Who We Are
The Alabama Institute for Social Justice (AISJ), formerly known as the Federation of Child Care Centers of Alabama, Inc. (FOCAL), has existed for over 40 years as a nonprofit organization whose purpose and work pioneered during the American Civil Rights Movement. In 1972, then established as a child-care advocacy agency, the organization’s work was launched in response to an outcry from a group of African-American women in Selma, Alabama, who sought to achieve quality and equitable child care for their children in disadvantaged areas of rural Alabama. Since that time, a meaningful body of work has come into existence and aims to further its mission to ensure equity and justice for those often marginalized. To that end, on April 29, 2017, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to change the organization’s name from the Federation of Child Care Centers of Alabama, Inc. to the Alabama Institute for Social Justice, to better reflect the evolution of its work and the direction of its future work. While advocating for quality child care will remain among the organization’s platform issues, AISJ’s overall work is that of leading and addressing systemic change necessary because of institutional and structural inequities. AISJ will strategically work to remove barriers that particularly limit and/or undermine the economic well-being of women and people of color, through leadership development and training, advocacy and public policy, and racial healing and reconciliation.