10: BRIE LOSKOTA | We Decided to be Builders

The immediate years after 9/11 were profoundly challenging for American Muslims, who struggled to find their voice while being targeted for suspicion by law enforcement, media and the public alike. Meanwhile, their community institutions were in their foundational stages and largely unconnected. That pressure cooker environment is part of what sparked a groundbreaking and transformative program to support the emerging leaders of the American Muslim community — the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute (AMCLI).

As Executive Director of the USC Center for Religion & Civic Culture, BRIE LOSKOTA‘s work and research focus on how religions change and make change in the world.  She is also co-founder and senior advisor to AMCLI and a trainer-facilitator with the United States Institute of Peace’s Generation Change program, where she has trained young leaders from across the Middle East, Africa, South America and Southeast Asia in leadership capacity and conflict management while also fostering a vibrant network among them.

Brie also works with local, state and federal government agencies to ensure more effective partnership with faith communities on issues including public health, mental health and disasters.

In this episode, Edina and Brie talk about the origins of AMCLI, Brie’s roots in Southern California, what she’s learned from more than a decade of training emerging leaders around the world, what it means to be a good ally, and how to leverage difference for new possibilities.

Links to Brie’s work and projects mentioned in this episode:

9: GLENETTA POPE | Moms Against Guns

Every day, 96 Americans are shot and killed and for every one person killed with a gun, two more are injured. More children have been killed by guns since the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012 than U.S. soldiers in combat since 9/11.

In this episode, Edina talks to another mom who has had direct experience with gun violence.

After a decades long career in education, GLENETTA TURNER POPE got sick of the violence and fear, and she chose to do something about it by joining Sandy Hook Promise, where for nearly two years she trained and deployed trainers across over 70 Los Angeles public schools to conduct student assemblies about Knowing the Signs that a classmate is in crisis and preventing gun violence.

Glenetta shares her transformational journey through education, her own experience of losing a loved one from gun violence, and what we can do as moms and leaders to get real change to happen now.

Glenetta is a single mom of four who grew up in East Oakland, and has truly used education to transform her life and the lives of young scholars she has worked closely with over the past 20 years. She is a product of Oakland Public Schools, UC Berkeley, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Cal State Dominguez Hills School of Education.

She has lived and worked in Southern California since 1995.  She is currently taking care of her children, writing a book and working as an Educational Consultant. You can follow her blog at