Build power to change the country from the ground up by working with ordinary people.

Where to start?

To learn more about how the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) thinks about organizing and our work read:
Also, read these three articles:
And check out these Podcasts:


Who is the IAF looking to recruit?


The Industrial Areas Foundation is seeking to recruit, train, and develop a new generation of organizers to work in one of the groups that already exist and to assist in new strategies and targeted campaigns. The Industrial Areas Foundation is recruiting organizers to work across the US in its 70+ affiliate organizations   IAF is seeking women and men from colleges, graduate programs, seminaries, business and law schools, the military, political campaigns, and other professions who are 
interested in exploring careers in organizing.  IAF is the oldest and largest broad-based citizens organizing network in the US. IAF, founded by Saul Alinsky, won the first universal health care law in Massachusetts that became the blue print for ObamaCare, conceived and won the first living wage law in Baltimore that became a national movement, and secured more than $1 Trillion in infrastructure, housing, schools investment to revitalize poor rural and urban communities across the US.  IAF has trained hundreds of thousands of citizen leaders and organizers, including Ceasar Chavez and Barack Obama.

What are the qualities of a successful organizer?

1).  NATIVE INTELLIGENCE – not necessarily degrees, but the ability to think, reflect, communicate, challenge the conventional wisdom, make judgments in complicated situations, and show flexibility.

2).  ANGER AND EDGE – not temper, not ideological fervor, not an abstract commitment to “the people,” but a clear sense of what’s wrong, impatience in the face of that wrong, and a drive to address it.

3).  A WILLINGNESS TO CROSS RACE AND CULTURE – to be willing to work with people unlike oneself, people of other races, classes, orientations, faiths.

4). A TRACK RECORD – some evidence, in high school, college, the local community or the workplace of attempting to relate to people and to respond to situations that seemed to demand responses; and some success in whatever field or career or endeavor has occupied the individual’s time.

photo credit David Choy Photo

5).  A DRIVE TO BE ON THE GROUND IN COMMUNITIES DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY INJUSTICE TO BUILD POWER & TAKE ACTION FROM THE BOTTOM UP — some evidence that you are committed to people and place and embrace the organizing tradition pioneered by A. Philip Randolph, Fannie Lou Hammer, Ceasar Chavez, and others.

Ready to apply?