- South Carolina
The Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment, (ICARE), is a faith-based, multi-issue, direct action, community organization of 38 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 when 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.
Finally in 2010, ICARE pressed the County Sheriff and representatives from Duval County Public Schools to implement a school-based Restorative Justice program proven in several large cities to reduce repeat youth offenses. Today, 16 schools with Student Accountability Boards (SAB), and 240 students have gone through this process so far this school year. There is a commitment for the remaining middle and high schools to have a functioning SAB by the end of the school year. We have also pressed our Sheriff, State Attorney, Courts and Department of Juvenile Justice to implement Neighborhood Accountability Boards to reduce youth crime. To date we have three Neighborhood Accountability Boards in our city.
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. ICARE also received a commitment from the State Attorney to refer qualifying youth offenders to a Restorative Justice program similar to the program in Orlando, FL boasting a 9% recidivism rate. Finally, ICARE received a commitment from the Superintendent of Duval County Schools to utilize a highly effective reading curriculum for elementary and middle school students reading two years below grade level, now impacting approximately 10,000 students.
Presently, 38 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, Unitarian, Muslim, United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ and Presbyterian.
Board of Directors
Co-President-Rev. James Wiggins, St. Paul Lutheran
Co-President-Rev. Kent Dorsey, Riverside Avenue Christian Church
Vice President- Katherine Robinson, Greater Payne AME Chapel
Treasurer – Nancy Ricker- Arlington Congregational UCC
Co-Secretary- Kat Oughton, Riverside Avenue Christian Church
Co-Secretary- Carolyn Hillhouse, Jones, Lakewood Presbyterian
Pat Meisner- Most Holy Redeemer Catholic
Charles Williams- Most Holy Redeemer Catholic
Marcia Doby- South Jacksonville Presbyterian
Vandon White- St. Paul’s by the Sea Episcopal
Linda Allen- Lakewood Presbyterian
Cheryl Boykins- Greater Payne Chapel AME
Carolyn Hillhouse-Jones- Lakewood Presbyterian
Lois Hoeft- Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville
Rev. Kent Dorsey – Riverside Avenue Christian
Geneva Pittman – St. Paul AME
Queen Williams – St. Paul AME
Myrtle Collins – St. Andrew’s AME
Mary Watson – Christ Episcopal
Louise Huey – St. Philip’s Episcopal
Cathi Everett – Lakeshore Presbyterian
Renae Armstrong – Greater Grant AME
Craig Gibbs – Greater Grant AME
Carolyne Rutland – Historic Mt. Zion AME
Bayyinah Muhammed – Jacksonville Masjid of Al-Islam
Phillip McDowell – Mandarin United Methodist
Brian Lapinski – Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville
Willie Alexander – St. Pius V Catholic
2650 Park St.
Jacksonville, FL 32204