The USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture asked faith and community leaders to share their reflections on Los Angeles’ 1992 Civil Unrest and the rebuilding efforts that followed. Watch them here and check back as more reflections are posted throughout April:
Rev. Dr. Cecil L "Chip" Murray
The Rev. Dr. Cecil L. "Chip" Murray was a central figure in rebuilding Los Angeles after the 1992 civil unrest as pastor of First African Methodist Episcopal Church. Now chair of the Cecil Murray Center at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, he has trained 1,000 faith leaders in civic engagement and community development work.
Manuel Pastor was teaching at Occidental College in Los Angeles and involved in multi-racial organizing in 1992. Pastor is now the director of the USC Dornsife Equity Research Institute and a distinguished professor of sociology and American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California.
Rev. Dr. Mark E. Whitlock, Jr.
Following the 1992 Civil Unrest, the Rev. Dr. Mark E. Whitlock, Jr. left his career in banking to work with the Rev. Dr. Cecil L. "Chip" Murray to help rebuild the city. He led FAME Renaissance at First African Methodist Episcopal Church, which brought housing, jobs and other opportunities to South LA. Rev. Whitlock later became a minister in the AME tradition and led the Cecil Murray Center at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture before becoming the senior pastor of Reid Temple AME Church in Maryland.
When the not-guilty verdict was read in the case of the police officers that beat Rodney King, Capri Maddox was at the LA Police Department, getting fingerprinted for a background check for her new job at the LA Housing Department. She made it home through protests. Today, she is executive director of the Los Angeles Civil and Human Rights and Equity Department.
Michael Mata was involved in interfaith organizing, particularly the Coalition to Heal LA, following the 1992 Civil Unrest. He is Director of Network Engagement & Leadership Development for TogetherLA and Visiting Professor of Urban Studies and Theology at the Nazarene Theological Seminary.
Rev. Eddie Anderson
Rev. Eddie Anderson is pastor of McCarty Memorial Christian Church and an organizer with L.A. Voice.
The civil unrest was a wake up call for Brad Christerson, who was in grad school in Santa Barbara at the time. Today, the professor of sociology at Biola University is connected to a wide network of faith leaders seeking to address injustices in Southern California.
Thank you to all of the leaders who took the time to reflect with us.
Share your memories of the 1992 civil unrest, the faith community’s response or lessons learned from the time. Click here to upload a video reflection.