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Nestled in the heart of Southern California’s Inland Empire, Inland Empire United (I.E. United) grapples with issues of economic disparity and social justice that impact the communities across Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. 

Founded in 2017, I.E. United was established as a civic engagement collective impact table with a vision to uplift community needs, support progressive leadership, and bring together intersectional movements around a collective vision for the Southern California region. Their vision is to facilitate systems change by strengthening democratic infrastructure and building grassroots progressive power. 

The Inland Empire is a region brimming with potential, but historical disenfranchisement has left many residents behind. I.E. United works tirelessly to bridge this gap, building power by fostering civic engagement, leadership development, and fair representation. 

I.E. United does this work with the perspective that the government would work better if it more intentionally served the people who it has historically not served.

Leading the charge for this important coalition building work is I.E. United’s Executive Director, Sky Allen, who shares that she believes that the reason that people are disengaging civically is because we take such small bites, and uphold the status quo:

“We are dealing with really big problems. People need to see that people are at least trying to pass big solutions that address – the housing crisis, the climate crisis. We have massive problems - we need to push change at the scale of the problem. We need to be more intentional, more thoughtful and more courageous. Hopefully we get to a place where there are enough people with courage making decisions that impact us all.”

IE United tackles social inequities through a multi-pronged approach:

Civic Engagement: They fuel voter participation through education and outreach programs, ensuring residents have a voice in shaping their communities.

Policy Advocacy: Recognizing that policy is the key to shifting conditions for communities on the ground, IE United supports policies and programs that strengthen democracy, like expanding voter registration and adopting fair maps in the redistricting cycles. 

Leadership Development: The organization fosters future leaders through their Justice Leadership Academy, equipping community members with the skills and knowledge to advocate for change.

Electoral Campaigns: IE United actively supports candidates who align with their vision of a just and equitable Inland Empire.

Over the last several years, I.E. United has worked closely with Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest, building and establishing leadership pipelines in the community.

Of their work together, Karen Borja, Director of Legislative & Community Affairs at Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest says: 

“I.E. United made sure people across the Inland Empire were counted once, and in the right place during the 2020 Census. Following the decennial count, they worked alongside many organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, to ensure fair maps in the redistricting process. The organization has a vision of equity through democracy that cannot be understated throughout our region.”

I.E. United's dedication to social justice makes them a vital force in Southern California. As the Inland Empire continues to grow, I.E. United will undoubtedly play a crucial role in ensuring that growth translates to a better quality of life for all residents.

I.E. United is also thrilled to invite you to their Cocktail Celebration, A Sky Full of Stars where attendees will have a chance to formally meet their Executive Director, Sky Allen. To learn more about I.E. United’s work, visit ieunited.org, or follow them @IEUnited


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