CAI works from the premise that while Los Angeles city and county residents generally interact in positive ways, the region's geography makes sustained, large-scale interactions across racial, ethnic or religious lines rare. Los Angeles suffers not from hatred or animosity between different groups, but from a lack of understanding based in part on a lack of opportunities for mixing in a positive setting.
Unlike the residents of New York or Chicago, Angelenos don't tend to walk the streets or ride public transportation together. The freeway system allows people to travel in hermetically sealed cars that whisk them over and around unfamiliar or "dangerous" neighborhoods. CAI's challenge is to develop an awareness of interests and common ground that transcends one's race, ethnicity or religion.