At the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, we are well aware of the critical role faith communities and leaders play in responding to crises, personal and societal. CRCC's new Assistant Director of Community and Public Engagement Najuma Smith-Pollard is leading a four-session series, starting Friday, Oct. 15, to help bridge the gap between religious organizations and the agencies that respond to crises. Please see the invitation from our friends at the Crisis and Recovery Enhancement Center below.


The Crisis and Recovery Enhancement Center invites you to our Learning Collaborative series on Building a Stronger Bridge Between Faith Communities and Behavioral Health Crisis Care Agencies. In a crisis, houses of worship and faith leaders are often “first responders” for many people. Join the Rev. Dr. Najuma Smith-Pollard as she walks us through engaging presentations and discussion activities about how to build on this asset as well as bridge communication and resources for community empowerment.

This series will build progressive implementation knowledge and action, bringing together faith communities and behavioral health county departments in response to behavioral health crisis care needs (e.g., suicide, overdose, domestic violence, psychiatric crisis). Success is measured by equitable, cost-saving, and life-saving outcomes. Focus topics include the following:

COVID-19 and Natural Disaster Impacts on Mental Health Crisis Care Needs and Assets
October 15, 2021, 10:00 -11:30am PT

Resource Sharing and Integrated Supports for Crisis Care Among Faith Leaders, Lay Ministers, and County Behavioral Health Departments
January 13, 2022, 10:00 -11:30am PT

Community-based Suicide and Overdose Prevention: Avoiding Unnecessary Hospitalization and Incarceration
April 14, 2022, 10:00 -11:30am PT

Faith Communities and Behavioral Health Departments: Collaboration in Program Development and Funding Opportunities
June 16, 2022, 10:00 -11:30am PT

Click here to register


Rev. Dr. Najuma Smith-Pollard is Founding Pastor of Word of Encouragement Church and the Assistant Director of Community and Public Engagement at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture. At CRCC, she leads programming for the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement. She is a frequent speaker and panelist for conferences related to civic engagement, the Black Church, the impact of community gun violence, women’s empowerment, and sexual violence awareness. In addition to ministry and civic engagement work, Dr. Najuma is a certified coach; her program Wake Up and Win, focuses on Self-Awareness and Personal Mastery. She is a lover of social media, music, dancing, movies, fitness, and travel. She is mother to Dorian, Zuri, and Daniel (her Angel child). The best advice Rev. Najuma ever received came from her mother who told her “You can do anything you set your mind to!” IG: @revjuju

Event Details

0 people are interested in this event

User Activity

No recent activity