Sophia Bracy Harris: Early Orientation & Founding of FOCAL

Susanna Hegner

Sophia Bracy Harris is Executive Director of the Federation of Child Care Centers of Alabama (FOCAL) and Alabama Director of the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative for Economic and Social Justice (SRBWI). Her lifelong dedication to improving educational opportunities for children and their families has been recognized with the Rockefeller Public Service Award, Gleitsman Foundation “People who Make a Difference” Award and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award. 

Harris earned a Bachelor of Science in Family and Child Development at Auburn University. 

She also has an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Dartmouth College. Harris has served on several boards, including Voices for Alabama’s Children, the Joint Governor’s Legislative Task Force on Child Day Care, Southern Regional Council, Ms. Foundation for Women, New World Foundation and the Women’s Technical Assistance Project.

In this video clip, Harris describes how her childhood experiences informed her decision to focus on early education and advocacy.