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The Alliance for Justice is a national association of environmental, civil rights, mental health, women's, children's and consumer advocacy organizations. Since its inception in 1979, the Alliance has worked to advance the cause of justice for all Americans, strengthen the public interest community's ability to influence public policy, and foster the next generation of advocates.
The Alliance for Justice was founded by Nan Aron in 1979, growing out of a predecessor organization, the Council for Public Interest Law (CPIL). The Alliance for Justice was founded as an association of public interest legal groups. The original mission was to address issues that affected the survival of public interest law. Whereas the genesis of CPIL was rooted in supporting and expanding public interest law as a vocation and a sector, the Alliance for Justice broadened its mission to strengthen nonprofit advocacy and equal access to justice. It was, and is, the Alliance's belief that the public's interest is best served when the policies of government result from a dialogue involving not just the decision-makers but also those whose lives are directly effected by such decisions, and when laws are measured against fundamental human rights and civil liberties by fair and independent courts. Nonprofits, aided by the increasing resources of their philanthropic supporters, have often led the way in finding innovative approaches to addressing social problems and injustices. The Alliance believes that nonprofits have a unique opportunity - indeed an obligation - to fully participate in public policymaking, and that the philanthropists who support them have an opportunity to facilitate the advancement of social justice. The Alliance works with and on behalf of its constituents to safeguard the fairness of our society, its public policymaking process, and our judicial systems.. The Alliance implements its mission through five separate programs: The Nonprofit Advocacy Project gives environmental, consumer, civil rights, and other nonprofit organizations the skills to expand their advocacy work by educating them about the regulations governing advocacy. The project works to strengthen the voice of the public interest community in democracy and give them the tools to participate in developing local, state, and national public policy. The Foundation Advocacy Initiative educates foundation officers and trustees on how they can increase the effectiveness of their charitable work by supporting the advocacy efforts of their grantees within the regulations governing nonprofit advocacy. The project's workshops and publications highlight many underutilized ways for foundations to support advocacy. The Judicial Selection Project monitors federal court nominations, promotes the appointment of fair and compassionate judges, develops criteria for determining when a judge meets the highest standards for a judicial appointment, and opposes applying political ideology to the selection or confirmation of judicial candidates. It also brings public attention to laws that deny access to the courts or limit judicial independence. Ã Â· Co/Motion trains young people to develop their own solutions for problems in their communities. Co/Motion encourages young people to participate in democracy by giving them a voice in their community, and by connecting them with supportive adult, partner organizations to advocate for social change. Co/Motion uses the issue of gun violence to educate and organize young people to be effective advocates. First Monday is a program focused on college and graduate students in the fields of law, medicine, public health, and social work that spotlights important issues of social justice. Each year, for the first Monday in October, the Alliance produces a film and a variety of associated training materials related to an important public policy issue and organizes a series of programs to educate and motivate college and graduate students to take action. The program has evolved from an annual one-day event into a campaign of year-long education and activism around a given topic. In 2000 and 2001, the focus of First Monday is ending the tragic level of gun violence in America. As membership has grown and programs have expanded, the Alliance as an institution has changed. For example, since the last strategic plan, the Alliance's staff has grown from 7 in 1995 to 42 budgeted positions in 2001. This expansion has catapulted the organization into being an even more influential leader in the public interest community while at the same time creating internal organizational stress on the Alliance's internal systems and operational capabilities. Emblematic of this expansion and infrastructure challenge was the organization's relocation in 2000 from an overcrowded office with 3,800 square feet to a custom-designed office with 13,000 square feet, which will permit the organization to grow through 2011. Today, the Alliance for Justice is a national association of nearly sixty public interest organizations that advocate for civil rights, social justice, individual privacy, consumer, and environmental protections.
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