aka ISAIAH   |   St. Paul, MN   |


ISAIAH is a faith-based, nonpartisan coalition of clergy, congregations and people of faith acting collectively and powerfully for racial and economic justice in the state of Minnesota.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms Doran Schrantz

Main address

2356 University Ave W Suite 405

St. Paul, MN 55114 USA

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NTEE code info

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

ISAIAH is a vehicle for congregations, clergy, and people of faith to act collectively and powerfully towards racial and economic equity in the state of Minnesota. By uniting local congregations in a large regional organization, ISAIAH strengthens the ability of people of faith to to address both local and regional community issues, including mass incarceration, immigration, healthcare, and racial inequity.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

A Democracy that Honors Every Person’s Dignity

We are leading together to create a Minnesota that is inclusive and just for every person:

- A recognition and respect for the full humanity of people of color and indigenous people through full democracy and restorative investment.

- A justice system that shifts from punishment to restoration and redemption.

- Full gender justice.

- A recognition that we are all interconnected and part of a community where we must be welcoming, especially to immigrants.

- A public education system that is fully funded and achieves education equity.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We are working to create a Minnesota that ensures the conditions in which all Minnesotans can be healthy. Together we commit to eliminating place-based and race-based health inequities to ensure all Minnesotans have an opportunity for good health.

We are working to create a Minnesota where the benefits of public infrastructure — roads, bridges, transit, residential and commercial development — are distributed equitably. This includes opportunities for economic growth, community health, and the increase in wealth that occurs with major transportation, housing or commercial developments.

We are working to create a Minnesota that aligns our public investments and applies our collective resources to achieve equity in education, and that opens access to opportunity to students of color across Minnesota.

We are working to create a Minnesota that seeks fairness in all its dealings, eliminating financial discrimination against communities of color, supporting best practices in foreclosure prevention, and taking an aggressive approach to enforcing fair lending laws.

ISAIAH is working to advance paid family and medical leave, affordable childcare, expanding public health care and affordable housing at the state level. ISAIAH conducts scaled public education for its members on these issues, creates community conversations, engages with policy makers, trains members to engage with local press and media, participates in coalitions with partner organizations and creates ongoing opportunities for ISAIAH members to have a public voices on these issues at the state, regional and local level.

ISAIAH is a core member of a state-wide campaign to get Minnesota to 100% clean and renewable energy. ISAIAH has launched a state-wide public education drive to about climate change and what Minnesotans can do together to move toward being a 100% clean energy state. This includes engaging policy-makers at the state level as well as working with local leadership teams on local solutions and actions.

ISAIAH is a community institution based, faith-rooted, community organizing organization that is a vehicle for people to work effectively and collectively for racial and economic justice across Minnesota. ISAIAH is made up of institutional members including congregations, child care centers, mosques and barbershops. ISAIAH carries out our work through running effective meetings, creating shared strategy, shaping public issues, holding intensive day to day coaching with institutional leaders and volunteers and shaping shared programs that facilitate the shared learning of leaders across the organization.

Leadership development, training and capacity building is the core strategy of ISAIAH to advance public campaigns to shift public opinion and to advance policies for racial and economic justice in Minnesota. Programs to develop the capacity and leadership of community-rooted institutions leads to the creation of particular coalitions and programs such as the Muslim coalition of ISAIAH, the Kids Count on Us coalition (a coalition of 200 childcare centers), ISAIAH leadership chapters in small towns and regional centers across central and southern Minnesota, the Latinx coalition of ISAIAH, the Barbershops and Black Congregation Collaborative. Civic engagement and public campaigns ISAIAH provides strategic capacities for the members and coalitions connected to ISAIAH in order to effectively do public campaigns defined by the members of the organization.

ISAIAH develops policy and research, strategic communications, digital and online organizing capacity, data tracking and tools for scaled civic engagement. The strategic capacities of the organization are deployed in the service of continued public development of grassroots leadership for racial and economic justice in Minnesota. Midwest collaborative for training and capacity building ISAIAH acts as a home for a midwest organizing training and capacity-building program. ISAIAH, along with organizations in MO, OH, MI, WI and IN, have built a shared organizing training program to develop grassroots leaders, organizing staff and operations staff to build powerful organizing organizations in states across the midwest. In addition to training, this project works to build strategic capacities such as shifting public narrative and strategic communications, policy research and campaign development and shared research and development to make community-based organizations more powerful and effective. This shared project is hosted by ISAIAH. National partners include Faith in Action, SEIU and Community Change.

ISAIAH has a 55 member sanctuary network of congregations and supporting congregations across Minnesota. ISAIAH staff support a central team that coordinates food, lodging, resources and case management across the sanctuary network. ISAIAH support staff also conduct case management to connect immigrants to necessary legal and social service resources. ISAIAH also supports sanctuary congregations in educating their congregations on issues affecting immigrants in Minnesota, federal immigration law and invites members to take action to support immigrants through changing public policies at the local, regional, state and federal level to be more inclusive of immigrants and refugees in Minnesota and the United States.

ISAIAH's Latinx coalition is a member led team of immigrants and refugees who work to build the leadership and public voice of immigrants in Minnesota. The Latinx coalition has worked to build a network of immigrants across Minnesota to support pro-immigrant policies such as drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants, legal defense funds in counties, municipal ids in cities and counties and separation ordinances.

The Muslim Coalition of ISAIAH is a network of 24 mosques and Muslim organizations that work collectively to advance Muslim public leadership, change the narrative about Muslims in Minnesota and work toward ensuring civil rights for Muslims in Minnesota. ISAIAH supports the steering team and leadership teams of the Muslim coalition through training, capacity building, strategic communications, policy development and strategic campaigns.

The Kids Count on Us (KCOU) campaign is a coalition of 200 small childcare centers that serve low income families across Minnesota. The KCOU campaign is led by a steering committee of childcare centers. ISAIAH supports the KCOU campaign through training and capacity-building, strategic communications and researching and developing policy campaigns to increase support for affordable childcare for low and middle income families. Staff of KCOU also work with childcare centers to ensure that state regulatory agencies are supporting culturally competent, community-run, locally owned childcare centers.

Barbershop and Black Congregational Collaborative (BBCC) is a coalition of black owned barbershops and congregations working to build the public voice and engagement of African American and African immigrants. BBCC facilitates regular trainings, public forums, public education and civic engagement through barbershops and congregations. BBCC is working collectively on tenants' rights, affordable housing, restoring the vote for formerly incarcerated people and criminal justice reform.

In 2020, ISAIAH trained and mobilized 5,000 people to attend precinct caucuses, drawn from Muslim, Black, Latinx, and white communities. Paid family leave was at the top of the agenda, along with other issues relevant to combining work and family like paid sick days, investments in childcare, healthcare reform, and a commitment to address the challenge of eldercare.

We organized a statewide multiracial clergy team which met weekly throughout the spring and summer. About a hundred clergy attended most weeks, up to 250 for larger gatherings. The clergy used their moral authority to speak to their congregations and elected officials about the importance of caring for the caretakers, which includes paid leave, sick time, childcare support, and an urgent, equitable, compassionate response to COVID.

We trained 2,000 leaders to lead voter engagement in their communities. This was a relational program, rooted in deep community ties and existing relationships. Imams contacted Muslims. The owners of childcare centers reached out to the parents of children they looked after. Catholic and Black leaders encouraged their communities to vote. We engaged tens of thousands of voters around building a caring economy.

We engaged 3,000 leaders in public action related to the caring economy during the grant year. 1,000 people volunteered as community resilience leads, checking in with friends and neighbors in the early months of the pandemic. We mobilized our leadership to keep childcare centers open safely during the pandemic and protect the childcare assistance program. The Muslim Coalition of ISAIAH organized 92 adult daycare centers and successfully advocated to be allowed to continue providing services in the pandemic.

For the next year, ISAIAH will:
- Hold a large public meeting (via Zoom) with 2,000 participants, plus top lawmakers and the governor. Paid family leave will be at the top of this event, held in January, and driven by our organizers and top leaders.

- Launch a week of training for leaders. 500 people will spend a week in January learning about paid family leave and the caring economy.

- Expand our grassroots base through house meetings, congregational forums, barbershop forums, and other events and use local elections to build a mandate for the caring economy.

- Focused on expanding our leadership bases through tenant and neighborhood organizing and continuing to leverage our existing leadership base through engaging residents in conversations and trainings to invest in their leadership and to enroll them in our campaign to invest in community safety, healing and economic wellness.



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Board of directors
as of 02/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Rev. James Alberts

Sarah Gleason

St. Joan of Arc Catholic Community, Minneapolis

Dan Quillin

Mayflower UCC, Minneapolis

Anita Alexander

Camphor Memorial UMC, St. Paul

Demetria Carter

Greater Friendship MBC, Minneapolis

Rocio Cordova

Ascension Catholic Church, Minneapolis

Kathleen Doran-Norton

Church of St. Dominic, Northfield

Paula Haywood

New Creation Church, Minneapolis

Kim Houle

House of Prayer Lutheran Church, Richfield

Maria Huerta

St. Odilia Catholic Church, Shoreview

Molly Weyrens

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Faith Community, Sartell

Daniel Perez

Church of All Nations, Columbia Heights