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
- VideoWitness as Ministry: Serving God and Refugees in Beirut
- VideoAn Interfaith Dialogue on the Crisis Care Needs of Faith Communities
- CRCC in the NewsLA Times: Why Are Christian Groups Allowed To Discriminate? Power and PrivilegeThe Los Angeles Times published the below letter to the editor from CRCC’s Richard Flory: To the editor: Op-ed article writers Rachel S. Mikva, Corey D.B. Walker and Reza Aslan are rightly …Topics: Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Government and Religion, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious Pluralism, Religious Regulation and Accommodation
- ArticleJean Bouchebel: Retired From World Vision, but Not From Serving God and RefugeesThis article was originally published by Christianity Today, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. When Jean Bouchebel retired at age 70, he was not ready to simply relax. …Topics: Christianity, Disaster Response, Engaged Spirituality, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Middle East and North Africa, Spiritual Exemplars
- Article#BuddhistCultureWars: Buddhabros, Alt-Right Dharma, and Snowflake SanghasThis article appeared in the Journal of Global Buddhism Vol 22, No 1 (2021) and was co-authored by Ann Gleig and Brenna Artinger. Abstract While often associated with a liberal demographic, the …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Culture, TAS
- CommentaryThe End (of Lockdown) is Near: Opening Houses of Worship in a Time of UncertaintyI had just announced our church’s plans to resume in-person worship when someone called and told me they had contracted COVID-19. Immediately, I second-guessed the decision to reopen our worship building for …Topics: COVID, Healthcare, Religious Leadership, Thriving Congregations
- ArticleKushil Gunasekera: ‘The More You Give, the More Will Be Yours to Give’This article was originally published by The Arrow Journal, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. “I want to be one of the nicest human beings that this earth …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, Disaster Response, Engaged Spirituality, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleUmar Hakim: Humanitarian Day Reborn for a Ramadan in a PandemicThis article was originally published in The Washington Post and Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Last year, Ramadan ended just days before the murder …Topics: Community Organizing, Economic Inequality, Engaged Spirituality, Muslims and Islam, Race and Culture, Spiritual Exemplars
- CRCC in the NewsCBS2: Smith-Pollard on MLK’s impact in Los AngelesThe Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. found both support and opposition in Los Angeles. Najuma Smith-Pollard of the USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement spoke with CBS-LA about the legacy of …Topics: CMCCE, Religious Leadership
- CRCC in the NewsRev. Najuma Smith-Pollard on Chauvin TrialReligious leaders anticipated and responded to the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. Rev. Najuma Smith-Pollard, program manager for the USC Cecil Murray Center …Topics: Criminal Justice, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture
- CommentaryIn Wake of Chauvin Trial, What Can Faith Leaders Learn From the Rodney King LA Civil Unrest?This article was originally published in Religion News Service and The Washington Post. As the U.S. reacts to the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, many are wary of violence …Topics: CMCCE, Criminal Justice, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture, Religious Leadership, 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:
email@example.com or 213-743-1611
- Tobin BelzerContributing FellowTobin Belzer is an applied sociologist who develops research and program evaluations to support the work of non-profit organizations and philanthropists.
- Brad ChristersonContributing FellowBrad Christenson is a sociologist who has written extensively in the areas of religion, race, ethnicity, and globalization.
- 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 FloryExecutive DirectorRichard 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 JohnsonPast 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 LoskotaContributing FellowBrie Loskota researches how religions change and make change in the world, and works to build the capacity of religious communities around the globe.
- Juan MartínezPast 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.
- Jon MillerSenior Research AssociateJon Miller is a comparative sociologist and director of the international mission photography archive.
- Cecil L. MurrayUniversity FellowRev. Cecil Murray works to ensure that the legacy of African American Church leaders pass on their years of experience to the next generation.
- John B. OrrCo-founder & Past FellowJohn B. Orr has worked extensively in the fields of religion, education and politics.