Who We Are
For fifteen years, the Alabama Organizing Project (AOP) has been training the future leaders of Alabama to speak out and educate others for social justice. AOP assists organizations in the state to work collaboratively in empowering their constituents – many of whom are low income people – to find policy, program and developmental solutions to problems of poverty in a state where democratic empowerment has historically been frustrated by racial, economic and social fragmentation.
AOP is a unique collaboration of six organizations: Arise Citizens’ Policy Project , the Alabama Coalition Against Hunger, the Federation of Child Care Centers of Alabama, the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Greater Birmingham Ministries and the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama. The mission of the Alabama Organizing Project is to cooperatively and collaboratively educate and mobilize low-income families to advocate on their own behalf for policy and community change. AOP maintains strong relationships with member organizations, constituents, and policy makers across lines of race, ethnicity, class, and gender.
In pursuit of this mission, AOP is committed to achieving the following goals: fostering close professional collaboration between Alabama-based grassroots social justice advocates and organizers; fostering the development of close emotional and spiritual bonds within and between the various grassroots communities served by these advocates; and developing additional grassroots leaders capable of organizing and mobilizing communities around rewriting the state constitution, reforming the state tax structure, and pursuing a quality of life agenda favorable to the fullest health of their communities.
What We Do
As a collaboration between some of Alabama’s most active and progressive groups working for social change, AOP is able to bring the benefits of experience and diversity to support community organizing across the state. The organizational goal of the Alabama Organizing Project is to facilitate the movement of people out of poverty in Alabama by dismantling two major structural obstcles: a regressive tax system and a state constitution that disenfranchises many of Alabama’s poorest citizens.
In support of its goals, AOP pursues a variety of activities to train and assist organizers across Alabama. These activities are designed to support leadership development to further the progress of human rights and sustainable livelihood in the state of Alabama. Current programs include:
- The Grassroots Leadership Development (GLD) Program – recruiting emerging community leaders across the state and providin them with an extensive seven-month training and praticum program.
- Ongoing professional development for community organizers – providing organizers with the skills and support they need to succeed in mobilizing community involvement around key issues for social change and social justice.
- Professional development for Executive Directors of AOP member organizations - bringing Executive Directors to the table to learn and share “best practices” for the continued growth of their organizations.
AOP is managed collaboratively by committees formed of member organizations and program alumni. Shakita Jones is the AOP Coordinator. She can be reached at shakita[at]alarise.org.