ISAA was launched in 2018 as part of an initiative of New York University’s Religious Leadership and Civic Engagement Project, directed by Rabbi Steve Gutow. This prestigious university selected San Antonio as its pilot city with the desire that this interfaith project would become a model for other cities nationwide.
Interfaith cooperation is not new for San Antonio. Civic leadership by diverse religious leaders has been taking place since the founding of the city.
Several decades ago, for example, the cooperation of local leaders across several religious faiths were largely responsible for the peaceful desegregation of San Antonio’s schools and businesses. But interfaith collaboration has been largely dormant in recent years.
Responding to the NYU initiative, key members of the San Antonio faith community came together in February 2018 and agreed to work together for the city’s common good. Since then, significant progress has been made in meaningful cooperation and in choosing an initial project.
The mission of the Interfaith San Antonio Alliance is to bring together major faith leaders representing diverse religious traditions into a sacred working relationship by collaborating on various civic projects that the leaders, through conversation and consensus, believe will serve the common good of the people of San Antonio.
At the heart of the Interfaith San Antonio Alliance (ISAA) is a commitment to harness the power of local religious leaders and their congregations across major faith groups for the purpose of reinvigorating civil dialogue and making San Antonio a more just and livable city.
Our Current Focus
The initial project of the ISAA, determined by consensus of its members, is to work in our own and with other faith communities, with the city and other community partners, and with residents of economically distressed neighborhoods to alleviate problems of homelessness, to facilitate affordable housing efforts, to advance compassionate and equitable gentrification, to mitigate displacement of residents, and to expand opportunities for stable home ownership in San Antonio.