At stake in our society is what it means to be citizen and neighbor. In order to build the social capital necessary to build strong communities, ordinary citizens need to have the necessary skills.
Over the past 60 years, organizers, pastors, lay leaders, principals, and parents in IAF organizations have developed a practice of "institutional organizing": using the skills of community organizing to develop leadership, identify issues, reweave relationships, and build the capacity within their institutions to act on issues which affect families.
This process includes one-on-one relational meetings, small group conversations called "house meetings", neighborhood and community walks, and research actions. An organizing process is always connected to the mission of the particular institution, and should be flexible in order to meet the needs of each congregation or school.
Since Austin Interfaith is a learning organization, or "University of Public Life", action is always followed by reflection, which is an effort to learn from both our successes and mistakes so that development and formation of people remains the center of our work.
Over its twenty year history, Austin Interfaith has had many successes. These include creation of the following programs and initiatives:
A partnership with the Austin Independent School District and individual schools to restructure relationships among staff, parents, and community in order to build a more relational culture as well as a constituency to support public education.
An adult, long-term job training program which trains low-income adults for living wage jobs with benefits and a career track. Capital IDEA has trained and placed over 1300 adults in its 17 year history in nursing, medical, and technical fields. Click here for information about career opportunities and how to get started. To learn about similar initiatives across the southwest go to: W/SWIAF Labor Market intermediaries
An adult English as a Second Language program funding by the City of Austin and administered through Austin ISD
Prime Time After School Program
The Austin lSD's largest after-school enrichment program funded by the City of Austin and Travis County.
Summer Youth Employment Program
A summer job-training and placement program funded and administered by Travis County.