how to pick out an hour-long music set, and talk about what the songs mean to them. Their shows will go out to prisons statewide.

By joining the Uncuffed team, you'll be joining a training program and podcast that has been featured in NPR’s Weekend Edition, The New York Times, Snap Judgment, and The California Report.The ideal candidate will be part of a talented and cohesive team motivated to help produce the very best work, and whose track record includes training the creators of the podcast Ear Hustle at San Quentin

KALW Public Media is an NPR member station in San Francisco. Our mission is to create joyful, informative media that engages people across the economic, social, and cultural spectrum of our community. We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in our workplace, in our training programs, and in our content.

About the Role

As a Broadcast DJ Instructor, candidate will:

  • Prepare and lead lessons in hosting, playlist-building, and personal storytelling
  • Teach in-person, with another teacher, at Solano State Prison in Vacaville
  • Mix student work into radio and audio-visual versions (with album art and captions)
  • Coordinate with institutional staff to report attendance, approve content, and facilitate operation of the program.
  • Deliver remote instruction when access to prisons is not available
  • Contribute to a team dedicated to amplifying the voices of incarcerated people.

Lesson prep, admin, team meetings, and training will almost all be remote, with occasional meetings in San Francisco or Oakland. Our team uses Google Drive, Slack, Zoom, and Airtable for daily work. Past experience with those platforms is not required, but the candidate must be able to quickly learn how to navigate these, and other platforms, that are essential to the work.
This is a job for someone who is creative, organized, persistent, and works well with a team. Above all, we’re looking for someone who is enthusiastic about offering incarcerated people opportunities for personal and professional growth, and amplifying their voices.

Commitment and Compensation

This is an hourly wage position, with 10-20 hours expected in a typical week. Compensation will be $59.15 an hour, including teaching, prep work, and travel. The full year contract is for $26,000, for an average monthly compensation of $2,166.

The start date of the contract will be July 1, 2022, and the end date will be June 30, 2022. We expect to be able to renew the contract.

During this first contract year, there are 30 teaching weeks, beginning in September, 2022.

The workload will vary, because prisons are sometimes closed due to COVID outbreaks or other issues.

A typical work week would include 4 hours of teaching (2 classes back-to-back on a single weekday), 2.5 hours of travel, and 9 hours of lesson prep, audio production, and admin.

We compensate for transportation costs.

This is an independent contractor position, and we’re not currently able to offer benefits.

Required Qualifications

  • Able to travel to Vacaville, weekly or as needed
  • Experience as a Broadcast DJ or Host
  • Formal or informal experience as an educator, trainer, or mentor
  • Significant experience with audio editing software, preferably Pro Tools
  • Comfortable navigating relevant platforms and software (including, but not limited to Google suite, Slack, Zoom, and Airtable)
  • Enthusiasm for amplifying the voices of incarcerated people
  • Can navigate the intersections of race, class, gender, and other identity markers in the pursuit of equity, inclusion, and racial justice
  • Can work collaboratively and communicate effectively with a remote team
  • Must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to teaching
  • Authorization to work in the United States

Preferred But Not Required

  • Personal or professional experience in prisons or similar settings
  • Experience producing for radio, podcasts, or video.

COVID-19 Safety

KALW requires instructors to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to teaching in person.
As of this posting, prison staff and incarcerated individuals are not required to be vaccinated for COVID-19, although the vast majority are. The candidate must be comfortable working indoors, with incarcerated individuals and prison staff who may not be vaccinated.

Teachers, participants, and CDCR staff are required to wear masks. KALW staff are required to test before each visit. If a facility has an active outbreak, it will be closed to visiting teachers.

More information on CDCR’s COVID-19 response and protocols.

A Note for System-Impacted People

We strongly encourage people who have experienced incarceration or been impacted by the penal system to apply. According to our contract with the state, people on parole or probation must be “one year free of any illegal activity” in order to teach in prisons, and written approval from the warden or designee is required. For those on parole, the written approval of the Regional Parole Administrator is also required.Other returned residents have teaching roles in similar rehabilitative arts programs in CDCR, and our team includes a returned resident staff member, and an advisory board of four returned residents.

How to Apply

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, work samples, and references using this form. The application deadline is Thursday, May 12, 2022 11:59 PM Pacific Time.

We encourage individuals with experience in the carceral system, People of Color, women, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ people to apply. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or physical ability.

Any questions or accessibility needs please email uncuffed@kalw.org. And for those who don't quite fit what's on the page here, but think might could be a strong candidate for the job, please reach out as well.

Learn about Uncuffed, and listen at www.weareuncuffed.org.

Thank you for applying to be a part of our team!