Stacey Abrams and Roosevelt Institute award
Alabama Institute for Social Justice
SEAP Funding to Advance Public Policy
The Alabama Institute for Social Justice (AISJ) is proud to announce it has been awarded funding from Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP) to create an environmental justice policy framework.

Stacey Abrams , a well-known national political and civic leader, is founder and executive director of SEAP, a policy initiative to spur innovation and collaboration by connecting researchers, leaders, experts, and organizers. SEAP is a project of the Roosevelt Institute , a New York nonprofit dedicated to carrying forward the legacy and values of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. The institute develops progressive ideas and bold leadership in the service of restoring America’s promise of opportunity for all.  

"We are excited to support AISJ as they expand into environmental justice policy," Ms. Abrams said. "We know change happens because of the work of committed advocates who are on the ground fighting for justice for their communities. We look forward to having AISJ's voice in this critical debate."  

In 2019, AISJ established environmental justice as one of its six focus areas. Since that time, considerable hours have been spent in Alabama’s Black Belt communities observing conditions facing residents, who are predominantly African-American, female, and poor. From wastewater management to clean water, these issues erode the overall well-being for those who, through no fault of their own, continue to reel from the lingering legacy and implications of structural racism and oppression. This SEAP funding will allow AISJ to work with a policy analyst to construct an agenda regarding environmental concerns, particularly in the Black Belt region and among women and people of color. The environmental policy framework will expand AISJ's advocacy efforts and offer a collective and systemic view on issue areas.

“Receiving this award is an incredible opportunity for our organization," said Lenice Emanuel, executive director of AISJ. "This funding will allow us to strategically connect economic disparities, witnessed on the ground, to policy deficits that vastly undermine the quality of life in marginalized communities. AISJ is committed to creating a state where economic, political, and social equity exist for everyone, having a mission that is rooted in setting and acting upon a racial equity and social justice policy agenda. The support of SEAP is catalytic in elevating our environmental justice work, bolstering our capacity and impact.” 

The Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP) partners with policy thinkers and doers to amplify their efforts and bridge gaps in policy infrastructure. We act as a connector, convener, and policy entrepreneur across issues and states, translating good ideas to the Southern context. Our goal is to advance policies that improve economic security, healthcare access, and environmental justice for all Southerners.