The InterValley Project (IVP) is the New England organizing network of seven regional organizations, rooted in congregations and labor, housing, community and small business organizations, organizing for social and economic justice for their communities.
They are Berkshire Interfaith Organizing (BIO), Kennebec Valley Organization (KVO), Merrimack Valley Project (MVP), Naugatuck Valley Project (NVP), Pioneer Valley Project (PVP), the Rhode Island Organizing Project (RIOP), and the United Valley Interfaith Project (UVIP). IVP is currently working with the Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) in Vermont as they explore creating an IVP-model organization.
The IVP Model of Organizing
Membership in IVP provides each local organization with access to organizing, leadership and staff development, research, staff recruitment, and fund-raising expertise far beyond what is available at the local level alone. On behalf of its current member groups, IVP also actively develops new organizing and development strategies, as well as organizing new IVP member groups in New England.
IVP communities include the cities and communities of Lowell, Lawrence, Springfield, Pittsfield, and Great Barrington, Massachusetts; Waterbury, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; Lebanon and Claremont, New Hampshire; Waterville, Augusta, and Skowhegan, Maine; White River Junction and Springfield, Vermont.
Our communities face a hollowing out of the middle class and a new concentration of the poor, including thousands of new immigrants and refugees. Most of our communities have suffered from the loss of union-represented skilled manufacturing jobs, vital public services, and private investment. With the loss of these resources these communities often lose their next generation of talented young people moving away to find work.
In all of our communities IVP organizations unite low-, moderate-families, and their allies across a region around the common work of their congregations and other organizations to organize to bring about specific concrete changes, while developing leaders and building a stronger sense of community.
Leadership Development for Participation in Civic and Economic Life
IVP organizations develop leadership skills of hundreds of local leaders every year and help them build power for participation in civil and economic life by teaching them how to organize strong regional organizations across lines of religion, race, ethnicity, class, age and geography that can act on public issues of their choosing.
Where it makes sense, IVP groups use democratic economic development strategies as well. These have led to the creation of worker-owned firms, community land trusts, resident-owned housing developments and a time bank.
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