Who We Are
The United Valley Interfaith Project is a community organizing group.
Community organizing is a systematic approach to addressing the root
causes of social problems and improving the lives of all in our communities.
The United Valley Interfaith Project emerged from several congregations
seeking to understand the extent of poverty and injustice in our
region, and their frustration in tackling poverty and justice issues
by themselves. From a loosely-knit group of congregations in
2003 to a formal organization in 2008, the United Valley Interfaith
Project has become a powerful force for collective action to enhance
social justice in our region.
Since that time we have worked to...
public transportation throughout our region, including better
funding for local providers and expansion of bus service (UVIP
Transportation Issue Team, 2009-2011)
Gain access to mid-winter warming shelters for people who are
homeless (UVIP Housing Action Team, 2009-2011)
In the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, secure re-employment for
furloughed JCPenney workers, and work to improve fairness in
reimbursement for Irene-related expenses and debt (UVIP Irene
Relief Team, 2011-present)
Prevent 4 onerous bills from becoming state law in New Hampshire,
including bills that would have eroded tenants’ rights, reduced
affordable housing, brought predatory high-interest lending back
to NH, and expanded casino gambling (UVIP New Hampshire Legislative
Action Team, 2011-present)
more details on our current Issue Teams, click here.
UVIP is a member of the InterValley Project, a network of seven
community organizing groups in the Northeast. Click
here for a link to the InterValley Project.
What is Community Organizing?
United Valley Interfaith Project is a community
organizing group. Community organizing is a systematic approach to
addressing the root causes of social problems and improving the lives of all in our communities.
Through community organizing, people build relationships
across lines that often separate us, and in doing so build groups
made up of diverse members. This diversity is a key strength of community
organizing. There are thousands of community organizing groups throughout
the United States and around the world, working to make stronger
communities and addressing the issues that impede justice.
Community organizing groups do not provide direct
services. We address the issues by listening to those most affected
by the problem, researching possible solutions, bringing together
various stakeholders to solve the problem, and getting decision makers
to implement the agreed upon solutions. Stakeholders include businesses,
faith groups, social service agencies, advocacy groups, government
officials, schools and other community organizations. By involving
all stakeholders in this process, the solutions arrived at enjoy
wider public support. This allows community organizing groups to
continually develop leaders, deepen the web of relationships within
the community, and strengthen the ability to create change for the
Faith-based community organizing groups
bring people together primarily through their religious congregations
and faith communities, as well as business associations, labor
unions, residential associations, schools, community groups, and
other member based organizations. While faith is a strong motivating
factor for many members, faith-based community organizing groups
do not advocate any particular religious, doctrinal, or politically
motivated solution to the problems we address. We seek to facilitate
practical and sensible solutions that take into account the interests
of all stakeholders and the common good.
The United Valley Interfaith Project is
one of many community organizing groups worldwide that engage members
in collaborative efforts to improve our communities. Community
organizing groups have become vital institutions, gaining power
and influence in working for justice. To empower communities and
individuals, community organizing groups follow the core principle
of not doing for others what they can do for themselves. We will
continue to grow and be an enduring force in our community beyond
our current issue work as we train new volunteer members to become
leaders and develop new relationships, strengthen existing ones,
and research new issues affecting our communities. Through our
Executive Council, we choose the issues we work on in an open and
democratic way and decisions are made by our local member groups.
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