Key Areas

Initiative: Wrestling with the Truth of Colonization

This Initiative focuses on four colonized countries that are now called Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. A talented team of Native, First Nations, Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples leads our collective work. 

The collaboration emerged from our shared commitment to: 

  • Support initiatives to protect and expand Indigenous sovereignty and self-governance; 
  • Strengthen the capacity of Indigenous-led organizations to engage disconnected members of their community in ways that give them more agency as individuals and collective power as a group; and,
  • Engage a critical mass of non-Indigenous people and organizations in understanding the impact of colonization, their ongoing complicity in its legacy, and the ways in which they can become partners in creating an equitable future.
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Initiative: Health Equity Organizing

The IAF Northwest Health Equity Organizing initiative works with health clinics, residency programs, and students to use community organizing tools and practices to address the social determinants of health - the conditions in our community where we work, live, and play,
that have been demonstrated to influence our health far more than medical care.  There is immense interest within the healthcare world to address the social determinants, but direct services to individual patients (e.g., housing referrals, food vouchers, resume workshops) are not enough to address community-level issues like unstable housing, food insecurity, unemployment. To build the power to address social determinants we need to organize.

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Training & Organizer Support


Since 2006, the IAF Northwest has been hosting 6-day Leadership Trainings, currently in rotating cities across 4 countries: USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. 

This intensive training provides a thorough introduction to the organizing practices and principles developed by Industrial Areas Foundation member organizations in its 79-year history.

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Connecting Affiliates

IAF Northwest aims to disseminate winning practices and success stories between the organizers and civic leaders in our alliances.   We work to help organizers and leaders learn from each other in what has proven successful in both addressing issue problems and ways to engage more people through organizing strategies. 

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Ongoing Campaigns

We support our affiliates in researching issue areas affecting their regions, and sharing solutions with each other.


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