College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Centers & Institutes > Center for Religion, Culture and Community > Student Resources > Interfaith Resources > Community Organizations

Community Organizations

Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty (Washington, D.C.) 
This organization seeks to bridge the gap between local faith-based communities and governments in trying to build infrastructure in poor countries around the world. Their goal is to work in harmony with the local religious communities, which are often the center of organizing and social life in a particular place, and to bring the concerns of these people to the governments. There three main issues right now are malaria, women and girls empowerment, and water, sanitation and hygiene.

Chicago Center for Cultural Connections (Chicago)
The Chicago Center for Cultural Connections (Connections), established in 1935 in Chicago as The National Conference of Christians and Jews (NCCJ), is a leading human relations organization dedicated to building bridges of mutual respect among cultural, racial and religious communities.

Chicago Coalition for Interreligious Learning (Skokie, Ill.) 
The Chicago Coalition for Interreligious Learning (CCIRL) is a group of Chicago Catholic, Jewish and Muslim religious school educators, writers and book publishers, who came together after 9/11, concerned that overt and covert teachings of hatred and contempt, as well as negative, damaging stereotypes, could be found in religious school classrooms.

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) (Chicago) 
CAIR-Chicago is the main office of the Illinois chapter of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) serving the neighboring Midwest. CAIR is the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group. CAIR-Chicago is a not-for-profit organization registered in Illinois. Though it leverages the resources, expertise and knowledge base of CAIR (based in Washington), it functions as an independent organization that sets its own strategy and goals. CAIR works on civil rights issues, media monitoring, political empowerment and community outreach.

El Hibri Charitable Foundation (Washington, D.C.)
This foundation offers grants for those doing interfaith work. Of particular interest are the Interfaith Dialogue Initiative, which focuses on fostering dialogue between the Abrahamic Faiths, and the Peace Education Initiative, which focuses on bringing people together to find common ground and develop mutual respect.

Hindu American Foundation (Kensington, Md.)
This organization works to promote education and tolerance for those in the Hindu faith, as well as to protect the right to religious freedom and the acceptance of pluralism as opposed to the drive for conversion. While much of their work focuses on the important issues surrounding protecting the civil rights of Hindus, they also participate with other organizations supporting the rights of those of other religions and speaking out against religious intolerance in any form.

Inner-City Muslim Action Network (Chicago) 
The Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) is a community-based nonprofit that works for social justice, delivers a range of social services and cultivates the arts in urban communities. Their vision is to foster a dynamic and vibrant space for Muslims in Urban America by inspiring the larger community towards critical civic engagement exemplifying prophetic compassion in the work for social justice and human dignity beyond the barriers of religion, ethnicity and nationality. IMAN's services, organizing and arts agenda stem from spiritual convictions about community service, human compassion and social justice, particularly for marginalized people of color.

The Interfaith Alliance (Washington, D.C.)
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. They do this through legislation, grass-roots activism, elections and education.

Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Ministries (Chicago)
Throughout its nearly 30-year history, Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Ministries (IRIM) has helped thousands of refugees find safety, dignity and self-reliance in the Chicago area. Like their predecessors, newly arrived refugees bring a determination to succeed with them that provides new energy and ideas for the region's economy, cultural life and community institutions.

Interfaith Youth Core (Chicago)
There are millions of religious young people in the world interacting with greater frequency. That interaction tends either toward conflict or cooperation. Where so many of these interactions tend towards conflict, the Interfaith Youth Core aims to introduce a new relationship, one that is about mutual respect and religious pluralism. Instead of focusing a dialogue on political or theological differences, the group builds relationships on shared values, such as hospitality and caring for the Earth, and how to live out those values together to contribute to the betterment of our community. The Interfaith Youth Core is creating these relationships across the world by inspiring, networking and resourcing young people who are the leaders of this movement. The group provides young people and the institutions that support them with leadership training, project resources and a connection to a broader movement.

The Interfaith Union (Chicago)
Interfaith Union is a resource center providing educational support, mentoring, community and formation for interfaith and interchurch families, and the clergy and religious communities that serve them.

Interfaith Worker Justice (Chicago)
Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) is a network of people of faith that calls upon our religious values in order to educate, organize and mobilize the religious community in the United States on issues and campaigns that will improve wages, benefits and conditions for workers, and give voice to workers, especially workers in low-wage jobs.

Interreligious Insight Journal (Lake Forest, Ill.)
The journal is the successor to the respected journal World Faiths Encounter, which has been published by the World Congress of Faiths for many, many years. The intended audience is a mixture of academic, interested individuals and practitioners of dialogue and engagement at organizational and local levels. We believe that this new journal will serve an increasing need for a quality production that reflects both the challenging dialogue between the religions at philosophical and theological levels and the practical engagement between religious people working and reflecting together for a more just, peaceful and sustainable world.

Networks Group (San Jose, Calif.)
ING is a non-profit, educational organization that promotes religious literacy and mutual respect through on-site presentations, cultural competency seminars and interfaith dialogues. Founded in 1993, ING and its affiliates serve communities of all faiths or none throughout the United States.

Salam Institute for Peace and Justice (Washington, D.C.)
Salam is a nonprofit organization for research, education and practice on issues related to conflict resolution, nonviolence, human rights and development with a focus on bridging differences between Muslim and non-Muslim communities. The Salam Institute aims to assist in resolving conflicts and advancing sustainable development around the world. Salam's peacebuilding programs are spread over various levels: interpersonal, small groups, organizations, and communities. Salam has six major areas of operation: research and evaluation, peacebuilding intervention and training, interreligious and intrareligious dialogue, development and relief, resources and publications, education and curricular development.

Tannenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding (New York, N.Y.)
This is an organization whose sole focus is to foster interreligious understanding through their five programs: work, education, peace, health and legacy. They aim to provide tools to become an interreligious educator, and in their education program specifically, advocate for teaching children more about religion in all of its diversity, and provide materials for doing so.

The Theosophical Society in America (Wheaton, Ill.)
The Theosophical Society in America is a branch of a world fellowship and membership organization dedicated to promoting the unity of humanity and encouraging the study of religion, philosophy and science so that we may better understand ourselves and our relationships within this multidimensional universe. The society stands for complete freedom of individual search and belief. The National Center in America is located in Wheaton, Illinois. They sponsor numerous events, classes and conferences. Additionally, they offer a plethora of resources, both at their center in Wheaton as well as on their website.