Community Building

Community Building

Fri Feb 6, 2015

In addition to securing half a million dollars to upgrade the Ruben Estrella Park in the Montana Vista colonia, leaders of EPISO went on to leverage an additional $4.5 Million to begin construction to extend Edgemere Boulevard from the City of El Paso into the unincorporated community.  The road will better allow residents from Montana Vista to better access the City of El Paso; Montana Vista is currently accessible by only one road.


Wed Mar 19, 2014

With 650 people in attendance and 40 institutions represented in the roll call, Metro Vancouver Alliance launched a brand new organization in Canada.  The assembly included senior political and religious leaders including the Catholic Archbishop and the newly invested Anglican Bishop. in addition to a plethora of younger people and diverse faces in the crowd.

Metro Vancouver Alliance Founding AssemblyDiocese of New Westminster, Anglican Church of Canada


Fri Jun 21, 2013

“An enthusiastic crowd of about 1,500 people filled a Vallejo high school gym Sunday afternoon to welcome a new multi-county organization to the community.

Common Ground was introduced at the convention, which was attended by members of its 15 member institutions, and Napa and Solano counties and state elected officials.  The broad-based organization is made of religious and non-profit organizations from Vallejo, Benicia, Fairfield, American Canyon and Napa, who ‘have the capacity to act on the issues in our community,’ said co-chairman Todd Bertani, of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Fairfield.”

Common Ground Kicks Off to Serve CommunitiesTimes Herald (Printable Version)

Common Ground Kicks Off with Energetic ConvictionDaily Republic (Printable Version)

Diverse Solano, Napa Agencies to Seek ‘Common Ground’Times Herald

New Organization Unites Faith Communities, Other Agencies, Daily Republic


Sun Apr 22, 2012

On November 16, 2011, over 250 community leaders from throughout Westchester County joined together to launch Westchester United – a new power base for positive social change. This is the culmination of two years of organizing with the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, an organizing network which helps build independent organizations that have initiated far-reaching strategies on housing, health care, education and other concerns.

Drawing on the proven power of person-to-person organizing, these communities have engaged hundreds of Westchester residents as part of a process that is uncovering public concerns.

Reporting on what was learned, speakers told stories of families unable to afford outrageous mortgage payments, of barriers to educational opportunities, and of a series of specific concerns surrounding safety and mobility – for seniors and others. The next steps for this new organization is to do in depth research about the dynamics surrounding these struggles so as to prepare for effective and meaningful responses.  Learn more at Westchester-United.org.


Thu Aug 11, 2011

Over 2000 people from 40 Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and secular congregations and organizations packed out the Masonic Auditorium in downtown Cleveland for the founding assembly of Greater Cleveland Congregations, the newest afiliate of Metro IAF.  GCC priority issues are Education, Jobs, Health Care, Criminal Justice, and Sustainable Foods.


In the News


Edward Chambers

Lessons From a Great Community Organizer

Friday, May 15, 2015
Chronicle of Philanthropy

The death last month of Edward Chambers, one of the world’s great community organizers, serves as a strong reminder of how the power of the grass-roots can be mobilized to make a huge difference in the lives of the neediest. He was a master of building groups that could last for the long haul, a skill not enough activists possess.

For 37 years, Mr. Chambers served as the national director of the Industrial Areas Foundation, a network of community-based organizations that had been founded by his mentor Saul Alinsky, the iconic champion of "power organizing."


Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, Governor Baker, Mayor Walsh

1,800 GBIO Leaders Secure "Pledge to Work for Social Justice"

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Boston Globe

The governor and mayor were joined by Attorney General Maura Healey and Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo. The four made their pledges before more than 1,800 people who packed the historic Trinity Church in Copley Square for the event, hosted by the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization.


Ed Chambers, IAF, Saul Alinsky, Samuel Freedman

Edward Chambers, Community Organizing's Unforgiving Hero

Wednesday, May 6, 2015
New Yorker
On a June night in 1978, a community organizer named Edward Chambers drove through the shattered bricks and waist-high weeds of the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville, finding his way along streets that no longer had signs. He was expected at a nearby Lutheran church by a group of local clergy. Its members had reached out to Chambers, a disciple of Saul Alinsky, in the hope that he could help them rescue a section of New York so devastated that Boston’s mayor, on a visit, had declared it “the beginning of the end of our civilization....”

Ed Chambers, Death, Obituary

Ed Chambers, Early Leader of IAF, Dies at 85

Saturday, May 2, 2015
New York Times

Edward T. Chambers, a lapsed seminarian who succeeded Saul Alinsky as leader of Mr. Alinsky’s social justice foundation, advancing his radical agenda of community organizing and grounding its progressive objectives in the Gospels, died on April 26 at a nursing home near his home in Drimoleague, Ireland. He was 85.


Community Organizing in Vancouver, Canada IAF, Pope Francis, Common Good

Vancouver Sun Calls Metro Vancouver Alliance a "Best Example"

Saturday, May 2, 2015
Vancouver Sun

"The Metro Vancouver Alliance might be one of the best recent examples of diverse leaders focusing on the commonweal. Vancouver Catholic Archbishop Michael Miller and Anglican Bishop Melissa Skelton are among the religious, educational and community leaders who are co-operating to work for economic justice."


Community Organizing in Baltimore, Unrest, Police, Mayor, Rob English

BUILD Pushes City Leaders for Meeting with Sandtown-Winchester Residents

Thursday, April 30, 2015
Baltimore Sun

On Wednesday, BUILD led a group of neighborhood leaders and others into City Hall for the weekly Board of Estimates meeting. They stood up during the meeting and asked Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young to commit to a meeting.

"There's been a lot of talking in our city, a lot of press conferences, but the citizens from Sandtown here today do not feel like they've been listened to," said the Rev. Andrew Foster Connors, co-chairman of BUILD.


Training, Organizing in the Southwest, Colorado, Fort Worth, Zeik Saidman

Reflections on Southwest IAF Leadership Training by Zeik Saidman

Monday, March 23, 2015
Democratic Faith

Two years ago I decided to help build an IAF organization in Colorado - as a leader. I was frustrated by what wasn't happening in Colorado. I wanted to be a part of the kind of IAF power organization that I knew could make a big difference.

More important, I recalled with fresh energy the extraordinary individuals attracted to the organizing work during my IAF years. I wanted to reclaim some of that relational territory. Or at least give it a shot.

So, with a deep breath I signed up and...


community organizing in Arizona, Community Organizing in Tucson, 25th Anniversary

PCIC Celebrates 25 Years of Battles and Success in Tucson, Arizona

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Tucson News Now - FOX 11

Over 250 leaders of Pima County Interfaith Council (PCIC)convened at St. Phillips in the Hills to celebrate 25 years of success. Since 1980, PCIC has leveraged upwards of $100 million in state and local funds into projects that benefit the common good including KidCo, JobPath, local parks and recreation centers across the County...


North Carolina IAF, Organizing in Durham, Durham CAN, Housing, Wages, Healthcare

Durham CAN: Empowering Communities for Housing, Wages...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Indy Week

By his own account, the office of Ivan Parra, lead organizer for one of Durham's largest community groups, is unimpressive. But attend a Durham CAN meeting, with hundreds of people and key city and state leaders, and you'll see the nonprofit's influence in action.


Criminal Justice, Juvenile Justice, Project IOWA, Job Training, Organizing in Iowa

AMOS' Top Ten 2014 Achievements

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
AMOS

Congregations, Clergy, Pastors, Encouragement, Faith in Action, Organizing in Nevada

Nevada Faith Leaders Search for Encouragement, Too

Friday, January 2, 2015
Las Vegas Review Journal

When the Rev. Albert Felice-Pace was a campus pastor at the University of Arizona, Tucson, in the 1990s, he would email parishioners his “thought of the day,” short passages mainly culled from Scripture that contained words of inspiration and solace.

He didn’t expect much, just to be a small whisper in their busy lives if they had a moment, even a few seconds, to click and contemplate.  But as time went on, students started forwarding the uplifting verses to parents and friends and, for many, the bite-size doses of reflection became part of their daily lives.

Eventually, he had more than 1,200 recipients, and this was before the days of Facebook friends and Twitter followers.


Ernesto Cortes, Cold Anger, Social Justice, Huffington Post, Racial Justice

Huffington Post Cites 'Cold Anger' as Key to Social Justice Gains

Monday, December 8, 2014
Huffington Post

"This wave of activism reflects the difference between what community organizer Ernie Cortes calls hot anger and cold anger. With hot anger we act irrationally and misdirect it toward the wrong people. With cold anger we focus on what we can do to change oppression, exploitation and injustice….”


Odd Couple, CCHD, USCCB, Bishops, IAF, community organizing

Odd Couple? US Catholic Bishops & the IAF

Monday, November 24, 2014
Huffington Post

Alinsky protégé and "genius grant" recipient Ernesto Cortés, Jr. cites Catholic social teaching as influential in the development of community organizing, and when the nation's largest denomination holds that Thanksgiving-week special collection of mostly small donations, it will be supporting one element in a broad-based coalition aimed at empowering ordinary folks. As Ernie Cortés notes, "The only answer to organized money is organized people." For all the efforts that are furthering that vision, we can truly give thanks.


MVA, Metro Vancouver Alliance, Mayoral Race, Social Isolation, Transport, Housing

800 MVA Leaders Advance Agenda with Vancouver Mayoral Candidates

Monday, October 13, 2014
Vancouver Courier & 1130 News

800 Metropolitan Vancouver Alliance (MVA) delegates assembled to challenge Mayoral candidates for Vancouver with a multi-pronged agenda.  All four candidates, including the incumbent, endorsed the proposals on social isolation, transit, poverty, and protections for apartment renters...


Communtiy Organizing in Arizona, Arizona IAF, Bishop Kicanas, Bishop Talmage, Bishop Kirk Smith, PCIC, AIN, VIP, Yuma County Interfaith

Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopal Bishops Urge Tucson Clergy to Work for Good

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
The New Vision Online

Congregations of faith can work together for the common good of the greater community, said several bishops to a crowd of 60 new and recently transferred clergy in Tucson....


Sr. Christine Stephens, Sr. Pearl Ceasar, Sr. Gabriela Lohan, Austin Interfaith, COPS/ Metro

Works of IAF Nuns & West / Southwest IAF Credentialed

Friday, June 27, 2014
National Catholic Reporter

The works of Sr. Christine Stephens, Sr. Pearl Ceasar and Sr. Gabriella Lohan of the West / Southwest IAF are documented and celebrated in this special National Catholic Reporter report.


Nevadans for the Common Good, Community Organizing in Nevada, Organizing in Las Vegas Valley, Robert Hoo, elder care, sex-trafficking

Nevadans for the Common Good Credited with Improving Future

Saturday, June 21, 2014
Las Vegas Review Journal

There’s an army in town, gathering momentum since the recession.

Its mission: the training of leaders for participation in public life. And, while this army may not be fighting a holy war, it has been turning heads with victories that promise a better future for the valley.


Yuma County Interfaith, Bishop Kicanas, St. Paul Episcopal Church, community organizing in Arizona, Community Organizing in Yuma

Yuma County Interfaith Gathering Draws Bishop Gerald Kicanas

Saturday, May 24, 2014
Yuma Sun

Said Bishop Gerald Kicanas of the Tucson Catholic Diocese, “We have a responsibility to be involved in our community and not be peripheral to the community, not to be indifferent to the issues facing our community. And if we can pull together to address those societal issues, we have a chance to make an impact....”


No Longer Strangers, Christian Century, IAF Organizing, community organizing, Evangelicals

No Longer Strangers - An Evangelical Reflects on Organizing

Monday, May 19, 2014
The Christian Century
Breininger was skeptical. The IAF people were linked to the world of community organizing, a world that evangelicals generally did not appreciate. The IAF crowd included the kind of people who had shaped and helped elect Barack Obama; they were linked to the notorious community organizer Saul Alinsky.  Breininger’s instinct was to stay away. But he knew if he didn’t try to cross some relational lines, there could never be progress toward cooperation. 
 

Community Organizing in Maryland, BUILD, IAF in Maryland, booty call

BUILD: "We Want a Public Relationship, Not a Booty Call!"

Thursday, May 15, 2014
Washington Post

The Baltimore pastor explained it like this: Being courted by a politician can sometimes feel like a one-night stand for community activists. In the heat of the moment, there is intense devotion and endless promises. But what happens the next morning? “We’re not asking you to marry us. This is no request for death-do-us part relationship,” said Bishop Douglas Miles of Koinonia Baptist Church, addressing three Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls during a forum in Baltimore on Wednesday night. “But, understand, neither will we be treated as, like the young people say, as a booty call.”


Founding Acsembly, Community Organizing in Canada, Community Organizing in Vancouver, Canada IAF

New IAF Organization Launches in Vancouver, Canada!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Anglican Church of Canada

Over 650 people from 40 institutions gathered in Vancouver to launch Metro Vancouver Alliance in Canada. For a distinctly Anglican take on the assembly...   


Community Organizing in California, Organizing in Napa & Solano, Social Justice, Faith in Action

1,500 Delegates Launch 'Common Ground' in Vallejo, California

Monday, June 24, 2013
Times Herald & Daily Republic

Cheering Delegates of St. Basil Catholic Church (photo)“An enthusiastic crowd of about 1,500 people filled a Vallejo high school gym Sunday afternoon to welcome a new multi-county organization to the community.

Common Ground was introduced at the convention, which was attended by members of its 15 member institutions, and Napa and Solano counties and state elected officials...."


Community Organizing in Texas, organizing in El Paso, Border Organizing, Social Justice, Faith in Action, Saul Alinsky, Texas IAF, organizing for urban school reform

EPISO & Border Interfaith Join to Challenge School Board and Council Candidates

Sunday, April 28, 2013
El Paso Times

“More than 600 people turned out on Sunday to hear more than 30 city and school board candidates speak at a joint forum put on by the El Paso Inter-religious Sponsoring Organization and Border Interfaith.”
 

City Council candidates were challenged to invest in workforce development program Project ARRIBA, and complete quality of life and neighborhood infrastructure projects within the already established 7-year time frame.  Because El Paso public schools mandate standardized testing at least once (and sometimes twice) per week, school board candidates were challenged to reduce the number of standardized tests by 50%.  Candidates were also asked to commit to a more equitable way of funding the arts than simply asking parents of participating students to shoulder the cost.  

[Photo Credit: Mark Lambie/El Paso Times]