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Industrial Areas Foundation

The Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) is a national workforce development (Project QUEST, Capital IDEA, Project IOWA, VIDA, ARRIBA, NOVA, Skills Quest, Capital IDEA - Houston, AZ Career Pathways and JobPath), healthcare ( Common Ground Healthcare), and housing development for working- and middle-class families ( Nehemiah Project in East Brooklyn and The Road Home Program in New Orleans). In 1994, the IAF organization in Baltimore designed and passed the first living wage bill in the US, and since then IAF organizations across the country have won changes including municipal living wage policies for public sector workers and living wage requirements for tax abatements or economic incentives, that have raised the wages of millions of workers.


  • History 1
  • After Alinsky 2
  • Governance 3
  • Training 4
  • Affiliates 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Alinsky's first organizing project was the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council, founded in 1939 as the Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta.[2]

In Chicago, Alinsky developed a team of organizers including journalist Eastman Kodak company was more controversial and less successful.[5]

In 1969 Alinsky was able to establish a formal IAF organizer training program, run by Chambers and Dick Harmon, with a grant from Gordon Sherman of Midas Muffler company.[6] Alinsky published a successful book, Rules for Radicals, in 1971, updating his earlier vision. Alinsky died unexpectedly of a heart attack in June 1972.[7]

After Alinsky

After Alinsky's death, his long-time associate and designated successor Ed Chambers became executive director. Chambers began to place systematic training of organizers and local leaders at the center of IAF's work. He also began to shift the organizing model of "the modern IAF"[8] toward the

  • Industrial Areas Foundation homepage
  • West/Southwest IAF homepage
  • Metro-IAF homepage

External links

  • Alinsky, Saul, Reveille for Radicals (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1946).
  • Alinsky, Saul, Rules for Radicals (New York: Vintage Books, 1971). ISBN 0-394-71736-8
  • Chambers, Edward T. and Michael A. Cowan, Roots for Radicals: Organizing for Power, Action, and Justice (New York: Continuum, 2003). ISBN 0-8264-1499-0
  • Greider, William, Who Will Tell the People? (Simon & Schuster/Touchstone, 1992). ISBN 0-671-86740-7
  • Horwitt, Sanford D., Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky- His Life and Legacy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989). ISBN 0-394-57243-2
  • Industrial Areas Foundation, IAF: 50 Years Organizing for Change (Franklin Square, NY: Industrial Areas Foundation, 1990).
  • Osterman, Paul, Gathering Power (Boston, MA: Beacon Press) 2002.
  • Penta, Leo (Hrsg.), Community Organizing - Menschen verändern ihre Stadt (Hamburg: edition Körber-Stiftung, 2007). ISBN 978-3-89684-066-0
  • Rogers, Mary Beth, Cold Anger: A Story of Faith and Power Politics (Denton: University of North Texas Press, 1990). ISBN 0-929398-13-0
  • Sanders, Marion K., The Professional Radical: Conversations with Saul Alinsky (New York: Harper & Row, 1970).
  • Stout, Jeffrey, Blessed Are the Organized (Princeton University Press, 2010).
  • Warren, Mark R., Dry Bones Rattling: Community Building to Revitalize American Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2001). ISBN 0-691-07432-1
  • Wilson, William Julius, Bridge Over the Racial Divide (University of California Press, 2001).


  1. ^ Horwitt, Let Them Call Me Rebel, ch. 7, pp. 67-76.
  2. ^ Horwitt, Let Them Call Me Rebel, pp. 222-238.
  3. ^ IAF: 50 Years Organizing for Change, p. 8.
  4. ^ Horwitt, Let Them Call Me Rebel, ch. 24, pp. 425-449.
  5. ^ Horwitt, Let Them Call Me Rebel, ch. 25, pp. 450-505.
  6. ^ Horwitt, Let Them Call Me Rebel, pp. 516-518.
  7. ^ Horwitt, Let Them Call Me Rebel, p. 539.
  8. ^ IAF: 50 Years Organizing for Change, p. 7.
  9. ^ Rogers, Cold Anger, pp. 33-78, 93-126,157-182.
  10. ^ Horwitt, Let Them Call Me Rebel, p. 545.
  11. ^ Warren, Dry Bones Rattling, pp. 30-71.
  12. ^ Greider, Who Will Tell the People?, Ch. 10, "Democratic Promise," pp. 222-241.
  13. ^ Warren, Dry Bones Rattling, p. 47.
  14. ^ Warren, Dry Bones Rattling, p. 7.
  15. ^ IAF: 50 Years Organizing for Change, p. 12.
  16. ^ “Report on the Impact of the Valley Interfaith Living Wage Campaign,” MIT (2000)
  17. ^ IAF: 50 Years Organizing for Change, p. 7.
  18. ^ Horwitt, Let Them Call Me Rebel, pp. 102-103.
  19. ^ Warren, Dry Bones Rattling, p. 265, endnote 5.
  20. ^ Horwitt, Let Them Call Me Rebel, p. 545.
  21. ^ IAF: 50 Years Organizing for Change, p. 17.









IAF affiliates with web pages are listed below.


The national IAF conducts an intensive 8-day leadership training program annually, alternating the venue between Chicago and Los Angeles, and also has a 90-day organizer internship program. IAF's "iron rule of organizing" ("Never do for others what they can do for themselves")[21] emphasizes developing new leaders from within local organizations.


IAF's legal authority rests in a Board of Trustees, which functions more as an advisory body, recently including such notables as Michael Gecan, and Sr. Christine Stephens, presently act as a team of co-directors.[19][20]


IAF claims responsibility for the success of the first living wage law in Baltimore in 1994, followed by New York City in 1996, Tucson in 1998, the Rio Grande Valley in the late 1990s and early 2000s[16] and, most recently, in Austin, Texas.

The "modern IAF" has been an influential model for other networks of broad-based community organizations, including PICO National Network, Gamaliel Foundation, and Direct Action and Research Training Center (DART).

IAF developed successful projects along the East Coast with East Brooklyn Congregations, which pioneered the affordable housing project called Nehemiah Homes, and BUILD in Baltimore which also developed Nehemiah housing for low-income people.[15]

[14] In 1996 IAF moved its national headquarters back to Chicago to develop a new affiliate in that metropolitan area and expand its work in the South, Southwest and Midwest].[13] cut its support for IAF.Archdiocese of Chicago In 1979 Chambers moved the IAF headquarters to New York after the [12][11]

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