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
- 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
- CommentaryFinding Accountability and a Moral Agenda After Revelations of Racism in City HallPoliticians are elected to represent all of their constituents, not just those who voted for or supported them. They should be fair-minded and not traffic in exclusionary or discriminatory practices, or promote …Topics: Interfaith/Multifaith Movements, Race and Culture, Religious Leadership, Religious Pluralism
- CRCC in the NewsKPCC: Najuma Smith-Pollard on LA Council Members’ Racist RemarksFaith leaders are among those calling for accountability after the revelations of racist comments in a conversation between some of Los Angeles’ top Latino political leaders. The Rev. Dr. Najuma Smith-Pollard spoke …Topics: CMCCE, Race and Culture, Religious Leadership
- VideoPassing on the Kindness: A Conversation on Faith and Social Entrepreneurship
- ArticleRuth Messinger: The New York City Politician’s Long Second Act Honors ‘an Obligation to Respond’This article was originally published by Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. (RNS) — New Yorkers of a certain age remember Ruth Messinger as a city …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Gender and Sexuality, Jews and Judaism, Political Attitudes and Values, Spiritual Exemplars
- CRCC in the NewsRNS: Gajaweera on Buddhism and Sri Lanka’s Recent Protest MovementProtests that led to Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa resignation have raised questions about the role of Buddhism in the country’s politics. Religion News Service interviewed CRCC’s Nalika Gajaweera about the Buddhist …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, Protests and Uprisings, Religious Leadership
- ArticleSister Agatha Chikelue: Committed to Building Peace in NigeriaThis article was originally published by Global Sisters Report, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. When she was an infant, Agatha Chikelue became gravely ill. Her parents took her to …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Interfaith/Multifaith Movements, Nuns and Women Religious, Religious Leadership, Sub-Saharan Africa, Violence
- ArticleReimagining (Again): Key Lessons on Ministry Sustainability in a Post-Pandemic WorldThe USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC) recently held its first in-person event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019. More than 70 clergy and faith-inspired community …Topics: Community Organizing, Creativity and Innovation, Faith-Based Organizations, Religious Affiliation, Religious Leadership, Social Services, Thriving Congregations
- CRCC in the NewsNY Times: Najuma Smith-Pollard on Abortion Views in Black CommunitiesAmong Black Americans, support for reproductive rights is connected with their concern for broader civil rights, the New York Times reports. The article frames CRCC’s Rev. Dr. Najuma Smith-Pollard as helping shape …Topics: CMCCE, Gender and Sexuality, Healthcare, Political Attitudes and Values, Public Health, Religious Leadership, Voting and Elections
“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 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 Implementation and PracticeTarra 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.
- John B. OrrCo-founder & Past FellowJohn B. Orr has worked extensively in the fields of religion, education and politics.
- Bruce PhillipsUniversity FellowBruce Phillips is among the leading researchers in the sociology of American Jewry and is an avid historian of Los Angeles.