USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

Archive

Archive

Studying Religion in the “Belly of the Beast” – A Prison in Rio

It seemed like a good idea when I made the arrangements. But my heart was beating at double speed and I was filled with doubt, as a staff member handed me a …

If I Give My Soul: Faith Behind Bars in Rio de Janeiro

If I Give My Soul: Faith Behind Bars in Rio de Janeiro By Andrew Johnson (Oxford University Press, 2017) The writing of this book was supported by the Pentecostal Charismatic Research Initiative.   …

Dignity and Power Now: The Spirituality of Black Lives Matter

Dignity and Power Now (DPN), a grassroots organization in Los Angeles, works to end mass incarceration. Founded by Patrisse Cullors, an artist and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, DPN uses …

L.A. Times: It’s 2016 and the Civil Rights Era Hasn’t Ended

This post originally appeared on the Sunday OpEd page of the L.A. Times. I participated in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. I was pastor of my second church, in Kansas City, Kansas, in …

Beyond Prayers and Protests: Building Trust Among the Police and Community in Downtown Los Angeles

This is the first in a series of essays about the Trust Talks. The next event is October 3. On a Saturday last April, a group of pastors and other faith leaders …

How To Make Sense of the Latest Killing on Skid Row

Los Angeles police officers killed a man on Skid Row on Sunday night, shooting him outside the building where I work. He died, his body broken, as others’ have been, just a …

Pentecostal Prayer Gangs: Documenting Religion in a Brazilian Prison

CRCC research associate Andrew Johnson is not a filmmaker, he insists: he conceived the documentary, “If I Give My Soul,” while he was doing research for his sociology dissertation at the University …

How Muslim Civic Activism Helped Pass California’s Prop 47

This post originally appeared on Religion Dispatches. California mostly defied the rightward national trend in this week’s midterm elections. The victory of Proposition 47, for example, makes California the first state in the …

LA Voice: Congregations and Communities Building Electoral Power

For many years in the United States, churches have been at the center of progressive political and social movements. From abolitionism to child welfare and of course the Civil Rights Movement, religious …

Lift Up, Wake Up, Grow Up: Religion and Civil Rights in Ferguson

Prompted by recent social unrest in Ferguson, MO, New York City and Southern California, the Rev. Dr. Cecil Murray, Tansey Chair of Christian Ethics at USC and Chairman of the Cecil Murray …

Addressing Issues of Justice and Race after Trayvon Martin Case

Rev. Mark Whitlock, executive director of the USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, published an op-ed in the Los Angeles Sentinel on the George Zimmerman trial verdict. “How do people living …

20th anniversary of LA riots puts Rev. Murray in media spotlight

Rev. Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray has appeared in national and local news stories regarding the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles civil unrest. Twenty years ago this month, over a thousand fires …

Opening the Gates: L.A. Congregations Confronting Gang Violence

Los Angeles has been regarded as the epicenter of the nation’s gang epidemic for decades. What began as relatively localized battles over turf and small-scale drug sales in L.A. has morphed into …

Touring with L.A. Gang Tours

Our ongoing project on the Los Angeles Dream Center has introduced us to many memorable people, among them, Alfred Lomas. Alfred is the director of the Food Truck ministry at the Dream …

Imprisoned by Short-sighted Politics

This post originally appeared at Trans/Missions, the USC Knight Chair in Media and Religion site. In his recent state of the state address, Gov. Arnold Shwarzenegger addressed the issue of California’s prison …

Faith, Health and Policy : Public Health Reentry in San Diego

In August 2006, a collaboration of African American clergy, community-based organizations and state and county representatives joined together to form a Public Health Reentry Task Force to address the health care needs …

Faith, Health, and Policy: Public Health Reentry in San Diego

Richard Flory, senior research associate and research associate professor of sociology, documents the Regional Congregations and Neighborhood Organizations (RCNO) Training Center’s public health reentry program in San Diego. The RCNO effort addresses …

Practicing the Faith: A Conversation with Rev. Eugene Williams

The Rev. Eugene Williams was executive director of Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches (LAM), a coalition of forty small and midsize congregations that worked in South Central Los Angeles. In 1997, LAM advocated …