One of the unique elements of American society is the dense network of faith-based organizations that exist in every community. Some are informal groups that respond to a particular need within a congregation or the community, such as homelessness, hunger, drug abuse or gang violence. Other faith-based organizations are formally registered with the federal government and can accept tax-deductible contributions. These organizations typically have paid staff members who help mobilize volunteers from the faith community around issues such as immigrant rights, genocide prevention, income inequality and social justice.
CRCC studies the role of faith-based organizations in their communities and also helps organizations build capacity to be more effective. These organizations utilize the resources of church and congregational buildings, leadership within the faith community and the financial generosity of people seeking to live out their convictions. Moreover, they draw on the moral traditions of their communities to inspire people to engage in acts of service.
- ToolsCivically Engaged Faith-Based Organizations in Los AngelesThe following list was developed through a project supported by the John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation from 2008-2010. Click here to read the full report, “Forging a New Moral and Political …Topics: Faith-Based Organizations, Southern California, Tools
- VideoPassing on the Kindness: A Conversation on Faith and Social Entrepreneurship
- 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
- VideoWitness as Ministry: Serving God and Refugees in Beirut
- BookReligion in Los Angeles: Religious Activism, Innovation and Diversity in the Global CityReligion in Los Angeles: Religious Activism, Innovation and Diversity in the Global City Edited by Richard Flory and Diane Winston (Routledge, 2021) Why has Los Angeles been a hotspot for religious activism, …Topics: Books, Buddhists and Buddhism, Catholics and Catholicism, Christians and Christianity, Community Organizing, Creativity and Innovation, Faith-Based Organizations, Hindus and Hinduism, Interfaith/Multifaith Movements, Jews and Judaism, Pentecostals and Pentecostalism, Religious Leadership, Southern California
- ArticleMindfulness in a time of Dis-ease: Breathing through Cancer, COVID & Climate ChangeThis article was originally published in Mindfully Speaking, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. My mind was racing. I couldn’t sleep despite the fatigue of the first trimester …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Community Dynamics, COVID, Engaged Spirituality, Faith-Based Organizations, Meditation and Prayer, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleAzza Karam: The Role Of Women In Faith And DiplomacyThis article was originally published in Religion Unplugged, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. LINDAU— Azza Karam was just about to step up to the podium at the Inselhalle in …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Engaged Spirituality, Faith-Based Organizations, Government and Religion, International Affairs and Policy, Political Attitudes and Values, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleSunita Viswanath: A New Kind of Allyship with Black Lives MatterThis article was originally published in The Juggernaut, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. When restaurant owner Ruhel Islam said “let my building burn” last month in Minneapolis, he instantly …Topics: Community Organizing, Engaged Spirituality, Faith-Based Organizations, Political Attitudes and Values, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture, Spiritual Exemplars
- CommentaryIt Takes a Community and Resources to Become an ExemplarI had the chance to meet with two exceptional women for the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture’s global project on engaged spirituality: Makvala Margoshvili and Marie Stella Kouak. They were …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Engaged Spirituality, Faith-Based Organizations, Muslims and Islam, Nuns and Women Religious, Spiritual Exemplars, weforum
- CommentaryWill Our Sense of Solidarity Fall Victim to the Pandemic?I recently argued in a piece for Religion News Service that the pandemic is leading religious institutions and our moral perceptions through a process of creative destruction, one in which an increasing …Topics: COVID, Engaged Spirituality, Faith-Based Organizations, weforum
- ArticleRNS: In Greece, Pandemic Deprives Refugees of Vital Link to Food and LocalsThis article was originally published in Religion News Service with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. MORIA REFUGEE CAMP, Lesbos, Greece (RNS) — Like many restaurants around the world, Nikos …Topics: COVID, Engaged Spirituality, Europe, Faith-Based Organizations, Immigration
- CommentaryCan Religion Help Survivors Regain Their Humanity? A Reflection on the Rwandan GenocideThe following article originally appear in Tui Motu InterIslands Magazine, a New Zealand publication. One of the first survivors that I interviewed in Rwanda after the 1994 genocide told me that his …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Engaged Spirituality, Faith-Based Organizations, Genocide, Religious Leadership, Sub-Saharan Africa, Violence
“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”
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- 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.
- Nalika GajaweeraSenior Research AnalystNalika 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.
- Bruce PhillipsUniversity FellowBruce Phillips is among the leading researchers in the sociology of American Jewry and is an avid historian of Los Angeles.
- Nadia RoumaniContributing FellowNadia Roumani has worked with a wide range of organizations over the past decade to better understand the needs of Muslim communities across the United States.
- Rebecca SagerContributing FellowRebecca Sager’s work focuses on political and religious movements and parties in American political life.