The American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute is “one of the country’s most influential networks of American Muslim civic leaders,” according to an article profiling the group in Religion & Politics.
AMCLI, which is housed at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, has trained nearly 300 young American Muslim leaders in how to better create change within and beyond their communities.
Through a research project at CRCC, the story explains, Brie Loskota (now CRCC’s executive director) and Nadia Roumani (a CRCC fellow) “noticed a generation of energetic young Muslims building and leading vibrant new non-profit institutions—but with little structure or support.” A convening of these leaders in 2006 led to the formation of AMCLI to provide a network of support.
The article largely focuses on AMCLI alumni, and how the network has been activated during critical moments, such as lifting up LGBT Muslim voices after the Pulse shooting in Orlando.
As the article says:
AMCLI alumni represent the broad diversity found in the American Muslim population at large: men and women, Sunni and Shia and Ismaili, gay and straight, urban and rural; many are non-profit leaders and founders working in philanthropy, politics, public policy, immigration rights, social justice advocacy, and more. They’re a who’s who of prominent Muslim leaders inspired by their faith but primarily working outside of mosques to promote social change.
While this network is strong, the need for AMCLI is as great as it ever has been. Loskota comments in the article about the challenges for Muslim leaders under the Trump presidency, including the rhetoric, travel bans, and rise of hate crimes:
“Some of the things going on deeply pain me,” Loskota says. “Then I look around and I see hundreds of people who are working their damndest and working really hard under tough conditions to try to make this place that we live in live up to our aspirations. To me, there’s nothing more bouying than that feeling of being around people who know how to get things done and are undeterred by the challenges in front of them.”