San Diego is the Golden State’s second most populous city and ranks ninth in the nation for largest percent of the population (29%) who are Hispanic. The mild climate, presence of prestigious colleges and universities, and economic opportunity are likely factors for the exponential expansion the region has seen of late; the city is home to just over 1.3 million people. Beach and surf culture has always been popular in “America’s Finest City.” Camp Pendleton, one of the biggest and busiest Marine Corps bases in the country is also nearby.
San Diego’s interfaith infrastructure is young but vital, and has a diverse cache of religious centers from which to draw. Interfaith initiatives increased after the first Gulf War when Muslims were facing hostility in the region, a historical reference point that continues to guide efforts to eliminate discrimination in “the birthplace of California.” The city’s interfaith efforts are shaped by a commitment to providing social services to the community and to eliminating bias against any particular religious tradition. Interfaith Community Services, profiled here, and the Sikh Foundation San Diego exemplify these priorities.