The L.A. Sentinel wrote an article about USC’s Cecil L. Murray Center for Community Engagement. The Murray Center, located a few blocks off-campus at 509 West 29th Street, had a soft launch this fall and currently has programming underway.
The Center will officially launch in February 2012 with an inaugural university event.
The Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement is founded on the values and vision of “Chip” Murray, pastor for 27 years of the First AME Church in Los Angeles, and the vehicle after the 1992 civil unrest of $400 million in investments in LA’s minority and low-income neighborhoods.
The Cecil Murray Center at the University of Southern California is committed to three important activities:
- Economic development for low-income and minority populations in California, with a focus on Los Angeles, including communities adjacent to the USC campus.
- Leadership development, capacity building, civic engagement, financial literacy, and entrepreneurial training, mentoring, and incubation of individuals, businesses and non-profit agencies, especially those located in low-income and minority neighborhoods.
- Establishing a forum where ideas can be discussed and debated regarding the programs and policies that are fundamental to creating healthy communities, especially related to their social, economic and cultural strengths.
Mark Whitlock, former banker and executive director of FAME Renaissance, leads the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement. FAME Renaissance was the economic development arm of First AME Church. Located at USC, the Center draws on the rich resources of the university’s numerous schools and faculty members as advisors and consultants to its programs.
Murray (right) and Whitlock (left) are pictured in the photo above, taken at the 2011 Passing the Mantle Institute, with John Hope Bryant (center), Murray Center program manager Najuma Smith (left) and CRCC project manager Sumaya Abubaker (right).