Aurora Solis is typical of the people involved in faith-based organizing. Solis, a Mexican immigrant who grew up in a low-income home, works in a staff position at a high school in San Jose, California. She has been a U.S. citizen for only four years. But she was recruited by her pastor to serve on the parish “local organizing committee” and bring together parishioners and others living in the church’s neighborhood. She became a leader in neighborhood struggles and by 1997 was president of People Acting in Community Together (PACT). Today she speaks with poise and humor to large audiences, and negotiates with the mayor of San Jose.
Stephen Hart works in medical research at Frontier Science and teaches sociology at SUNY-Buffalo. He recently wrote Cultural Dilemmas of Progressive Politics: Styles of Engagement Among Grassroots Activists (University of Chicago Press).