Our mission is to honor God by dismantling systemic racism to create pathways of opportunity for all Alabamians.
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION
For nearly two years, FIAAL’s Birmingham Peacemaker leaders have led weekly night walks in local neighborhoods as both a way to patrol the streets and show a united, nonviolent front that stands in the face of unrest. In 2019, leaders held a rapid response victims team training for over 30 Faith in Action Alabama volunteer leaders; have continued to engage city officials and other stakeholders to secure funding support for a proven anti-gun violence street outreach strategy.; and secured several criminal justice reform commitments from the Jefferson County district attorney. In November 2019 new numbers showing reduced gun violence rates in Birmingham, AL was released by the city's police department The reduction was partly attributed to Faith in Action Alabama's work in helping to make this possible, with a spotlight on their weekly night walks in the community.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
Prayer vigils, public forums, and actions at the state capitol are just some of the many vehicles FIAAL has implemented in order to lower mass incarceration rates in the state. In February 2019, Faith in Action Alabama’s Mobile Hub brought more than 200 community members together to discuss the importance of creating a Mobile County public defender’s office, and highlight to key county officials the broad community support for the creation of a county public defender’s office. In March 2019, Faith in Action Alabama Huntsville leaders secured Mayor Tommy Battle’s public commitment that all of the city’s police officers will participate in implicit bias training.
Questioning their place as clergy and faith leaders and if they are providing the right leadership to pivot against the actions of the criminal justice system has played a strong part in guiding their decision to step up and speak out about alternatives that can and should be provided to offenders that would benefit from mentorship, education, and mental health treatment.
The push to elect lawmakers that are focused on protecting the rights of minorities and immigrants became critical in the 2017 Birmingham mayoral election and the 2018 Alabama Senate special election, respectively. With both events, FIAAL worked hard on securing voter registration and informing citizens soon on just exactly where the candidates stood on key issues. In October 2018, FIAAL hosted a public forum for District Attorney candidates; and FIAAL leaders have also convened in Montgomery to press state legislators on supporting specific reforms to address systemic racism.