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Faith In Communities (FIC) 

Faith In Communities is a unique community partnership between a faith-based organization - Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches - and a community-based organization - Special Service for Groups, Inc.

Formed in July 2002, FIC is designed to maximize and leverage existing resources and expertise in community organizing, program development, management and fiscal stewardship.

Our goal is to create a new breed of faith and community based organizations.

Faith In Communities aims to increase capacity and ability of small and mid-sized African American churches in four counties in the State of California, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino. Our advocacy and services include a culturally appropriate model of intensive outreach, education/advocacy and training activities.

Unifying Management, Education and Advocacy to Transform Communities.

FIC engages non-profit and faith-based organizations on three levels:

  1. Policy
  2. Capacity Building and intermediary services for FBOs and CBOs
  3. Education and Outreach

Cultivating Systems Change

Over the past 20 years, the problems facing African American families are deeply rooted in racism, social injustices and wide economic inequities. One of the primary roles of FIC is to ensure that institutional systems best serve the needs and interests of minority persons, particularly African Americans.

Addressing Organizational Capacity and Leadership Development

The question we aim to answer is: Why are there so few indigenous community organizations?

We use a comprehensive skills building strategy to train CBOs/FBOs.

Topics include:

  1. How to research problems/community needs
  2. How to identify what servicesalready exist in the community of interest
  3. How to map services in the community of interest
  4. What management/organization models are effective for managing public and private funds
  5. What service models are effective when working with African American communities
  6. How to incorporate cultural considerations for African Americans in a multi-cultural program
  7. Identifying appropriate staff, board and management training
  8. Development of effective marketing materials
  9. Collection, interpretation and dissemination of information/data
  10. Development of African American culturally relevant materials
  11. Utilizing "best practices" models and information effectively

Communicating Promising Practices
Disseminating information and promising practices to the community is an important part of our work. Each year, Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches in collaboration with Regional Congregations and Neighborhood Organizations, host an Annual National Leadership Training for FBOs and CBOs. They have trained over 8,000 persons since 1995. FIC will incorporate its intermediary and training services as part of this exciting national training.

FIC strives to keep pace with the latest academic research, evaluation and community organizing models and translates these findings into understandable information and tools practitioners and church leaders can use. The insights are distributed through community college education courses, specialized publications, skills-building workshops, conferences and other learning opportunities by which FIC helps strengthen the capabilities, capacity and competencies of churches and CBOs.

Harnessing Technologies
Technology has opened new opportunities for communities to share knowledge and information in all areas. FIC has made providing quality and most importantly -----useful tools and services -----using management information systems, creative software and hardware solutions and other cutting edge technology, a key priority. Toward that end, FIC plans to offer extensive resources such as websites, and list serves both at regional and national levels. In addition, FIC offers linkages to a range of computer classes and job training in information technology and computer systems.

Evaluating the impact
Measuring the efficacy-and success--- of community organizing and capacity building is essential to continually improving the base of community wellness as well as providing insights into future areas of exploration. Recognizing this FIC works with leaders in the field of community organizing, health and education to accurately examine what community building approaches and models produce the most positive outcomes and opportunities for community change from the bottom up. This may take the form of simple focus groups or a customized needs assessment for an individual organization or be as broad as a cross-site evaluation that spans multiple counties in California. Regardless of technique a continuing goal of FIC is to identify and document successful community building strategies.


Faith In Communities
A Unique Community Partnership

  • Cheryl A. Branch, Founder and Director, Faith In Communities Initiative
  • Rev. Eugene Williams, III, Executive Director, Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches
  • Herbert K. Hatanaka, DSW, Executive Director, Special Service for Groups, Inc.
  • Naomi Kageyama, MS, Director of Development and Programs, Special Service for Groups, Inc.
  • Donnie Watson, Ph.D., Project Evaluator, Friends Research, UCLA

Please contact us at:
605 W. Olympic Boulevard, Suite 600, Los Angeles, CA 90015
213-553-1870 tel 213-553-1880 fax email

Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches
7607 South Western Avenue • Los Angeles, CA 90047
Voice: 323-238-0445 FAX: 323-230-6271

Copyright 2001 Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches All rights Reserved.