Building the Power of Parents
COFI trains parents to be powerful leaders and COFI-trained parents accomplish great things.
Who We Are
COFI strengthens the power and voice of low-income families in all areas of civic life—from local institutions and communities to state and federal policy arenas.
What We Do
The COFI Way
A proven, family-focused organizing model for how people who are outside the centers of power become leaders, build organizations, and win.
Self, Family & Team + Team Building
Leadership begins from within. It starts with a parent’s personal, family, and community goals.
Community Outreach & Action
Building community partnerships and bringing parent leaders together around common goals.
Policy & Systems Change
Uniting parents across race and community to work with decision-makers to make real and lasting policy and systems change.
How We Do It
We’ll share what we’ve learned about building parents’ power so you can incorporate The COFI Way into your own efforts.
COFI Center for Action and Learning
Our hands-on, practical workshops are designed specifically for community organizers, social service providers, school administrators, advocates, policymakers, and veteran parent leaders around the country.
Meet The Parents
Their inspiring stories of passion, persistence, and courage are the heart of COFI.
Parents are really the true champions, the true fighters. That gives me the fuel that I need to be able to push while I'm here in Springfield.Read more
Senator Cristina Pacione-ZayasIllinois General Assembly
COFI parent leaders bring voice to parent concerns, including parents who are not able to or confident sharing their own feedback.Read more
Dr. Jennifer NorrellSuperintendent, East Aurora School District 131
All the stories I've had the privilege of hearing from COFI parents have stuck with me. No matter the venue, I've had some of the best moments of my career with COFI parents.Read more
Jenna SeversonCommunications Manager, Economic Security for Illinois
They are persistent on the issue and are respectful about working with us to find solutions because we’re losing too many kids.Read more
Ernesto MatiasChief Education Officer, Illinois State Board of Education
You can respect parents' judgment and believe what they say. They are willing to work in the trenches, not just show up for photo-ops.Read more
Senator Kimberly LightfordMajority Leader, Illinois General Assembly
The people in community–you build on those assets. You develop your assets and they become your ambassadors. That’s what distinguishes COFI from other places.Read more
Carlos AzcoitiaProfessor Emeritus, National Louis University
We were pointing at data. Rosazlia was always the person who would distill it down to how it was going to help parents.Read more
Tawa JogunosimiSenior Program Officer, MacArthur Foundation
Bringing parents through the process that COFI does has shown success that I haven’t seen much of elsewhere.Read more
Nancy ShierRetired Vice President of Illinois Policy, Start Early
COFI’s approach is to say, "Hey, there’s a problem. Let’s figure out how to solve it." And their parent leaders are the ones who give the perspective.Read more
James BebleyActing CEO, Chicago Housing Authority
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Ensure parents are at the table where decisions are being made about their families, schools, and communities.
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