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
- ArticleAfter Thay: Plum Village Reckons With the Loss of Its FounderThis article was originally published on Tricycle with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Monastics in long brown robes entered the hall for formal lunch in order of seniority, the longest ordained …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Community Dynamics, Engaged Spirituality, Europe, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
- AnnouncementJohn Orr: Religion professor’s long career at USC helped launch some of the university’s most distinctive programsProfessor Emeritus of Religion John Orr was a continuous presence on the USC campus for nearly 30 years. He helped usher in a number of programs that define the university’s commitment to …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Religious Leadership, Southern California
- CommentaryDonald E. Miller: ‘Spiritual exemplars’ change the media narrative about religionThis article was originally published on Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Media stories about religion often focus on corruption in religious institutions, politicians’ alliances with conservative Christians and …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Media, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
- CRCC in the NewsL.A. Times: Najuma Smith on the LAPD Civilian Review ProcessThe Los Angeles Times interviewed CRCC’s Najuma Smith about her decision to volunteer for Los Angeles Police Department civilian review process. The Times investigation found that some reviewers have been chosen repeatedly …Topics: Community Dynamics, Community Organizing, Criminal Justice, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Culture, Southern California, Violence
- VideoLayli Miller Muro: Protecting the Rights of Migrants
- VideoSelf-Care for Faith Leaders: Thriving Congregations Conversation with Dr. Thema Bryant
- VideoShifting Your Mindset About Church Leadership: Thriving Congregations Conversation with Quentin P. Kinnison
- CommentaryThriving (or Just Surviving): 2023 Trends to Watch in Religion and SocietyIf CRCC’s annual trends to watch have been growing more ominous in recent years, then 2023 feels like a pivotal year for many of the issues we’ve been tracking: Like our final …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Media, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Culture, Southern California, Thriving Congregations
- CommentaryHolistic Resilience: Why Some Spiritual Exemplars Question Suffering as a Path to ResilienceWhen CRCC’s “Spiritual Exemplars Project” team was invited to present about “resilience,” it was easy to think of many examples within our sample of 100+ spiritually engaged humanitarians who had endured and …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Economic Inequality, Engaged Spirituality, Immigration, Jews and Judaism, Race and Culture, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
- CommentaryConflict and Congregations: How Churches Respond to Politics and the PandemicAs the 2022 midterm elections approach, little can be predicted—except, perhaps, that they will further cement the deep divides in our country. Those divides often extend into religious congregations. CRCC is a …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Community Dynamics, Political Attitudes and Values, Public Health, Thriving Congregations
- ArticleRabbi Delphine Horvilleur: Musing on Mortality from a French Feminist RabbiThis article was originally published by the New York Times, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur thinks a lot about death. In years past, she would typically …Topics: Europe, Jews and Judaism, Religious Leadership, Religious Minorities, Religious Pluralism
“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
- Tobin BelzerTobin Belzer is an applied sociologist who develops research and program evaluations to support the work of non-profit organizations and philanthropists.
- Brad ChristersonBrad 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. GudaitisGuest ContributorPeter B. Gudaitis is an expert of faith communities and disaster readiness, response and recovery.
- Nalika GajaweeraSenior Research AnalystNalika Gajaweera is a cultural anthropologist specialized in Buddhism, transnationalism and ethics, with an area expertise in South Asia.
- 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.
- Juan MartínezPast FellowJuan Martinez studies the history of Latino Protestantism, Latino Protestant identity and transnational mission among U.S. Latinos.
- 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 MillerGuest ContributorJon Miller is a comparative sociologist and director of the international mission photography archive.
- John B. OrrCo-founder & Past FellowJohn B. Orr has worked extensively in the fields of religion, education and politics.
- Bruce PhillipsBruce Phillips is among the leading researchers in the sociology of American Jewry and is an avid historian of Los Angeles.
- Rhonda RoumaniContributing FellowRhonda Roumani is a freelance journalist who writes about both the Middle East and Islam in the Muslim world and in the United States.
- Najuma SmithAssistant Director of Community and Public EngagementRev. Najuma Smith combines her experience as a pastor and expertise as a community leader to train Murray Center Fellows.
- Nick StreetSenior WriterNick Street is a journalist covering religious change and innovation, Buddhism, Pentecostalism and LGBT issues.