Our Mission

Who We are

JOIN is an Alaska statewide Faith-based organization which helps ordinary citizens solve community issues they care about.  JOIN works to provide:

  • Leadership training for faith-inspired citizens.
  • A home for diverse religious congregations to share organizing actions.
  • Help for citizens to enact solutions-based, creative public policies.
  • Relief of suffering through positive action in Alaska’s communities.

Our “Grassroots Only” approach

While many non-profit organizations conduct top-down organizing, JOIN only supports a “bottom’s up” organizing model whereby people only work issues that individual congregations and its members select and care about deeply.

We provide leadership development to ordinary citizens.  New and emerging leaders are then able to articulate their values and together address the problems facing their families, their neighborhoods, and the broader community.  Our tools include in-depth research, public education, building diverse alliances, and direct action.

JOIN’s Mission – Community Democracy In Action

JOIN’s mission is to work from the faith principles and values of the members, apply those values to community issues, and take democratic action to impact existing social structures for the common good of all citizens, particularly the poor and disenfranchised.

What We Do

  • Train members of participating congregations in leadership and organizing skills through workshops, organizational meetings, one-to-one meetings, and statewide leadership coordination.
  • Empower congregation members to confront local issues which impact their own lives as well their neighbors – and to bring changes in the public structures and policies to ameliorate suffering, reduce inequities, and provide positive concrete solutions.
  • Ensure that low and moderate-income persons are included in decision making processes, especially when these decisions affect their lives.
  • Work for the common good of all the citizens by choosing issues which affect the common good of the members of participating congregations, always aware of the values of justice, fairness, inclusiveness, and other principles of faith and democracy.

Why JOIN was formed

After a year-long process, in late 2022 leaders from Anchorage Faith and Action—Congregations Together (AFACT) and Valley Interfaith Action (VIA) have merged to form a new, powerful statewide group, the Justice Organizing Interfaith Network (JOIN).  The new group’s purpose is to strengthen faith-based organizing in Anchorage and the Valley, and eventually expand to other parts of the state.

AFACT and VIA will continue as strong, local organizations.  Both organizations have worked tirelessly with faith communities to raise new grassroots leaders – and equip them with the skills they need to solve important community issues.

AFACT and VIA share a vision—empowered communities of faith—and a model in which the people directly affected by issues are encouraged to take action. The two organizations have always worked together closely: staff and leadership were in frequent communication and often held joint trainings. During the pandemic, that relationship deepened. VIA and AFACT leaders led forums during election season on statewide ballot measures. The two groups also met with state legislators to push for budgetary priorities that cared for the poor and disenfranchised. As they worked together, the two groups began to envision a shared future: JOIN.