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A photo of a globe with North and South America facing the viewer and a banner that says From DHS's Office of Academic Engagement

How DHS Partnerships Help Counter Violent Extremism

July 20, 2016

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Academic Engagement (OAE) supports the DHS mission by building, improving and leveraging relationships with the academic community.
Through this ongoing series, read how OAE actively engages with the academic community in the United States and leads initiatives related to international students, among other 
key focus areas.

Countering violent extremism (CVE) is a top priority for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The threat of terrorism presents a unique challenge for law enforcement and security officials. CVE aims to address the root causes of violent extremism by providing resources for communities to build and sustain local prevention efforts and promote the use of counter-narratives to confront violent extremist messaging online.

Students play an important role in the nation’s security and in preventing violent extremism. Specifically, the DHS Office for Community Partnerships (OCP) and the Office of Academic Engagement (OAE) work directly with colleges and universities to promote these efforts. By participating in the nation’s CVE efforts, students can help to protect their communities and campuses.

The goals of DHS’s CVE efforts are to:

  • Educate citizens about the threat of online recruitment and radicalization.
  • Develop innovative community-based responses to this threat.
  • Increase the resilience of communities.

In pursuit of these goals, Secretary Johnson recently announced the 2016 CVE Grant Program, with $10 million in available funds. This is the first federal assistance program devoted exclusively to providing local communities with the resources to counter violent extremism in the homeland.

In addition, DHS supports the “Peer to Peer [P2P]: Challenging Extremism” program. P2P is an innovative public-private partnership created by EdVenture Partners and sponsored by DHS and the U.S. Department of State, with additional support from Facebook. The objective of P2P is to engage college and university students to create campaigns on social media to challenge violent extremist narratives.

Since 2015, over 120 student teams have participated in P2P from universities and schools around the globe. In June 2016, the team from Rochester Institute of Technology won the competition with their campaign, “It’s Time: #ExOut Violent Extremism.” Initiatives such as P2P showcase the value of the higher education community in supporting DHS’s CVE efforts.

To learn more about how DHS partnerships help keep your community safe, read Secretary Johnson’s announcement regarding the OCP. For more information about how OAE partners with colleges and universities, visit OAE’s website.

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