A creative, welcoming and diverse place for nonprofits in Indianapolis
The Indiana Interchurch Center is much more than a building. It’s a community of nonprofit organizations working to solve the most urgent challenges we face at home and abroad. The Interchurch Center provides offices where denomination administrative headquarters and nonprofits develop strategies and implementation plans. More importantly, it offers a space where these the broader community can engage in learning and conversing, service and advocacy. We invite you to visit the Interchurch Center, and participate in events that interest you.
Who are some of the members of the Interchurch Community and what do they care about?
Denominations. The Interchurch Center houses the administrative headquarters of several denomination: The United Church of Christ, Indiana-Kentucky Conference; the Christian Church in Indiana (Disciples of Christ); the Synod of Lincoln Trails (Presbyterian Church USA in Indiana and Illinois), the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis; the Whitewater Valley Presbytery; and the American Baptist Churches of Greater Indianapolis. Other religious groups call the Center home. The St. Mary of Magdala Catholic Community is one of the few Catholic churches in the world that celebrates mass with a Womanpriest.
Health and wellness. The Minority Health Coalition of Marion County and the Indiana Rural Health Association extend health services to the most marginalized populations. Even the health of animals are addressed: Spay and Neuter Services of Indiana helps low-income families afford to spay their pets.
Undocumented immigrants. The Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance is one of the state's best known groups protecting the rights of "Dreamers" and other undocumented Hoosiers.
Homeless people. The Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Protection (CHIP) is Central Indiana's main organization analyzing homelessness and building a blueprint to end it.
Environmental protection. Three of Indiana's leading environmental organizations call the Interchurch Center home: the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club, Earth Charter Indiana and Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light. The Hoosier Environmental Council offers monthly environmental advocate training at the IIC.
Opioid crisis. Overdose Lifeline has emerged as one of the country's most influential organizations fighting drug overdose.
Interfaith engagement. The Center for Interfaith Cooperation is one of the Midwest's primary groups promoting inter-religious education, dialogue and service. The Niagara Foundation organizes monthly interfaith conversations and several interfaith iftars at the Interchurch Center every Ramadan. The Jewish Community Relations Council and the Muslim Alliance of Indiana are the main groups promoting interfaith cooperation for the Jewish and Muslim communities.
Refugees in Indiana and around the world. OBAT Helpers is one of the only NGOs in the world working in the camps of the Rohingya in Bangladesh. The Peace Center for Forgiveness and Reconciliation helps Congolese refugees integrate into Hoosier society.
Civic renewal. Since January of 2016, Women4Change Indiana has become one of the state's main groups promoting greater engagement for women in politics, and helping Hoosiers more broadly become more active and effective citizens.
Human and civil rights. The Center for Interfaith Cooperation, the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Muslim Alliance of Indiana defend the rights to worship of all Hoosiers. Gender Nexus advocates for the rights of trans-persons. The Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance promotes the rights of undocumented immigrants. The American Friends Service Committee passionately calls for the respect of human rights of Palestinians in Gaza.
Marginalized children. In addition to defending "Dreamers," the Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance raises funds for economically disadvantaged immigrants to attend college. Visually Impaired Preschool Services (VIPS) works with the families of unsighted young children. Watch Club and the Center for Interfaith Cooperation organized an intercultural Summer Youth Camp at IIC. The Waza Alliance for Quality Education provides training for teachers in the Democratic of Congo.
Food insecurity. Faith Hope and Love supports and trains missional food pantries across the city.
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In the final days of 2018, the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council penned a letter to the editor in the IndyStar talking about anti-Semitism confronting the community.
The VIP preview of the exhibition will be a benefit for Earth Charter Indiana, run by Executive Director Jim Poyser [who was also NUVO editor from 2000-2013]. Sales from the exhibit will also benefit Earth Charter.
You can obtain Fentanyl strips through the Overdose Lifeline. A program that Justin Phillips founded in 2014, after her 20-year-old son Aaron, died from an opioid overdose.
My church, St. Peter’s United Church of Christ was also featured, but aside from that, all of the environmental activity that goes on in our state amazed me.
State Rep. Tony Cook, R-Cicero, released draft legislation in November that, if passed, would remove Indiana from the list of five states without a hate crime law. The bill was created with input from prosecutors, judges and a variety of interest groups, ranging from religious and minority coalitions to business and university organizations, including working closely with the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council.
Overdose Lifeline founder Justin Philips says the program uses a targeted approach to prevention.
“This program Preventure is selective,” says Phillips. “We know personality traits do indicate high risk.”
It is our hope that all Hoosiers will join us in promoting and preserving an American society that celebrates pluralism and honors difference, and in fighting anti-Semitism by confronting it wherever it surfaces, and from whomever it emanates, to ensure that the world’s oldest hate is given no sanctuary.
On the morning of the year’s shortest day — and its longest night — an Indianapolis church’s bell tolled 72 times, once for each of the known Marion County homeless who have died this year, and once more for all whose deaths went unrecognized.
The Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention held the annual Homeless Persons’ Memorial Service at Roberts Park United Methodist Church on Friday, commemorating lives lost in 2018 and keeping attention on people who still lack a place to call home.
“It’s a time for us to, I think, really remember those that don’t have somewhere to call home that night, that are going to be spending a very long night here in Indianapolis without somewhere to go,” Chelsea Haring-Cozzi, the coalition’s executive director, told IndyStar.
Mike Leppert, who serves as Indiana Forward’s campaign manager, and Mindi Goodpaster, United Way of Central Indiana’s vice president of public policy, are championing the effort, which includes support from the likes of Indiana giants Eli Lilly and Company, Salesforce Inc. and Cummins Inc. Its executive committee is dotted with names from the Indiana Youth Group, the Muslim Alliance of Indiana and the state’s American Civil Liberties Union.
Brian Slodysko and Tom Davies, The Goshen News, December 17 2018 INDIANAPOLIS…
“He was an athlete, he was a quarterback for his high school football team and had lots of injuries, and lots of prescriptions for opioids,” said Justin Phillips of her son Aaron, who died of an overdose from heroin in 2013 at the age of 20.
The Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention is paying attention to the increase. “I think we’re definitely paying attention to that and trying to better understand the increase that they’re seeing particularly because it seems kind of like an outlier from what we’ve seen in years past,” Chelsea Haring-Cozzi, the coalition’s executive director, said.
Haring-Cozzi, 42, the new executive director of the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention, also has both a doctorate in public policy and college teaching experience—not the average background for a not-for-profit executive.
Beiser will perform excerpts from her cello opera, “Elsewhere,” an imaginative and psychological retelling of the biblical story of Lot’s wife.
David Sklar, director of government affairs for the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, said the organization has pushed for hate crime legislation for almost five years, but he is more confident about a bill being passed in the upcoming session.
Under the proposal, up to $250,000 in new funding would be allocated to partner organizations for permanent housing solutions and direct services for the city’s downtown homeless population.
Up to $250,000 would go toward permanent housing solutions — serving an estimated 500 people each year, according to the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention, also known by its acronym CHIP — as well as direct services for homeless people downtown.
“I hope that the perpetrators of these crimes, these incidents know that while they are trying to drive a wedge between folks and send a message of discrimination really what they’re doing is bringing folks closer together,” Sklar said.
Tyler Fenwick, Indianapolis Recorder, November 8, 2018 Anyone who routinely walks through…
One listener says spray-painting innocuous graffiti on someone’s house is designed to irritate. Spray-painting a swastika on a synagogue, though, is meant to terrify. It is intended to tell a group of people they don’t belong, that they aren’t fully human, that they don’t have the same rights that others do.
David Sklar with the JCRC noted that anti-Jewish hate crimes across the country rose 37% last year. He said the vandalism of a Carmel synagogue last summer the massacre at the Pittsburgh synagogue has “the Jewish community here on edge…we believe a law sill absolutely have tangible effects,” but he said even if it’s only symbolic, “As Jewish Hoosiers we need our state to stand up and make a statement.”
Indiana Interchurch Center
1100 W. 42nd Street
Indianapolis IN 46208