June 8, 2011
Welcome to Greater Long Beach Interfaith Community
an interfaith coalition of Long Beach-area congregations united in pursuit of social justice for all residents of our community.
Established in 1998 as an affiliate of the PICO National Network, ICO works through our member congregations in Long Beach to engage low and moderate income families in civic life and the democratic process through leadership training and congregation-based organizing.
ICO works to revitalize democracy by engaging, educating and organizing people to act on their faith values. We work with our member congregations to identify key issues – in health and health care, environmental justice, homelessness and housing, or immigrant rights – and to engage and energize local leadership to work towards resolution and social transformation.
ICO believes that people are precious. And because they are precious, they deserve to live in a world that is just. Justice is a product of the interaction of the spiritual and social dimensions of our lives. Organizing is a tool to integrate those two dimensions and create a world of dignity and justice for all the families of our community.
ICO makes a difference through recruiting member congregations who are ready to commit to the community organizing process. Through working together, people are able to bridge ethnic, cultural, and racial differences. Holding together the members of ICO is the relationships shared by individuals and families, relationships based on a common vision and common values.
ICO promotes congregation-based community organizing because it has no ideological agenda other than a radical belief in and commitment to democratic principles and a profound respect for the individual and human dignity. Organizing does not preach - it listens. Faith congregations are the concrete symbol of people in relationship mobilized to act on their values. Community organizing is not a panacea to the problems and ills confronting our communities, but rather represents a viable and effective method for finding the answer.