Home

The Interfaith Education Fund (IEF) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that provides education, research, training and technical support to community organizations affiliated with the West / Southwest Industrial Areas Foundation.  Its focus is to equip ordinary people with the skills they need to be effective leaders in their workplace, in their congregations and in their communities. 

The Interfaith Education Fund provides education and training through:

Rooted in the tradition of the nation's oldest and largest organizing network, the Industrial Areas Foundation, the IEF has trained thousands of organizers and leaders across the West and Southwest US in the skills and practices of effective citizenship. We do so to ensure that ordinary citizens and residents know how to be more effective at making change in a proactive and positive manner, thereby recovering the nobility and virtue of public life.

Leaders and organizers trained by the Interfaith Education Fund have transformed local labor markets, changed public healthcare systems, turned around public schools, and renewed congregations seeking to be more effective in outreach and mission.     


  • Latest from the blog

    Church, Community Partnership with North Elementary Leads to Improved Academic Achievement in Brighton, CO

    One year ago the Colorado IAF, Brighton Education Association and Northern Hills Church initiated an organizing campaign at North Elementary School, the lowest ranking of all schools in the 27J School District.  Over the course of the year, North demonstrated the largest improvement in academic scores of any school in the district and one of the highest in the state (see article below).  As a result, North changed its academic status from "improvement" to "performance." Leaders initially began by developing individual relationships between congregational members and educators, and then reaching out to parents through neighborhood walks and pancake breakfast gatherings.  Together, they succeeded in establishing a before- and after-school care program for students and an intensive tutoring program that matched community volunteers -- mostly from Northern Hills Church, with students demonstrating the greatest academic need.  North Elementary staff additionally pursued internal changes including the reorganization of instructional teams and changes to the Master Schedule to better incorporate literacy and math blocks.   School-based leaders expressed pride over the dramatic improvement in academic achievement and gratefulness for the partnership with Northern Hills Chapel. More Students Graduate in 27J in 2017, Brighton Blade [pdf] Caring For Students Home By Home in Brighton, Colorado Education Association
    read more

    Spanish-Language Training, and Bishops' Support, Leads to Acceptance of Church ID by Dallas-Area Police Departments

    Six months after 85 Spanish-speaking leaders from twelve immigrant parishes participated in two-day leadership development training co-sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), Interfaith Education Fund and Dallas Area Interfaith, leaders negotiated ground breaking changes in police department policy in order to engender greater trust between police and immigrants. For the first time in North Texas, immigrants without state ID will be allowed to use parish identification cards to identify themselves with Farmers Branch, Carrollton and Dallas Police Department officers.    Sunday evening, hundreds of leaders were turned away from a sanctuary already overflowing with 1,500 Dallas Area Interfaith leaders at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in Farmers Branch.  Nine years ago, the city of Farmers Branch was best-known for passing the first anti-immigrant law in Texas, which included fines for landlords renting to undocumented immigrants.  The police department paid a price in community trust -- one motivation for publicly pledging to accept parish IDs. Catholic Bishop Edward Burns drew the most applause when he announced, "Jesus said whoever welcomes the stranger, welcomes me.  The Church as the mother will do whatever we can for the members of our immigrant community."  This approval will help the estimated 231,000 immigrants who call Dallas home.  [Photo Credits: (top) Dallas Morning News, (bottom) Catholic Diocese of Dallas] Hundreds Meet to Discuss Immigration, Parish ID Card, Texas Catholic  
    read more
    See all posts

get updates