University of Southern California

Center for Religion & Civic Culture

AMCLI begins new regional programs- apply today

Image of AMCLI begins new regional programs- apply today

A movement has been growing out of the fertile soil of Southern California. Since 2008, the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute (AMCLI), housed at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, has been supporting and developing emerging American Muslim Leaders through an intensive and thoughtful training process which teaches fellows ‘to cultivate their leadership presence.’ To date, 109 fellows from five cohorts have participated in the AMCLI National Fellowship program.

AMCLI, run by a leadership team of three women, is unique both in its audience and its tactics. AMCLI serves an important segment of the American Muslim community, leaders under forty years old; a population that often lacks support, development and is particularly susceptible to burnout. It trains those selected to the program using innovative training modules that highlight notions such as leadership empowerment, organizational interconnectedness, health and vibrancy, and civic engagement.

Beyond individual capacity building, AMCLI has also been successful in creating a large and well-connected network of influential, young, and civic-minded American Muslim leaders. Network creation such as this serves two several specific needs in the American Muslim community. The Network sustains leaders by giving them support, access to guidance and constructive feedback and facilitates an essential intra-Muslim dialogue. It also helps to equip organizations by facilitating partnerships and dampening competition.

AMCLI has now also decided to expand its offerings by including regional programs. In 2014, AMCLI will be focused on establishing regional programs that will provide Muslim leaders, initially in Los Angeles and New York, with intensive three-day, one-time workshops that will condense and highlight the strongest aspects of the longer national program.

These shorter, more intensive programs will serve a population of leaders that might not have been able to commit to the longer national fellowship program. The regional program will also create a new cadre of AMCLI trained leaders including a broader range of applicants interested in deepening their work and connecting to others on a similar path.

The regional program will be accepting applicants who are:
• Committed to civic engagement in the American Muslim community
• Hold a position within a non-profit organization, government, network, media, or faith institution (paid/unpaid)
• Committed to advancing their community rather than simply advancing their personal platform
• Proficient in written and spoken English
• At least 25 years of age

For both LA and NY programs, AMCLI is encouraging people to apply from the state itself or surrounding area. While the program is 90% subsidized by foundation support, fellows must pay a $150 program fee.

  • The Southern California program begins on March 21 and the last day to request an application is January 31, 2014.
  • The New York regional program begins on May 2 and the last day to request an application for that program is February 17, 2014.


AMCLI, its unique training programs and curriculum, and the subsequent community it has evolved into, is filling an important and critical gap for American Muslims. By equipping civicly engaged leaders in the community and providing them with a support network, now both nationally and regionally, AMCLI is creating a space for the American Muslim leaders to invest in themselves, think creatively in connecting with others, and develop new tools and resources. As a member of the AMCLI Alumni Network, I can say I still use the learning I gained and the partnerships I made 5 years later.

To learn more about the AMCLI regional program: http://crcc.usc.edu/initiatives/amcli/regional.html

To request an application for the Southern California or New York Regional Program: http://crcc.usc.edu/initiatives/amcli/regional-app.html