Protests and uprisings are one way that people of faith respond to acts of injustice. Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Desmond Tutu exemplify religious leadership that was nonviolent. In Los Angeles, Rev. Cecil (Chip) Murray played a similar role during the 1992 civil unrest, channeling outrage at the actions of the police and courts into constructive engagement with the community. CRCC grew out of a scholarly attempt to understand the faith-based response to the L.A. riots.
Since then, Los Angeles has witnessed large-scale demonstrations related to immigrant rights, protests against war that involved civil disobedience by clergy and faith leaders, and collaboration between people of faith and labor unions supporting income equality. Through song, symbols and ritual actions, many political protests draw on the resources of religion to mobilize people.
- 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
- CRCC in the NewsSojourners Magazine: Can Churches Earn the Trust of Young Racial Justice Activists?Religious adherence may be on the decline among young people, but activists in the racial justice movement remain animated by spiritual practices, Sojourners magazine reported. The article quotes CRCC’s Hebah Farrag and …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture
- CommentaryWhite Christian nationalism and the next wave of political violenceThis article was originally published by The Hill. There was a brief period when Republicans appeared to reject Trumpism. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) condemned the insurrectionists as “terrorists, not patriots,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the seditionists were …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Political Attitudes and Values, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture, Violence
- CommentaryPredictions 2021: An Uphill StruggleAs we do around this time each new year, we at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC) are going to make some predictions for 2021. Even though the world …Topics: Government and Religion, Political Attitudes and Values, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture, Voting and Elections
- 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
- VideoSpiritual Protest: The Role of Faith in the Fight for Racial Justice
- ArticleFar from Being Anti-Religious, Faith and Spirituality Run Deep in Black Lives MatterThis article was originally published on The Conversation, and was written with Ann Gleig. Black Lives Matters (BLM) has been portrayed by its detractors as many things: Marxist, radical, anti-American. Added to …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Engaged Spirituality, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture
- CRCC in the NewsKCRW: Ferrag on the Role of Spirituality and Prayer in the Black Lives Matter MovementIs Black Lives Matter a spiritual movement? In KCRW’s weekly podcast, Life Examined, Jonathan Bastian talked with Melina Abdullah, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and Professor of Pan-African Studies at …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture
- ArticleThe Fight for Black Lives is a Spiritual MovementThis article was originally published in the Berkley Forum as an editorial response to “Religion and Racial Justice: The George Floyd Protests.” A circle of flowers forms a sanctuary honoring the space …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Engaged Spirituality, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture
- CRCC in the NewsKCET on Rev. Cecil ‘Chip’ Murray: The Reverend Who Led the Rebuilding of South L.A. After the 1992 RiotsIn the wake of George Floyd’s death, the United States has been gripped by fury over the nation’s persistent racism and police brutality. The unrest is reminiscent of the 1992 Los Angeles …Topics: Black Church, CMCCE, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture, Religious Leadership, Southern California, Violence
- VideoCritical Conversations on Activism, Online and Off
“An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so. Now the law of nonviolence says that violence should be resisted not by counter-violence but by nonviolence. This I do by breaking the law and by peacefully submitting to arrest and imprisonment.”
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- 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.
- 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.