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

    COPS/Metro Develops Leadership for Parish 'Fratelli Tutti' Study Groups

    [Excerpts] A successful partnering of West Side parishes with COPS/Metro Alliance to study Pope Francis' recent encyclical, Fratelli Tutti (On Fraternity and Social Friendship), owes it all to Zoom-and the savvy leaders involved.  It began with an informal discussion on the encyclical between Father John Rajarjo, CICM, Pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Father Bill Kraus, OFM, Cap., Pastor of Our Lady of the Angles and Mayra Juarez-Denis, an organizer for COPS/Metro.  Their intent was to offer a study program on Fratelli Tutti to parishioners, but instead of clergy leading the gatherings, parishioners would be enabled to teach it themselves. "One of the things we do at COPS/Metro," notes Juarez-Denis, "is identify talent in the parishes so they develop their leadership, which will benefit not only themselves, but their families and parish life and the community."  Such a study program would expand the parish sense of community as well as lead them to reflect together on an underlying theme of Fratelli Tutti: Who is My Neighbor? "Fratelli Tutti is a great document, not just for the Church but for the world," says Father Kraus.  "It talks about how we understand and approach the common good.  If we are going to work for the common good, locally, nationally, internationally, Pope Francis says we have to base it on the fact that we are brothers and sisters." Parish 'Fratelli Tutti' Study Groups Go Virtual, Today's Catholic  
    read more

    DAI 'Recognizing the Stranger' Trainees to Welcome Migrant Teens

    [Excerpts] As federal officials announced that a downtown Dallas facility had been chosen to house up to 3,000 migrant teenagers starting the week of March 15, the Catholic faithful in the Diocese of Dallas sprang into action to help.... In addition to Catholic Charities Dallas, other nonprofits, churches and interfaith groups have reached out to offer support, including the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Migration and Refugees Services and Dallas Area Interfaith. Josephine Lopez-Paul, lead organizer for the interfaith group, said volunteers from several parishes in Dallas who have received training as community leaders from Dallas Area Interfaith, will be essential volunteers, helping interview young people, making contact with their families inside the United States and knowing relevant details of each case. “Parish leaders are vital in this situation,” Lopez-Paul said. “These are people who have followed a prior training process, who speak the native language of the teens arriving and have in order the documentation required by the Diocese of Dallas in relation to safe environment policies.” Texas parishes such as St. Luke in Irving, Mary Immaculate in Farmers Branch and San Juan Diego in Dallas were among those mentioned by Lopez-Paul as the most helpful volunteer sources at this time. “These are churches where the Central American community is more present,” Lopez-Paul said. “They are leaders who know the immigration dynamics because many have personally experienced it and have been trained to serve their community.” In addition to the Catholic Church, Lopez-Paul said she is working with the Episcopal, Methodist, Lutheran and Presbyterian churches, plus Jewish communities, whose leaders also have received training from Dallas Area Interfaith in the past. “This is a coordinated effort for the good of a community that has experienced many difficulties and deserves respect and help,” Lopez-Paul said. [Photo Credit: Adrees Latif, Reuters/CNS Photo] Dallas Catholics Pitch in to Help Migrant Teens, Catholic Philly [pdf]
    read more
    See all posts

get updates