USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

AMCLI Through the Years – Founders’ Reflection

AMCLI Through the Years – Founders’ Reflection

The American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute (AMCLI) emerged out of a research project and a convening of civic leaders in 2006. Fifteen years after its inception, the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture sat down with AMCLI founders Nadia Roumani and Brie Loskota to hear about how it began. As the two founders move on to new ventures, this interview serves as a repository of many of the lessons they have learned along the way.

AMCLI Then and Now

What has changed about the American Muslim landscape since AMCLI started in 2006?


The conversation has been edited for clarity. You can navigate the conversation through the questions in the menu (right or bottom of your browser window). It covers:

Nadia Roumani is the co-founder and senior designer of the Designing for Social Systems program at Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design ( The daughter of Syrian immigrants, she grew up in a vibrant American Muslim community in Los Angeles that was grounded in social justice and influenced her life’s work.

Brie Loskota is the executive director of the Martin Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion at the University of Chicago’s Divinity School. She is not Muslim; rather, she was born in the Philippines into a Pentecostal Christian family. Her family’s experience in the Philippines taught her the value of being kind to strangers in a strange land. After graduating from USC, she earned a Master’s degree from Hebrew Union College, where she first connected with American Muslim civic leaders.