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COR - Congregations Organizing for Renewal

Unlocking the Power of People

Inspired by faith, driven by justice and strengthened by relationship, COR believes in the transformational potential of ordinary people to make change.

Father Jose Leon, pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, contacted the PICO National Network to introduce faith-based community organizing to his congregation and provide a resource that would help his parishioners find solutions to the many economic and social barriers they faced. Our Lady of the Rosary Parish is located in the notorious Decoto neighborhood, long-known as a hotbed of drug and gang activity.

Parishioners and neighbors began receiving training on the principles and concepts of community organization with PICO support. Within two years, newly trained leaders convinced the city to replace a deteriorated hand-ball court that was a magnet for illegal activity with a tot lot—a new, safe park for children and families. Simultaneously, Father Leon brought together a group of clergy colleagues who were committed to developing the organization to unify the diverse communities in Southern Alameda County, providing solutions to quality-of-life issues.

Incorporated in 1996, COR is now a faith-based, grassroots organization of 14 congregations, neighborhood groups and schools, representing 25,000 low and moderate income families in Southern Alameda County—including San Leandro, Fremont, Hayward, Union City and the unincorporated areas of Cherryland, Ashland and San Lorenzo. Through our member organizations in each community, people of diverse economic, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds unite to work toward their common values, and address concerns that impact our their families.


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