Who We Are

The West / Southwest Industrial Areas Foundation is a network of broad-based organizations building power to revitalize our democracy for constructive social and economic change.

Each of the collectives that make up the W/SWIAF is an organization of dues-paying member institutions, including religious congregations, schools, civic associations, labor and professional organizations, and non-profits. Each organization seeks to:

  • Build relationships of trust among people and institutions across the racial, denominational, economic and geographic boundaries that divide our cities
  • Strengthen congregations and community institutions by developing the skills and capacity of their leaders
  • Create a vehicle for ordinary families to have a powerful voice in the decisions that affect their lives and communities, instead of leaving decision-making in the hands of a select few
  • Take action on concrete, winnable issues, that are transforming our communities every day.

We believe in independence. All the organizations of the W/SWIAF are politically non-partisan. We will not endorse any candidate or party for elected office, and we will not pursue or accept government funding for any of our organizations.

We believe in education. Our mission is to build organizations that are "universities of public life", dedicated to developing citizens in the fullest sense: participants in our democracy and agents in the creation of a more just society.

The W/SWIAF includes 29 organizations throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska and Iowa. We are part of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the oldest and largest organizing and leadership development network in the United States.

Additional Reading:

Click here for writings about the W/SWIAF