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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.     


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    CCHD Awards PCI Organizer Ana Chavarin the 2019 Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award

    At a US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) General Assembly reception in Baltimore, Pima County Interfaith (PCI) organizer Ana Chavarin was awarded the Cardinal Joseph Bernadin New Leadership Award.  Each year, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) honors individuals, like Ana, who "demonstrate leadership in fighting poverty and injustice in the United States through community-based solutions." Having worked with PCI for the past four years, Ana was originally nominated by the Diocese of Tucson’s Office of Human Life & Dignity.  Said Sr. Leonette Kochan, the department's former director:  “Ana's Catholic faith motivates and inspires her role as a parent, faith community member, and leader in the wide range of social outreach initiatives in which she participates.  Her courageous determination and the support of others found expression in her life of service to others, especially in programs that empower the lives of others. As a person who faces economic struggles as a single parent of four children, Ana also leads by example in balancing family life with work, while pursuing a college degree.”  In 2018 she won a US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) award for Hispanic Catholic Leaders and was also recognized by the Arizona Daily Star for her community achievements (see links further below).   [In photo, Ana Chavarin prepares Spanish-speaking parish ministers for leadership.] Ana Chavarin is Winner of 2019 CCHD Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award, USCCB [pdf] Remarks from Ana Chavarin, the 2019 Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award Winner, USCCB [pdf] Once Cheated, Community Leader Now Helps Others Speak with United Voice, Catholic News Service [pdf] Celebrating Hispanic Catholic Leaders for Justice, USCCB  Neto's Tucson: Ana Chavarin is a Single Mom, an Immigrant and a Success, Arizona Daily Star [pdf]
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    Once Cheated, Now an Organizer -- Catholic News Service Profiles PCI Organizer Ana Chavarin

    [Excerpt] Ana Chavarin knows what it’s like to be cheated and dismissed as an immigrant without legal status in this country. It happened repeatedly after she and her then-husband and three young children relocated to Tucson, Arizona, in 2003 from the border town of Agua Prieta, Mexico, for work. Chavarin, now a legal permanent resident, recalled how an employer failed to pay her for all the hours she worked cleaning rooms at one of Tucson’s top-end hotels. The boss threatened to report her to immigration officials if she complained too much. It happened to her husband in his job, too. At home, when she asked the landlord to fix a leaky faucet, her request was ignored. Such situations were frustrating, Chavarin said, because being stifled from addressing injustice was not something to which she was accustomed.... Once Cheated, Community Leader Now Helps Others Speak with United Voice, Catholic News Service [pdf]
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