Our Story

We were founded by activists, academics and community members.

What became the Florida Institute for Community Studies, Inc., or FICS, came out of a great deal of dialogue between activists from all over the state, community members and academics at University of South Florida, University of Florida, Florida State University and the University of Miami. We wrote a Concept Paper in 2001 outlining the need for a new model for communities to create and guide strengths based research to help them improve. We received our 501-c-3 status, or non-profit standing, from the IRS in February, 2002.

Our use of community-based participatory research is integral to our mission of partnering with communities. Based on our research, community advisory boards write Strategic Plans that build on the identified strengths to reduce the identified risks through consensus. We feel that we meet our mission and have far exceeded our expectations at the local level in which we work. Success stories abound and we have collected about 300 hand-written letters, in multiple languages, from adults and another 200 or so from youth, testimonials to the changes they have made and the catalytic role that their involvement has made in their lives.

What we do...