Faith In The Valley

Proclaiming a new vision for the central valley

aka Faith in the Valley   |   Stockton, CA   |


Faith in the Valley is a faith-based grassroots community organization in California’s Central Valley of 120 congregations representing over 100,000 families in Fresno, Kern, Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Our work is led by volunteer leaders who are among the people most impacted by equity issues: low-wage workers, young people, immigrants, and the formerly incarcerated.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Pastor Curtis Smith

Main address

2027 E. Harding Way

Stockton, CA 95205 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Faith in Community



NTEE code info

Unknown (Z99)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Register now

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

With an acute housing crisis fueled by Bay Area migration, widespread poverty, some of the worst air pollution in the nation, and the recent highest per capita number of police killings in an American county (Kern), the need for leadership development and power building to create positive change in the Central Valley is critical. The valley has largely lacked an ecosystem of power building organizations, and Faith in the Valley is working to build that ecosystem, and lead local and regional organizing campaigns that address these issues. Faith in the Valley works to build the type of power necessary to shift the underlying economy and politics of the Valley which are dominated by powerful extractive industries that perpetuate policies contributing to widespread poverty. Many young people and low income working families have little to no representation in Central Valley politics, and few ways to influence issues directly impacting them. Faith in the Valley is working to change that.

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 prophetic voice for justice and equality of opportunity

Faith in the Valley is a faith-based, grassroots community organization in California’s Central Valley, led by volunteer leaders impacted by equity issues: low-wage workers, young people, immigrants, the formerly incarcerated and others. The organization has a vision for a future in which everyone is included, treated as sacred, and has a chance to thrive and live a healthy, decent life. As a multi faith, multi-racial coalition of more than 100 congregations and 100,000 families in five counties across California’s Central Valley, Faith in the Valley builds power among historically excluded communities and builds bridges between people across difference to act together for systems and policy change. Faith in the Valley chapters have been organizing for 25 years in the Central Valley as independent PICO CA organizations, and have a track record of developing grassroots leaders who are improving their local communities through systemic change. Faith in the Valley consolidated the five chapters into one regional organization in 2016 with offices in Fresno, Bakersfield, Stockton, Modesto and Merced.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Victims and oppressed people

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.

Faith in the Valley’s mission is to unlock the power of people to put faith into action in the public square, and to advance a movement for racial justice and health equity. FIV seeks to build relational power, lift up a new narrative about the lives of people of color, and drive civic engagement efforts that move our community priorities forward. FIV builds intersectional relationships across race, faith, class and status that will increase capacity of individuals to act on behalf of those outside their center to create policy and structural change.

FIV’s model of organizing is authentically rooted in the local development and engagement of grassroots leaders most impacted by racial and economic justice issues to advance systems and multi-year policy change at the local, regional and state level. Through our core program of training and formation of volunteer leaders in community organizing and civic engagement, we are building a network of community leaders and clergy in the Central Valley who are equipped to transform their communities and the inequalities they face. They are the voices on the frontlines of our campaigns.

Our current issue campaigns include: ensuring a full Census count in hard-to-count areas of the Central Valley; increasing access to safe, healthy and affordable affordable housing; creating healthy communities; supporting immigrant communities under threat of deportation and loss of services; alternatives to incarceration and pathways to opportunity; violence prevention, police reform, restorative justice practices in education; and air pollution and climate change.

Our core programs and methodologies are embedded in a relational model of community organizing and civic engagement. Faith in the Valley seeks not only to increase civic engagement, but also to build community power to secure policy wins that reflect the experiences and perspectives of impacted Central Valley residents. In addition to our core program of leadership development and formation, our key strategies focus on strategic partnerships and alliances, research, community organizing and narrative shaping.

Our unique role in the community organizing and advocacy/policy field is to provide a clear moral voice to public policy discussions that is reinforced by the authority and power of real people who are rooted in local faith communities and organizing themselves to act together in focused issue campaigns. Faith in the Valley has a key set of partners around both our civic engagement and ongoing issue campaign work.
Part of the uniqueness of Faith in the Valley’s work is that it does not solely depend on paid staff. Faith in the Valley’s sustainability strategy is rooted in lay leadership teams at congregations that are serving (and will continue to serve) as a hub for ongoing grassroots leadership development and engagement. Faith in the Valley staff and leaders identify impacted community members who engage other individuals with similar experiences, creating more opportunities for ongoing engagement and leadership development to sustain this effort and its power building goals.

Additionally, with PICO CA federations across the state, Faith in the Valley participated in the launch of The Belong Movement, which will serve as a vehicle to strengthen our organizational capacity to develop multiracial, intersectional volunteer leaders who are deeply committed to a long-term vision rooted in the liberation of all oppressed people. Belong represents a significant departure from how most progressive or movement or social change organizations train and develop their members and community leaders. Most training programs are designed to produce desired short-term, tactical campaign outcomes. Instead, we are developing a leadership formation program that will transcend narrow “self-interest” and help community leaders both understand the structural drivers of exclusion and build lasting relationships rooted in kinship. For this reason, the Belong Movement will serve as a vehicle for fundamentally evolving the culture of power-building organizations in ways that help us not just win long-term structural reforms but also achieve human transformation.

Since the launch earlier this year, FIV began and is continuing to hold a series of Belong Circles in communities across the Central Valley to build intersectional relationships across race, faith, class and status that will increase capacity of individuals to act on behalf of those outside their center to create policy and structural change.

Representing 100 congregations from various faith traditions and across five counties of the Central Valley, we are the largest congregation-based community organizing coalition in the region, which spans over 200 miles. We have a track record of over 20 years doing this work in the Central Valley, previously as five separate organizations and more recently merged as one regional organization. This new regional structure enables us to be more efficient administratively and to provide a more consistent and impactful training and support for organizers across all five counties.

Organizers with Faith in the Valley are trained and developed to bring grassroots leaders and congregations to a shared table of addressing the most pressing pains and pressures facing our families and communities. Through a model and cycle of organizing, engaged leaders and congregations are trained on conducting research, listening to their communities more broadly, educating their elected officials, and developing their collective public voice for greater power.

In addition to our regional structure and being one of the only organizations to span the entire Central Valley, we are also uniquely positioned to change inequitable structures, policies and exclusive narratives in our region because of our work to unite various faith traditions and faith leaders around common beliefs in defending our most vulnerable neighbors and the right to human dignity for all.

By working with PICO California federations from across the state, FIV is also able to impact policy at the state level.

As a result of the year-round organizing, civic engagement and leadership training of impacted community members, Faith in the Valley (FIV) chapters have not only built the momentum to advance major public policy wins, but are also playing key roles in shaping implementation and in spreading and scaling similar change from one Central Valley community to another.

For example, the breakthrough housing program that Fresno championed is now being replicated in Stanislaus county. In Fresno, FIV launched an accountability and monitoring campaign to ensure full and complete implementation of the breakthrough Rental Housing Inspection Ordinance (RHIA) that they won. After conducting door to door canvassing, gathering evidence to monitor City of Fresno enforcement practices, sharing information about RHIA and tenant’s rights and pushing past implementation delays, the proactive random inspections began last summer. To date 66% of the initial inspections have failed and 92% units passed re-inspection, which means that improvements were made to 2,428 units by July 2019, resolving basic health and safety issues that were an imminent danger. Additionally, our ongoing canvassing outreach is helping to target inspections and ensure that units do not fall through the cracks.

We expanded our housing work to Stanislaus County where we supported grassroots leaders and tenants in in research and advocacy to shape a city-wide routine rental housing inspection program, modeled after the Fresno policy. Because of FIV’s regional structure, we have been able to leverage relationships with powerful opposition in counties throughout the region and in part because of these relationships, there is agreement on the urgency to move a policy forward in Modesto.

Additionally, FIV San Joaquin successfully advocated for the adoption of a program called Advance Peace in Stockton, which removes barriers and creates opportunity for system impacted and the formerly incarcerated through the creation of life map goals, mentorship, social services, internships and other pathways to opportunity and employment. Leaders in Fresno are now working to replicate a similar program in their community.

Finally, we launched the Valley Watch Network, to coordinate our Rapid Response efforts throughout the Central Valley from Stockton to Bakersfield. Since its inception, our Rapid Response hotline has received over 4,500 calls, and provided accompaniment and legal referrals to many people. We did extensive Know Your Rights outreach and developed the Fresno County Legal Defense Fund to offer legal assistance to immigrants under threat.

All of Faith in the Valley’s work is non-partisan. We do not endorse or engage in any activity in support of or in opposition to candidates for public office. Our work is focused on non-partisan, non-lobbying community education and engagement. Occasionally, it includes direct or grassroots lobbying, and in these cases we use unrestricted funds.


Faith In The Valley

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.


Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Faith In The Valley

Board of directors
as of 11/08/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Liliana Prado

Reza Nekumanesh

Lilianna Prado

Henry Phillips

Pastor Simon Biasell

Rev. Tim Kutzmark

Chuck Shawver

Pastor Darlene Williams

Rev. Nelson Rabell-Gonzales

Don Geiger

Michael Baldwin

Rabbi Shalom Bochner

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/8/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/24/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.