Bishop Joe Vasquez of the Catholic Diocese of Austin recently penned the following in advance of a statewide celebration of the 40+ year anniversary of the Texas IAF set for Saturday, April 30th:
"The Texas Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) Network Forty Years of Organizing Celebration is a significant summit to highlight the great achievements of your blessed efforts in support of families and communities. On behalf of the faithful of the Diocese of Austin, and in my own name, I congratulate you on more than forty years of service and organizing in Texas.
Austin Interfaith, through its virtuous work, proves that those living in poverty are more than figures and statistics. Austin Interfaith provides leadership development to enable citizens to collaborate and navigate effectively through the political process with governmental and community leaders around issues of common concern...."
[Photo Credit: Rodolfo Gonzalez, Ahora Si!]
"In 1988, then-East Austin resident Ofelia Zapata was among the first helped by a new group whose mission is to build stronger communities by teaching residents how to organize and leverage their political capital.
Born poor and with visual disabilities, the young widow with three daughters joined Austin Interfaith, a non-denominational, non-partisan umbrella organization of various churches, temples and charitable community groups.
Zapata first got involved when she was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. She wanted to ensure her daughters’ schools provided an education as good as more affluent schools across town, she said. Austin Interfaith members worked to help pass bond propositions to build parks and schools in East Austin, where she lived at the time...." Click here to read more.
Austin Interfaith Celebrates 30 Years of Building Power, Austin American Statesman [pdf]