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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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    After Hurricane Harvey, St. Francis of Assisi Parish Celebrates Church and Home Renovations

    [Excerpts below] More than two years after Hurricane Harvey flooded St. Francis of Assisi parishioner Kathy Gabriel’s home, she finally celebrated the holidays this past November and December in her home that had to be demolished and rebuilt....Sherry Dunlap, [is] a fellow parishioner who took it upon her faith in action to help those families.   “Thanks to training through TMO (The Metropolitan Organization), I became the de facto Harvey Disaster Case Administrator for the church and our parishioners and others around the city,” Dunlap said. Even St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church itself was inundated with water and the subsequent problems of mold and other issues that the Archdiocese helped to resolve. TMO and Gulf Coast Leadership Council (GCLC) representative Gina Reynoso said the nonprofit organizations acted as a conduit to connect people in need after the hurricane with the multitude of agencies attempting to help. With contribution from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, GCLC organized meetings with churches and their congregations impacted by the hurricane as being places of trust among the flurry of contractors and others trying to get a piece of the work.  Reynoso said, “In the last two years, GCLC has held outreach sessions reaching more than 2,000 people.... [Photo Credit (left): James Ramos, Herald; (right): St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church] A Renovated Home for the Holidays: St. Francis of Assisi Parishioners Mark Second Christmas Since Harvey, Texas Catholic Herald [pdf]  
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    St. Eugene and Valley Interfaith Begin to Issue Parish ID Cards

    As part of an immigration strategy initiated in collaboration with Valley Interfaith, the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville and Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, St. Eugene Catholic Church in Brownsville began issuing parish ID cards.    Held on a Saturday, the ID Fest is designed to make the ID available to immigrant parishioners in need of a way to identify themselves to local law enforcement.  “ID cards can only be used for identification purposes, it is not a government issued card and cannot be used to vote, does not take place of drivers license,” said Jose Hinojosa of Valley Interfaith.  So far, leaders have negotiated with the Police Departments of McAllen, Pharr, Edinburg, San Juan and Brownsville to recognize parish IDs.   Said Nancy Cruz, St. Eugene and Valley Interfaith leader, “No one should feel afraid to report a crime for lack of an ID.” [Bottom Photo Credit: MGN Online] Church Offers Photo IDs to its Members, Brownsville Herald [pdf] Catholic Diocese of Brownsville and Valley Interfaith Team Up to Offer Parish ID, Interfaith Education Fund
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