ICA-USA operates out of Chicago, where ICA first started in 1973. In the spirit of the first human development projects, ICA-USA continues to use participatory methods to enable communities to work towards systemic social change. Currently, ICA-USA's work focuses on the intersection of social and environmental justice.
The mission of the Institute of Cultural Affairs (USA) is to build a just and equitable society in harmony with Planet Earth through empowering cultural dimensions of the social process.
ICA programs strengthen the capacities of organizations, communities, and individuals to build and implement innovative plans of action that draw upon assets and social capital in a collaborative manner.
- Collaborative action: ICA-USA's work aims to build partnerships and cultivate an environment of collaboration rather than competition.
- Personal agency to change: community members are agents of their own change; ICA-USA facilitates and organizes communities to enable them to develop and implement their own plans of action.
- Systems thinking: social change work should be intentional about the relationship between local actions and global impacts and consequences.