Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment
The Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment, (ICARE), is a faith-based, multi-issue, direct action, community organization of 40 congregations with over 30,000 Duval County citizens from a broad cross-section of the Jacksonville community. We are incorporated in Florida as a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) tax exempt and politically non-partisan organization. Our mission is to use the power of organized people to hold key public and private institutions accountable for justice and fairness.
Recent accomplishments include a campaign in 2009 in which over 1000 ICARE leaders came together to press hospital officials in Jacksonville to adopt “Baby Friendly” practices outlined by the World Health Organization in an effort to reduce the staggering infant mortality rate in Duval County. As a result, in 2011 the Florida Department of Health reported Jacksonville as having the lowest infant mortality rate in the last two decades.
In 2010, 1,200 ICARE leaders assembled to challenge the Early Learning Coalition and the Jacksonville Children’s Commission to prioritize accessibility for full-day pre-kindergarten care by allocating approximately $2.1 million dollars toward wrap-around funding for low-income working families. To date, 1,000 more students are registered for quality voluntary pre-kindergarten programs with almost 300 more families receiving full-day vouchers.
In 2012, ICARE held an assembly with 1,800 ICARE leaders, securing a commitment from Mayor Alvin Brown to create a day-time drop-in center for 4,000 homeless men, women and children in Jacksonville. In 2013, the Jacksonville Day Resource Center opened and is serving 150 people a day. This center is a place where people can take showers, do laundry, access computers and mental health and job counseling.
In 2013, ICARE pressed the County Sheriff, Superintendent and State Attorney to implement a Restorative Justice program proven in several large cities to reduce repeat youth offenses in the schools and neighborhoods. Today, 87 schools are using Restorative Justice and 1,200 youth went through the program last year. In one year, out-of-school suspensions have decreased by 25%. In addition, three Neighborhood Accountability Boards have opened to divert nonviolent youth from jail. This restorative justice method brings the victim and offender together and allows neighbors to decide on restitution outside of jail. This program is serving youth in a dozen zip codes. One hundred and fifty youth went through the program in the last year and now do not have a criminal record.
Presently, 40 congregations with over 30,000 members partner with ICARE. Members represent a broad and diverse cross-section of Duval County, coming from different religious traditions, including Catholic, Baptist, United Methodist, AME, Episcopal, Jewish, Unitarian, Muslim, United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ and Presbyterian.
Board of Directors
To be Provided
2650 Park St.
Jacksonville, FL 32204