Texas-based affiliates in the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF)—built on ideas, principles, and actions from the late Saul Alinsky—offer a strong, mature organizing model compared with other community organizations. In Hope for Justice and Power, Kathleen Staudt examines the twenty-first-century activities of the Texas IAF in multiple cities and towns around the state, drawing on forty years of academic teaching and on twenty years of active leadership experiences in the IAF. She identifies major contradictions, tensions, and their resolutions in IAF organizing related to centralism versus local control, reformist versus radical goals, stable revenue generation, greater gender balance in leadership, and evolving IAF principles.
To analyze the Texas IAF, Staudt draws on participant observation in El Paso, statewide meetings and training, on interviews, and on archival documents and media coverage. This book will appeal to those interested in community-based organizing and leadership, Mexican American and women’s politics, civic-capacity building in education, political socialization, and both Texas and urban politics.