Irene DeMaris, Iowa IPL’s organizer, in front of the Washington Monument.

Hi, I am Irene DeMaris and I am so excited to join Iowa IPL as the new organizer. I have always been passionate about empowering people of faith to transform their beliefs into action, and that’s exactly what Iowa IPL does. As a new Iowan, I have experienced the role that climate change has had over the past year as I have traveled the state. I’m excited to play a role in the work of Iowa IPL as we empower people of faith to create systemic change while advocating for better policies.

I have spent my entire career in faith-based non-profits. In D.C., I worked for Wesley Theological Seminary as the Associate Director of the Center for Public Theology where we helped students and community leaders tools to navigate the tension between faith and public policy. Before Wesley, I was a Faith Organizer Fellow for Faith in Public Life working primarily in their Faithful Voter program. 

Born and raised in Washington state, my first job out of college was the Program Assistant for Ministries with Young People for The Pacific Northwest Conference of The United Methodist Church. I always wanted to learn more about the intersections of justice and theology so I left my job to attend seminary full-time. I have a Master of Divinity from Seattle University’s intentionally ecumenical School of Theology and Ministry where I focused on public theology through internships at the Methodist Federation for Social Action and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. 

I’m a proud United Methodist Deaconess, which is a lay order within my denomination that is called to living a lifetime of love, justice, and service, which aligns beautifully with the mission of Iowa IPL. 

Working with Iowa IPL, I look forward to equipping, empowering, and emboldening people of faith as they apply their values to environmental justice and creation care as well as getting to know Iowans fighting against climate change. 

Iowa IPL’s new organizer can be reached at idemaris@iowaipl.org.