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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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    USCCB Highlights IAF Parish ID Strategy At General Assembly

    At the 2019 General Assembly of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Baltimore, the outgoing chair of the Committee on Migration (and Catholic Bishop of Austin), Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, concluded his report with "good practices for helping immigrants."  Topping the list was the IAF parish identification strategy. Parish identification emerged as a strategy in Dallas after passage of Texas Senate Bill 4, which allows law enforcement officers to ask residents about their immigration status.  With no access to state drivers licenses, undocumented immigrants were concerned that otherwise benign traffic stops could result in deportation.  Police departments were worried their officers would not be trusted in immigrant communities.  As a way to address both concerns, 1,500 Dallas Area Interfaith leaders and their Bishops negotiated acceptance of parish ID cards with five North Texas police departments.  The parish ID strategy soon spread to Baltimore in collaboration with IAF sister affiliate Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD) and, most recently, to the Diocese of Brownsville (along the US-Mexico border) in partnership with Valley Interfaith, Catholic Charities and the police departments of Brownsville, McAllen and Edinburg. Bishop Vasquez recognized the Catholic (Arch)dioceses of Baltimore, Dallas and Brownsville for "fostering a sense of belonging & security."  So far in Dallas, 12,000 identification cards have been issued through DAI member congregations, fortifying family connections to congregations and strengthening parish collections in the process. Remarks by Bishop Jose S. Vásquez, US Conference of Catholic Bishops General Assembly Remarks How Parish IDs Can Help Foster Communities of Welcome, Justice for Immigrants [Notes] How Parish IDs Can Help Foster Communities of Welcome, Justice for Immigrants [Webinar] Catholic Diocese of Brownsville and Valley Interfaith Team Up to Offer Parish ID Parish IDs Bring Relief to Immigrant Communities in North Texas  Additional news on Parish IDs
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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 [pdf] Neto's Tucson: Ana Chavarin is a Single Mom, an Immigrant and a Success, Arizona Daily Star [pdf]
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