CRCC began in the aftermath of the Los Angeles riots in 1992, when a diverse array of faith-based groups ventured into the public square to help quell violence, engage civic institutions and address the underlying social problems that had contributed to the unrest. Investigating how religious (and irreligious) groups interact with their communities and building the capacity of these groups remain central to CRCC’s mission, both in Southern California and the rest of the world.
Civic engagement includes the myriad ways people seek to exert influence on society, from voting and protesting, to social services, disaster response and community organizing. See our featured topic pages for more.
- FeaturedProtests and UprisingsTopics: Voting and Elections
- VideoMaggie Gobran: “Mama” to Thousands of Children in Egypt
- CommentaryCountering Pessimism and Despair: An Encounter with Two Spiritual ExemplarsAs we enter 2019, two emotions seem to be dominant: political pessimism and personal anxiety. These feelings are rooted in the dysfunctions of government and economic instability, both of which are legitimate …Topics: Genocide, Nuns and Women Religious, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars, Sub-Saharan Africa, Violence
- BookHuman Trafficking Reconsidered: Rethinking the Problem, Envisoning New SolutionsHuman Trafficking Reconsidered: Rethinking the Problem, Envisoning New Solutions Kimberly Kay Hoang and Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, editors (Abe Books: 2014) This unique collection of original essays investigates …Topics: book chapter, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, International Affairs and Policy, Social Services
- CommentaryHow Salvation Army’s Red Kettles Became a Christmas TraditionThis article originally appeared on The Conversation. Tinseled trees and snowy landscapes are not the only signs of the upcoming holiday season. Red kettles, staffed by men and women in street clothes, …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Social Services
- CRCC in the NewsOC Register/LA Sentinel: Whitlock Fasting to End Gun ViolenceMark Whitlock, executive director of the USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, has committed to a 73-day fast to end gun violence. The Orange County Register and the L.A. Sentinel detailed …Topics: CMCCE, Religious Leadership, Violence
- CRCC in the NewsKPCC: Najuma Smith-Pollard on Same-Sex Marriage and the Black ChurchIn 2008, a majority of Black voters helped ban same-sex marriage in California. KPCC talked to Najuma Smith-Pollard, program manager for the USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, about whether attitudes …Topics: Black Church, CMCCE, LGBT Issues, Political Attitudes and Values, Voting and Elections
- ReportThe Varieties of American EvangelicalismDonald Trump’s ascent to the presidency has brought the culture, fault-lines and political commitments of American evangelicalism into sharp relief. How did a candidate whose lifestyle and morals starkly contradict conservative Christian …Topics: Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Government and Religion, weforum
- VideoThe Influence of Archbishop Oscar Romero
- ArticleAfrican American Muslims and the LAPD: Moving from Stories to SolutionsThis article originally appeared in BOOM California. “We don’t want to walk into a kumbaya situation,” said Umar Hakim. The sixteen men and women gathered around a conference table in Inglewood simultaneously …Topics: Community Organizing, Criminal Justice, Muslims and Islam, Southern California, Violence
- CRCC in the NewsLA Times: Murray Center Gathers Women for Discussion of #MeToo in Black ChurchThe USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement convened a group of prominent women to discuss sexual harassment in the Black Church. The Los Angeles Times covered the #MeToo-inspired gathering, organized by …Topics: Black Church, CMCCE, Gender, Religious Leadership, Violence
- ArticleEvangelicals Versus Oil: Environmental Justice in South Los AngelesThis article originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of Sojourners magazine. Sentinel Peak Resources recently announced its intention to abandon petroleum production at its Jefferson Boulevard site. The families arrived early …Topics: Community Organizing, Environment, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Southern California
“Social networks of human and institutional relationships matter to a society; when they are strong, everything else in the community is strengthened.”
“Civic Participation and the Promise of Democracy”
To schedule an interview with one of our experts, please contact CRCC:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 213-743-1611
- Sumaya AbubakerProject ManagerSumaya Abubaker manages leadership and civic engagement programming for minority faith communities.
- Tobin BelzerContributing FellowTobin Belzer is an applied sociologist who develops research and program evaluations to support the work of non-profit organizations and philanthropists.
- Lyn Boyd-JudsonUniversity FellowLyn Boyd-Judson is a scholar focused on diplomacy, ethics, religion and human rights, and international negotiation.
- Brad ChristersonContributing FellowBrad Christenson is a sociologist who has written extensively in the areas of religion, race, ethnicity, and globalization.
- Samuel ChuContributing FellowSamuel Chu is a seasoned community organizer and strategist who works at the intersection of faith and public policy.
- Hebah FarragAssistant Director of ResearchHebah Farrag manages the center’s research and evaluation projects while engaging in research focused on religion, social change and new spiritualties.
- Richard FlorySenior Director of Research and EvaluationRichard Flory is a sociologist whose work focuses on religion and urban life, religious and cultural change, and youth and young adults.
- Peter B. GudaitisContributing FellowPeter B. Gudaitis is an expert of faith communities and disaster readiness, response and recovery.
- Nalika GajaweeraResearch AssociateNalika Gajaweera is a cultural anthropologist specialized in Buddhism, transnationalism and ethics, with an area expertise in South Asia.
- Rev. Frank Jackson, Jr.Contributing FellowRev. Frank Jackson, Jr. couples his experience in business and investment with his passion for community development.
- Andrew JohnsonContributing FellowAndrew Johnson is a sociologist who studies religion on the margins of society, with specific interests in religious practice inside of prison, Latin American Pentecostalism and religion in the city.
- Brie LoskotaExecutive DirectorBrie Loskota researches how religions change and make change in the world, and works to build the capacity of religious communities around the globe.
- Juan MartínezContributing FellowJuan Martinez studies the history of Latino Protestantism, Latino Protestant identity and transnational mission among U.S. Latinos.
- Tarra McNallyAssistant Director of EvaluationTarra McNally is an anthropologist specializing in evaluation and global health.
- Donald E. MillerDirector of Strategic InitiativesDonald Miller focuses on global religious trends, genocides of the 20th century, and the role of religious NGOs in addressing issues of moral concern.