The Big Picture
By Lenice C. Emanuel, MLA
Executive Director
Knowledge is Power
Knowledge is Power is a bi-weekly blog by the Alabama Institute for Social Justice offering information, stories, and thoughts to inspire, educate, and empower.
The Alabama Institute for Social Justice (AISJ), formerly known as the Federation of Child Care Centers of Alabama, Inc. (FOCAL), has worked to ensure that we keep our mission and commitment to our surrounding communities at the forefront of everything we do. Our goal is to empower communities for social change, while promoting racial healing and reconciliation. As a visual representation of our mission and dedication, our recently designed AISJ logo is the image of hands shaped like a dove, representing peace and unity. The smaller hand is raised in the upright position as one might do when asking for help. The nesting of the hands together signifies the assistance provided by AISJ. To that end, and as reflected in our mission, AISJ intends to:

  • Mobilize communities
  • Set and act upon a racial equity and social justice policy agenda
  • Create peace through racial reconciliation and healing

It is often said that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and that saying holds true in the case of our new logo. Far too often we glance at someone’s life, when a gaze is needed to see the big picture. Take Sally Liuzzo Prado, for example. At first glance, one sees the obvious: a white, middle-aged woman who has likely not faced some of the brutal injustices that society has to offer, against which AISJ relentlessly fights. Upon gazing deeper into her world, it is revealed that Sally is the daughter of Viola Liuzzo, the only white female protester to be murdered during the Civil Rights Movement.
At the inaugural AISJ Racial Healing and Reconciliation Community Learning Forum on October 12, 2017, Sally shared how her mother perceived the Civil Rights Movement as “everyone’s fight.” She also shared about her personal choice to forgive the Ku Klux Klan members who killed her mother.
We understand that forgiveness and peace are pathways to racial reconciliation. While selecting a logo as the “face” of our organization, we chose to use symbols that represent peace, unity, trust, order, and loyalty. Those attributes are needed while seeking to ensure justice, regardless of race, religion, gender, intellect, or disability. We have a vested interest in all people being treated fairly, particularly women and people of color, who are disproportionately disenfranchised and often experience inequitable access to resources that will help them live better lives. To achieve this goal, however, each of us must understand that it is, indeed, “everyone’s fight,” and not merely the cause of those most negatively impacted.
Given Alabama’s history and significance concerning Civil Rights, we do not take for granted that we have continuing, important work to do on behalf of the communities we serve. We feel that each representation of our organization should be a reflection of that mission. Although we are proud of the gains that have been made in pursuing racial, social, and economic equality, we look forward to making even more progress and better serving those in need. 

Photo Credits: Tree of Life Photography
To learn more about AISJ, visit us online at