Interfaith Community Initiatives is the dba name for The Interfaith Community Institute (ICI), a non-profit 501(c)3. We were originally organized in 1996 as the “Community Institute” and housed two programs – health and spirituality and race relations across the color, religious, and cultural divides. This first phase was funded in part by the Grady Indigent Fund, Egleston Children’s Fund, the James A. Whitehead Foundation, and the Woodruff Foundation. During our next phase we secured a two year grant from the C.F. Foundation and created the World Pilgrims program (whose founder Rev. Wayne Smith has passed). The World Pilgrims program combined the learned results from our earlier programs on race relations with a new vision for interfaith and cultural exchange.
Now into our third phase as Interfaith Community Initiatives, our expanded vision includes developing and leading innovative, inviting programs that inspire deep engagement in interfaith appreciation and cooperation. This includes:
- educating people and congregations about diverse religions;
- providing faith leaders various opportunities to exchange, dialogue, and collaborate with those of other faiths;
- developing and publishing interfaith educational materials for indiduals, congregations and institutions;
- offering dynamic programs that change people’s lives; and
- affecting the communities we live in through interfaith appreciation, collaboration, and peace.
Today, three programs are housed under the ICI umbrella. These programs promote and facilitate people of various faiths to advance interfaith understanding and practices through immersion, fellowship, and pilgrimage. All of our programs are open and available to people of all faiths. We also publish resources on the topic of interfaith and provide a speakers bureau.
Atlanta has grown to become one of the most culturally diverse cities in America. For people of faith, this offers us a great opportunity to follow the directive that is imbedded in all faiths: to love God (the good) and to love one’s neighbor. Interfaith Community Initiatives strives to facilitate that work through our programs and through collaboration and exchange with twenty-one interfaith agencies and programs.