Stories

Capacity Building

  • Hollis Watkins: Advice to Young Organizers, Generational Transition

    A veteran of the civil rights movement, Hollis Watkins founded Southern Echo, a leadership development, education and training organization working to develop effective, accountable grassroots leadership in rural Mississippi and the surrounding region.

    Watkins and Southern Echo have been instrumental in challenging redistricting in Mississippi, protecting communities from landfills and...

  • Scott Douglas: Generational Transition

    Before joining the staff of Greater Birmingham Ministries, Douglas served as Environmental Justice Organizer for the Sierra Club Southeast, Executive Director of the Southern Organizing Committee for Economic and Social Justice and Southern Field Representative for the Partnership for Democracy Foundation. Douglas serves on the boards of AIDS Alabama, the Alabama Poverty Project, the Gulf...

  • Sophia Bracy Harris: Early Work with FOCAL

    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...

  • Ines Polonius: Supporting Generational Transition

    Ines Polonius spearheaded the merger of Community Resource Group and alt.Consulting to form Communities Unlimited, which offers infrastructure services and economic entrepreneurial growth strategies in seven states.

    As Executive Director of alt.Consulting, Polonius worked with hundreds of small businesses in manufacturing, distribution, service and retail. Among the services Polonius...

  • Maureen O'Connell: SOCM Changing and Adapting

    Maureen O’Connell worked at SOCM for 35 years, 16 as Executive Director. During her tenure, SOCM expanded from a five-county grassroots community organization focused on coal (Save Our Cumberland Mountains) to a statewide organization working on a host of local, statewide, regional, and national issues of environmental, social and economic justice (Statewide Organizing for Community...