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SAN BERNARDINO—Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC), faith-based nonprofit community organization that serves San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, officially unveiled their new Inland Empire Center for Community Organizing (IECCO) on Oct. 2.

“The IECCO will house various community service organizations who will focus on providing education and leadership training for Inland Empire residents dedicated to community organizing,” according to a ICUC news release.

ICUC is made up of various faith communities, including many Catholic parishes in the Diocese. The organization does advocacy work on many local issues related to social justice including immigration, housing, criminal justice reform, education and health care.

Since the start of the pandemic, the ICUC Center has served as a central base of operations to distribute over 250,000 pounds of food and 200,000 face masks to residents in low-income communities while conducting voter registration drives and directing people to housing services.

While the building has been operational for several months, it wasn’t until last month that ICUC held the official grand opening.

At the event, ICUC Executive Director Tom Dolan recognized the opening of the new center as a triumph of the community. He then congratulated the young people of the area who have continued to bring aid to those in need during the pandemic.

Father Manuel Cardoza, Pastor of Our Lady of Hope Parish in San Bernardino, an ICUC member, blessed the building during the grand opening and thanked God for the work of the young people in our community. He also expressed his wishes that the young people of our churches continue to be builders of peace.

The grand opening also included an opportunity to celebrate with games, cultural performances, food and community.

Moving forward, the facility will be used to provide services and host events and training. The space will be used by various partner organizations in addition to ICUC.

“This will be a place where aspiring organizers can help ignite the change they want to see,” said ICUC Events Coordinator Miguel Rivera in the news release.