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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

    Catholic News Service: IAF Organizing Has its Roots in Catholic Social Teaching

    [Excerpts] One way that ordinary people of faith can grow in the virtue of solidarity is to join a ministry or organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of those who Jesus called the “least brothers of mine.” Take the Industrial Areas Foundation for instance. As one of the nation’s largest and oldest broad-based organizing networks, the IAF has its roots in the Catholic social tradition. By bringing together communities across the social, political and religious lines that usually divide, the IAF is effective at helping local faith and community-based organizations live out “their missions to achieve lasting change in the world.” In May 2020, the IAF affiliates of California mobilized their networks to do just that. Although undocumented residents are vital to California’s economy, pay taxes and have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic, early COVID relief legislation enacted by Congress prevented them from accessing critical economic aid. Through the IAF’s organizing of an unprecedented statewide Zoom action that included 1,200 faith leaders, 10 bishops and several lawmakers, ordinary people of faith succeeded in persuading Gov. Gavin Newsom to include undocumented workers and their families in the state’s COVID relief measures. Like the IAF, CRS understands that lasting change, both social and spiritual, often comes about when ordinary citizens work together for a just and peaceful world. Through the building of God’s kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven,” Christians can cultivate the virtue of solidarity while also giving witness to the radical communion that God desires for all of humanity and creation. [Photo Credit: Sara Fajardo/Catholic News Service] Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity Means Commitment to the Common Good, The Dialog/Catholic News Service [pdf]
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    With Evictions Looming, VIP, TMO and DAI Fight to Keep People Housed

    [Excerpts] Arreola has received some help from Voices United for Life, a pro-life organization. And in December, she joined online house meetings organized by the Valley Interfaith Project, a onetime Catholic Campaign for Human Development-funded organization that now advocates for people facing eviction during the pandemic. Valley Interfaith [Project], she said, has "given me a voice." ... Advocacy on eviction prevention has become an important part of this work as well. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is affiliated with The Metropolitan Organization, a CCHD-fund grassroots organization that has taken on eviction prevention work since March. Much of the effort has focused on convincing Houston and Harris County officials to quickly distribute tens of millions of dollars for rental assistance that was allocated under the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, said Elizabeth Valdez, lead organizer with The Metropolitan Organization. ... While some communities have allocated a significant share of CARES Act funds for rental assistance, Dallas has not. Housing advocates have criticized the city for complicating the application process for receiving aid. About 1 in 4 of the people who said they needed help were successful, according to the Dallas Morning News. For months advocates in Dallas have pushed officials to distribute rental assistance funds and expand the Centers for Disease Control moratorium on evictions. Dallas Auxiliary Bishop Greg Kelly has worked with CCHD-funded Dallas Area Interfaith on the effort. "It's very harmful," Bishop Kelly said of the restrictions on accessing the money. "There's no need for it either. The funds are there." Josephine Lopez Paul, lead organizer of Dallas Area Interfaith, said work continues on empowering and educating people about eviction prevention in the hope their voices will influence policymakers to better respond to their needs. [Photo Credit: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters] With Evictions Looming, Agencies Work Furiously to Keep Families Housed, Angelus News [pdf]
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