The InterValley Project (IVP) is the New England organizing network of the Granite State Organizing Project (GSOP), 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 helping clergy and lay leaders develop the Berkshire Organizing Sponsoring Committee (BOSC) in western Massachusetts as they organize to address their region's issues and join IVP as its newest member organization.
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The IVP Model of Organizing
IVP offers a national model of community economic empowerment. Its regional organizations of congregations, labor union locals, community and tenant groups combine citizen organizing and democratic economic development strategies to save and create jobs, affordable housing and critical public services in some of the oldest and poorest industrial areas in the nation. The oldest IVP group was organized in 1983. The initial four IVP groups formalized their working relationship by creating IVP as a staffed network in 1997. IVP has helped organize three additional member groups since then.
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, and Springfield Massachusetts; Waterbury, Connecticut; Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls, Rhode Island; Manchester, Nashua, Lebanon, Claremont and Milford, 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.