Faith in Action Alabama’s mission is to honor God by achieving systemic change through faith-based community organizing to create pathways of opportunity for all Alabamians.
With local congregational hubs in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, and Montgomery, create a statewide grassroots interfaith, interracial faith-rooted organization that will build and wield power that leads to bold public decisions at the local and state levels that honor the dignity of all of God’s children. A collaborative leadership model will anchor this organization. Only an interracial, interfaith organization committed to shared leadership will possess the needed strength and wisdom to spearhead systemic change in Alabama.
The organization will serve as a prophetic catalyst that counters a narrative in Alabama that drives systemic racism and across race lines blocks pathways to opportunity for low- and moderate-wealth Alabamian families. A love for God, neighbor, and stranger will fuel the organization.
To spearhead this transformation Faith in Action Alabama (Faith in Action) must place God at the center of its work. The grassroots leaders of the organization must build and wield power that leads to bold public decisions at the local and state levels that better honor the dignity of all of God’s children. Faith in Action must not be satisfied with knowing about the needed change, but must be committed to developing and leveraging the necessary power to make fundamental change. Pharaoh in Egypt tried to lead people to think his reality, was the reality. Pharoah of today is trying to do the same. Just like the slaves in Egypt led by Moses, Faith in Action must tap into a faith that says no to Pharoah, and yes to abundant life, by building the infrastructure to claim that victory.
All too often people of faith lead lives as though they pray to a weak and small God. But we, people of faith, need to live in to the truth: we pray to a big and powerful God. We must pray for what our enriches our souls and brings praise, honor, and glory to God — the realization of God goals. God goals are those communal/societal transformations that when achieved all know only occurred through the grace of God. God goals occur when people/communities stretch the bounds of their faith – God goals happen when people of faith dream big, pray hard, and think long.
- Ownership: Clergy and lay leaders will claim the lead role in shaping and implementing organization’s vision and strategic plan. Member-congregations will view the organization as critical to more fully fulfilling their congregations’ vision.
- Power: Building and wielding faith-rooted power
- Driving prophetic narrative at local and state levels through winning issue campaigns, bearing witness, and preaching.
- Deepening relationships within and between congregations of common and different faiths – and across race lines.
- Playing lead role in developing coordinated strategic plan with allies to achieve wins that position movement for bigger wins at local and state levels.
- Non-partisan voter engagement
- Clergy: Creating opportunity for clergy across race and faith lines to build relationships through dialogue, study, and action.
- Leadership Development: Through leadership training process, organization will further develop capacity of clergy and lay people to minister to the public square.
- Faith Imperative and Faith Formation: Organization will spur conversation concerning the faith imperative to respond to “public square” challenges. In addition, involvement in Faith in Action will create opportunities to deepen lay people’s faith formation.
Structure Channels Power:
Local and State: Faith in Action will create congregational hubs in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, and Montgomery. These hubs will move local campaigns and come together to move statewide campaigns that are necessary in order to respond to local pain that requires a state solution. Clergy who are on the Vision Team/Steering Committee of Faith in Action will play lead role in building out their community hubs.
Faith in Action’s leadership development training process will create learning opportunities for clergy and lay people about core community organizing strategies that will position them to build power to help ensure “public square” decisions honor the that faith reality that all people are children of God.
Core community organizing strategies:
- Learning how to publicly share one’s formative experiences in relationship to race, power, and faith — and how those experiences shapes one’s vision of self, community, and justice.
- Developing an analysis of power arrangements that sustain the status quo and plan for building and wielding grassroots power to win, i.e. to address pressing racial justice and broad-based socioeconomic concerns.
- Developing congregational teams – consisting of clergy and lay people – to spearhead relational campaigns to forge interpersonal and communal relationships across race and faith lines – along with establishing and strengthening relationships within one’s congregation.
- Deepening faith formation through living more fully into one faith tradition’s justice teachings.