For the latest news: ICARE blog
Introduction to ICARE
ICARE is Jacksonville’s Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment. Founded in 1997, ICARE’s citywide membership currently includes 38 religious congregations from Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Unitarian Universalist traditions and all racial and economic backgrounds. The purpose of ICARE is to improve the quality of life in Jacksonville by powerfully addressing neighborhood and citywide justice issues important to our members. ICARE is not a direct service agency that helps the individual victims of community problems. Rather, ICARE is a direct action organization that holds community leaders accountable to solve serious community problems. BBUUC has been a member and active participant in ICARE since August of 2014.
Yearly Cycle of Activites
ICARE Team Leaders hold House Meetings for all interested congregation members and friends in September and October. The purpose of these meetings is to share information about ICARE and to listen to individual and group concerns about issues that affect the quality of life in their neighborhood and/or the city at large. Every Team Leader is encouraged to bring one issue story to the citywide Team Assembly as part of the process of choosing issues to address citywide.
House Meetings offer the opportunity for congregation members to become ICARE Justice Ministry Network Members. Network Members agree to attend a Network Meeting at BBUUC in February and recruit three people to attend the Nehemiah Assembly in April. They are also strongly encouraged to attend the Community Problems Assembly in October, the citywide Rally in March and Celebration in May. And to make an investment in ICARE. Network Members are also eligible to join citywide Research Committees working on the issues chosen at the Community Problems Assembly.
Community Problems Assembly
ICARE Justice Ministry Network Members from all 38 congregations gather in October to select 3-4 issues to address during the current. Last year the issue of EX-Offender Re-Entry was added to the ongoing issues of Wealth Building in Northwest Jacksonville, the Homeless Day Resource Center, Restorative Justice, and the State Collaborative for Civil Citations. Research Committees explore the nature of these problems locally and successful solutions found and applied in other cities. Results are brought to the Rally and to the Nehemiah Assembly. Issues can live for one or many years depending on their complexity and the willingness of officials to effectively address problems.
BBUUC Network Meeting
BBUUC’s Justice Ministry Network Members get together at BBUUC in February to hear about issue progress and select members and friends of BBUUC to invite to the Nehemiah Assembly.
The citywide Rally in March is a time for all Network Members to hear about progress made on the citywide Issues and prepare for the Nehemiah Assembly.
The Nehemiah Assembly in April is ICARE’s largest annual gathering. 1,500 to 2,000 come together to hear community officials respond to requests for commitments to solutions ICARE Research Committees have identified as working well in other cities and highly likely to work in Jacksonville. Issue progress reports are online. Click on the name of the issue for more information. Homeless Day Resource Center. Wealth Building in Northwest Jacksonville. Ex-Offender Re-Entry. Restorative Justice. State Collaborative for Civil Citations. Open Access for Mental Health.
Timely Updates about BBUUC’s involvement in ICARE are recorded on our BBUUC ICARE Justice Ministry Network Blog.