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Countering Violent Extremism in the Trump Era

Countering Violent Extremism programs already harmed minority communities without providing any national security benefit. The Trump administration has made the problem far worse.

Published: June 15, 2018

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs have a long and troubled history, from before and including the Obama White House. These programs unfairly target Muslim and minority communities as inherently susceptible to terrorism. They conflate community services and intelligence gathering, often under false pretenses, undermining trust between law enforcement and communities. And there is no evidence that they provide any national security benefit, which is unsurprising since they rely on theories and assumptions about terrorism that have been empirically disproven.

The ascension of the openly Islamophobic Trump administration has only deepened concerns about how CVE programs could be used to target vulnerable communities. Our analysis of CVE grants awarded by Trump’s Department of Homeland Security found that those fears are warranted. CVE programs now explicitly operate on the bizarre and unsupported assumption that diversity and the experience of discrimination in America are suggestive of a national security threat – and that Muslim, immigrant, black, or LGBTQ Americans, from kindergarten on, must be surveilled to keep our country safe.


Key Findings

Read our key findings on the Trump administration’s changes to the CVE Grant program. Those include:

  • At least 85% of CVE grants, and over half of CVE programs, now explicitly target minority groups, including Muslims, LGBTQ Americans, Black Lives Matter Activists, immigrants, and refugees.
  • The amount of CVE funding going to law enforcement has tripled, from $764,000 to $2,340,000.
  • 14 of the 26 programs funded by the Department of Homeland Security target schools and students, some as young as 5 years old – often encouraging them to report suspicious behavior by parents or fellow students.

 Countering Violent Extremism Grants by City

  Methodology

California

Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Mayor's Office)

Los Angeles, CA (National Consortium for Advanced Policing)

Oakland, CA (Alameda County Sheriff’s Office)

San Diego, CA (University of San Diego)
 

Colorado

Denver, CO (Denver Police Department)

Greenwood Village, CO (Peace Catalyst International)
 

District of Columbia

Washington, D.C. (America Abroad Media)

Washington, D.C. (Masjid Muhammad)

Washington, D.C. (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices)
 

Illinois

Chicago, IL (Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority)
 

Massachusetts

Boston, MA (Police Foundation)

Boston, MA (Massachusetts Office of Public Safety and Security)
 

Michigan

Dearborn, MI (Dearborn Police Department)

Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN (Heartland Democracy)

Minneapolis, MN (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)
 

Nebraska

Lincoln, NE (Nebraska Emergency Management Agency)
 

Nevada

Las Vegas, NV (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
 

New Jersey

Jersey City, NJ (Global Peace Foundation)
 

New York

New York, NY (Tuesday’s Children)

New York, NY (Counter Extremism Project)

Rochester, NY (Rochester Institute of Technology)
 

Tennessee

Nashville, TN (Nashville International Center for Empowerment)
 

Texas

Arlington, TX (Arlington Police Department)

Houston, TX (Houston Mayor’s Office)

Houston, TX (Crisis Intervention of Houston)
 

Washington

Seattle, WA (Seattle Police Department)

 


Use

All documents associated with this project may be reproduced in whole or in part as long as the Brennan Center is credited, a link to the Center’s web page is provided, and no charge is imposed. Please let the Brennan Center know if you reproduce any piece of the project.

Additional Resources

CVE Lexicon: This chart includes definitions of the key terms used by CVE proponents in the United States. The definitions in the lexicon were derived from a variety of open source materials and unclassified documents.

Terrorism Indicators Chart: A compendium of the various markers of vulnerability to terrorism identified by CVE programs.

CVE Funding Chart: This chart compares the funding allocated to groups receiving DHS CVE funding in the Obama and Trump administrations. The chart is divided into police departments, non-profit organizations, academic or research institutions, Muslim grassroots organizations, and public safety organizations. Organizations that publicly declined funding after the 2016 Presidential Election are highlighted.

 


Note on Methodology

We have categorized the programs funded by DHS based on the types of activities they perform, and a single grant may encompass more than one activity. The five categories used are:

  1. Intervention: Identifying individuals as potential terrorists mostly based on vague and unproven indicators, such as feelings of alienation, experience of racism or discrimination, difficulties in school or career, searching for sense of meaning or community, bullying, and economic hardship. These programs generally involve training people who are likely to come into contact with young people, including schoolteachers, to spot these signs. Once such individuals are identified, these programs often provide or refer them to counseling or mental health care, a process that almost always involves law enforcement. Some intervention programs do not include a referral element, but rather focus on a “train the trainer” model.
  2. Social Services: Programs to fund or facilitate the provision of health, education, and social services to American Muslim and other communities, based on the theory that adverse economic and social conditions facilitate terrorism. Social services may also be part of an intervention program as described above.
  3. CVE Online: Efforts to create or promote messages that are thought to counter the appeal of groups like ISIS and encourage reporting of so-called “extremist content” so that it can be removed from the Internet.
  4. Community Outreach: Traditional approaches to building relationships between law enforcement and communities, such as visits by police to community events and houses of worship.
  5. Deradicalization: Measures aimed at currently or formerly incarcerated individuals identified as at risk of violent extremism, such as support services and counseling upon release. 

Although DHS did not request recommendations as part of grant applications, some grantees incorporated letters of support as part of their CVE proposals. For completeness we have identified these supporters in our analysis.

The organizations and individuals listed as partners, pass-through organizations, consultants, and supporters are consistent with those listed in the grant proposals as submitted to DHS. We recognize that some of the listed entities may have since declined funding or stopped participation.

A number of grantees also received grant awards that differed from the funds requested in their grant proposals. We resolved this discrepancy by reporting funds awarded to each program by then-DHS secretary John Kelly in June 2017.

Finally, several DHS CVE programs are nationwide or statewide in their reach; they are nonetheless listed according to the city in which the headquarters of the grantee is located. For example, the Global Peace Foundation’s program has a statewide focus, but in the accompanying grant proposal the organization listed Jersey City as the site of their headquarters, so we have listed it as such.

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Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Mayor's Office) 

This page is part of the research project 'Countering Violent Extremism in the Trump Era.' Click here to go back.

Name of Program: Building Healthy Communities in Los Angeles.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: Intervention; Social Service; CVE Online.

Type of Organization: Public Safety.

Grant Amount: $425,000.

Targets: Based on partners: Muslims, Sikhs, immigrants, refugees, young people, and formerly incarcerated people.

Key Facts: The program is meant to prevent Muslim and refugee communities and formerly incarcerated individuals from adopting extremist ideologies. The initiative will facilitate roundtable CVE discussions among community members and create a system for schools, communities, local organizations, law enforcement, and city and county services to identify individuals who do not pose an “imminent public safety threat,” but are susceptible to terrorist recruitment. These individuals may be referred to “multidisciplinary services,” such as mental health, education, and job placement services. In running the program, the Mayor’s Office will partner with the county’s School Threat Response Team (START) program, which aims to combine mental health and law enforcement expertise to identify, evaluate, or arrest individuals who may pose a “criminal threat” or a “more advanced threat to public safety.” The indicators for identifying students as a threat are not specified.

The mayor’s office will create an online information resource platform (the “Communetwork”) to connect community partners to groups that provide skills-based training and other social and mental health services to members of the Los Angeles community. In addition, the program plans to launch a messaging campaign to change the perception that CVE is always connected with law enforcement in cooperation with private sector partners.

The proposal states that the referral system will ensure “privacy of individual information and protection of civil rights,” but does not specify how it intends to do so.

The RAND Corporation is to build evaluative measures to assess the effectiveness and impact of the referral system, and to ensure program outcomes are successfully completed, but the criteria for success are not defined.

Partners: City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, Los Angeles Department of Mental Health, Interagency Collaborative Steering Committee, Los Angeles Interagency Coordination Group, Muslim Public Affairs Council, King Fahad Mosque, Not in our Town, ILM Foundation, Violence Prevention Coalition, Gang Reduction & Youth Development Foundation, Professional Community Intervention Training Institute, LA Emergency Preparedness Foundation Access Services, Tiyya Foundation, California Sikh Council, University of Southern California Center for Religion and Civic Culture, City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, Bayan Claremont University, Film2Future, EdVenture Partners, RAND Corporation.

Pass-through Organizations: RAND Corporation ($80,000); ILM Foundation, Not in Our Town, Tiyya Foundation, Cross Cultural Expressions Community Counseling Center, and others ($195,000 to support CVE activities).[1]

Consultants: Unnamed vendor for web-based platform ($25,000); referral system ($50,000); messaging and branding ($20,000).

Supporters: 211 LA County, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (National), Bayan Claremont – Islamic Graduate School, County of Los Angeles – Office of Emergency Management, Film2Future, Homeboy Industries, Los Angeles Human Relations Coordinator, King Fahad Mosque, EdVenture Partner, Los Angeles Emergency Management Foundation Access Services, Los Angeles Police Department, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Not in our Town, Professional Community Intervention Training Institute (a gang intervention training organization), Violence Prevention Coalition of Los Angeles, California Sikh Council, ILM Foundation, UMMA Community Clinic.

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[1] The Muslim Public Affairs Council was on the initial list of organizations slated to receive funding, but was not included in the City Administrative Officer's report from December 2017. MPAC has informed the Brennan Center that they declined to participate. The report also indicated that Cross Cultural Expressions Community Counseling Center has received funding related to activities outlined in the program proposal.  


Los Angeles, CA (National Consortium for Advanced Policing)

Name of Program: Building Community Resiliency Through Police and Community Partnerships

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].    

Type of Organization: Academic/ Research.

Type of Program: Intervention.

Grant Amount: $200,000.

Targets: Police in urban communities nationwide.

Key Facts: This program aims to increase awareness and knowledge among police officers about countering the threat of violent extremism in the communities they serve. The Consortium will train police executives from the 66 largest metro areas in the country, who will require their entire departments to participate in future trainings. The training curriculum is to be developed with input from the Consortium, DHS, and the 66 police chiefs, along with at least one community leader from each of the police chief’s communities. It will address a range of topics including “how violent extremism manifests itself in local communities.” The Consortium will also develop an “implementation guide” to reach officers beyond the 66 agencies.

According to the proposal, all CVE training for police personnel is to be “free from bias” and “uphold civil rights and liberties.”

Training evaluations, presumably undertaken by the Consortium, will include detailed data collection and analysis using input from an advisory board, a pilot training, after action reports, and student evaluation forms. “Measurable outcomes” include participants’ understanding of “what violent extremism is and how it manifests itself in local communities”; “how community policing strategies can be used to develop a safety net of relationships that can lead to early detection and prevention”; and “how each municipality plays a role.”

Partners: Major Cities Chiefs Association.

Pass-through Organizations: Lafayette Group ($92,873), Major Cities Chief Association ($34,709).

Consultants: None identified.

Supporters: None identified.

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Oakland, CA (Alameda County Sheriff’s Office)

Name of Program: Operation E Pluribus Unum.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: Deradicalization; Social Service; Intervention.

Type of Organization: Police Department.

Grant Amount: $499,125.

Targets: Individuals currently or recently incarcerated in Alameda County, primarily Muslims and “people interested in exploring Islam.” The grant proposal claims that it covers inmates identified as being “at-risk of radicalization by other ideologies,” but program activities are clearly targeted at Muslims.

Key Facts: Operation E Pluribus Unum was created to address the lack of culturally relevant reentry services for Muslim inmates in Alameda County jails, a group that, according to the sheriff’s office, is “susceptible to extremist ideology.” The office will support the reentry of 60 inmates and 60 post-release clients identified as “at-risk for extremist recruitment,” based on unspecified criteria, by a referral network that they will set up with the Ta’Leef Collective. Licensed clinicians from Ta’Leef will provide these individuals with trauma-informed one-on-one counseling and workshops on topics such as “transform[ing] violent mindsets and behaviors” and “radicalization within Islamic understanding.” Participants are eligible for paid transitional employment with primarily Muslim-owned businesses through the Deputy Sheriff’s Activities League. Ta’Leef also intends to provide workshops for law enforcement and reentry case managers to increase their understanding of “Muslim community issues,” as well as “factors potentially leading to radicalization and violent extremism.”

Despite the obvious risks, the grant proposal does not mention potential impacts to civil rights, civil liberties, or privacy.

Participants will complete pre- and post-evaluation surveys to assess program impacts, including “changes in compassion, empathy, and impulsivity.” Surveys for law enforcement and case managers will measure “understanding of key issues for Muslims both in the community and the corrections system” and “knowledge of resources to support Muslim clients.” An outside evaluator Action Research International will create an “innovative, cross-systems evaluation plan” to assess changes in relationships among case managers, clinicians, inmates and reentry clients, and corrections staff and whether that “correlates to reduced recidivism and changes in attitudes.”

Partners: Ta’leef Collective, Deputy Sheriff’s Activities League, Santa Rita Jail, Glenn Dyer Detention Facility, Criminal Justice Mental Health, Roots Community Health and Mirchi Café, and unidentified Muslim-owned businesses and Alameda County Agencies and Partners.

Pass-through Organizations: Action Research International, the organization evaluating the program ($73,750) and Deputy Sheriff’s Activities League ($110,000), comprising stipends for Muslim-owned businesses and other local enterprises, such as Dig Deep Farms ($500-$3000 per stipend).

Consultants: None identified.

Supporters: None identified.

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San Diego, CA (University of San Diego)

Detailed Program InformationAvailable here

Name of Program: Connected Youth-Resilient Communities Initiative.

Type of Organization: Academic/Research.

Type of Program: Community Outreach; Social Service.

Grant Amount: $634,769.

Targets: Somali, Iraqi, and refugee youth in San Diego and El Cajon, CA.

Key Facts: Premised on the belief that “marginalization and isolation of youth” is the core problem undermining community resilience to violent extremism, this program seeks to better integrate Somali and Iraqi refugee youth into their communities in San Diego and El Cajon. A “project team,” the membership of which is not specified, will work to build the capacity of community-based organizations through training, observation, and the allocation of sub-grants. These organizations will help the young people with whom they work to build connections with their elders, school peers, and law enforcement, and facilitate youth collaboration on community-based projects (ranging from school clean-up day to “a series of community-police dialogues”).

The grant proposal does not mention potential impacts to civil rights, civil liberties, or privacy.

The Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego will evaluate the programs objectives and outcomes, (e.g., “youth voice” and “youth collaboration”; “increased efficacy,” “strengthened relationships”; increased “working trust,” “sense of community,” “place attachment”; “youth less amenable to recruitment” and “communities more resilient to violent extremism,” through surveys and focus groups. The program aims to use its evaluation methodology to create a model that can be implemented in other locations throughout the country. 

Partners: San Ysidro Health Center – Chaldean and Middle-Eastern Social Services, Somali Bantu Community of San Diego; Horn of Africa Community in North America; and East African Youth Empowerment.

Pass-through Organizations: San Ysidro Health Center ($247,105); contracts with “members of the consortium of Somali organizations” ($100,000).

Consultants: Somali community program coordinator ($150,000); unnamed consultant for data collection and analysis ($30,000).

Supporters: Somali Bantu Association of America, Horn of Africa Community in North America, and East African Youth Empowerment.

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Denver, CO (Denver Police Department)

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Name of Program: Countering Violent Extremism Collaborative Grant Program.

Type of Program: Intervention; Community Outreach.

Type of Organization: Police Department.   

Grant Amount: $481,313.

Targets: Faith communities, diverse communities, refugee communities, LGBTQ communities and Black Lives Matter in Denver.

Key Facts: The program is premised on the notion that Denver’s ethnic/religious minorities and other marginalized groups are susceptible to violent extremism because they are disenfranchised and isolated. To address this threat, 240 police officers will be trained to recognize and analyze unspecified “behaviors and indicators of violent extremism,” and to partner with community organizations to intervene. Officer training will be developed with input from DHS, the National Counterterrorism Center, the Department of Justice, the Denver Police Academy, Colorado Muslim Connection, and unidentified community members. The proposal also states that DHS and the U.S. Attorney General’s Office will assist in the development of this program. Officers will lead CVE- specific “mentoring” programs in five unnamed Denver public middle and high schools for students identified as “at-risk” by school counselors, teachers, community partners, or the criminal justice system. These will be supported by Goodwill Industries, a non-profit organization. Finally, officers will conduct workshops with immigrants and refugees, which aim to integrate them into city life, teach them to recognize “the signs and tactics of radicalization,” and increase the likelihood that they will report “suspicion of radicalization” to law enforcement or other city agencies.

Despite the obvious risks, the grant proposal does not mention potential impacts to civil rights, civil liberties, or privacy. It states that the police will enter into memoranda of understanding with partner schools, but provides no information on what these will cover.

Two data managers will track participant information and evaluate program outcomes, gathering data such as the number of classes, unspecified “participant data,” demographics, classroom contact hours, attendance, supportive services, volunteers and hours, and description of activities that occurred during the reporting period. Also, officers will take pre- and post-course evaluations to measure their “understanding of implementation of the curriculum and concepts of the course.”

Partners: Goodwill Industries, Denver Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs, Colorado Muslim Connection, Denver Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships, Denver Public Schools, DHS Office of Strategic Engagement, and the U.S. Attorneys’ Office.

Pass-through Organizations: Goodwill Industries ($132,362); Denver Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs ($14,990).

Consultants: None identified.

Supporters: None identified.

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Greenwood Village, CO (Peace Catalyst International)

Name of Program: Faith Communities Undermining Reciprocal Extremist Narratives.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: CVE Online.

Type of Organization: Non-Profit.

Grant Amount: $95,000.

Targets: Muslim and Evangelical faith/community leaders.

Key Facts: This program aims to disrupt the reciprocal radicalization ideologies of both “Islamic violent extremists” and “Anti-Muslim violent extremists.” Peace Catalyst will host two conferences at Duke University to connect Muslim community leaders with leaders in the Evangelical community. The primary goal of the first conference is to form working groups to organize “local activations,” cross-faith initiatives in cities around the country that will undertake conflict resolution trainings, cross-cultural programs, and community service events, in an effort to create a “lived-experience” counter-narrative to violent extremist recruiting. During a follow-up conference, participants will evaluate the successes and shortcomings of local activations and their initiatives.  

The grant proposal does not mention potential impacts to civil rights, civil liberties, or privacy.

The working groups will construct and implement evaluations for the local activations. Conference participants will evaluate “local activation strategies,” although specific mechanisms are not discussed. The results of these evaluations will be disseminated nationwide to faith-based practitioners.

Partners: Duke University Center for Reconciliation, Alliance for Peacebuilding, Center for Islam and Religious Freedom, Institute for Global Engagement, International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, The Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, Evangelicals for Peace.

Pass-through Organizations: None identified.

Consultants: Unnamed speakers ($6,000) and local program trainers ($4,500). Unspecified “other contracts” ($1,000).

Supporters: None identified.

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Washington, D.C. (America Abroad Media)

Name of Program: The Disrupters.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: CVE Online.

Type of Organization: Non-Profit.

Grant Amount: $647,546.

Targets: Muslim content creators in Minneapolis, New York, and Los Angeles.

Key Facts: This program is premised on the notion that ISIS’s “slick” and “sophisticated” online recruitment is rapidly outpacing the counter-messaging campaigns led by governments, civil society, and religious leaders. In response, America Abroad Media, with project partners Affinis Labs and RL Leaders, will connect Muslim and non-Muslim creative artists through a series of competitions (“hackathons”) to develop authentic, community-based communications campaigns and content to disrupt violent extremist narratives. The winning teams of each competition will work with entertainment industry professionals in Hollywood to fully develop and execute their campaigns, in hopes that these campaigns will inspire the creation of others.

The grant proposal does not mention potential impacts to civil rights, civil liberties, or privacy.

America Abroad Media and its partners will help the winner of each competition evaluate “the volume and reach of content that their work inspires and enables,” using traditional social media metrics (e.g., clicks, views, tweets/retweets), as well as metrics that track user engagement such as “instances where content clearly produces discussions or debates about whether violent extremism is permissible.” Content prototypes will be evaluated based on four criteria: technical feasibility, creativity, impact on target audiences, and the extent to which the prototype encourages others to make CVE content.

Partners: Affinis Labs, RL Leaders, Salam Al-Marayati (Muslim Public Affairs Council), Munir Shaikh (Bayan), Rushdi Cader (Trauma Assistance Training), Omar Ricci (Reserve Police Officer, Los Angeles Police Department), Haroon Moghul (Center for Global Policy); Oz Sultan (Sultan Interactive), Zeba Iqbal (Former Exec. Director, Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals); and Zaheer Baber (former Regional Director-Land O'Lakes), Mary McKinley (Heartland Democracy), Hashi Shafi (Somali Action Alliance), and Mohamad Farah (Ka Joog).

Pass-through Organizations: Affinis Labs ($208,061) and RL Leaders ($154,387).

Consultants: Unnamed virtual mentoring consultants from the entertainment industry ($12,000), consultants for “industry hackathon” ($27,500), contractor for hackathon live stream ($10,500), contractor for designers to “support team mock ups” ($7,500).

Supporters: Office of Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), Pound Sand, Trio Entertainment, Aaron Sims Creative, Producer Kearie Peak, and HQ Creative.

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Washington, D.C. (Masjid Muhammad)

Name of Program: Developing Credible, Authentic and Constructive Muslim Voices to Prevent Extremism.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: CVE Online.  

Type of Organization: Non-Profit.

Grant Amount:  $531,195.

Targets: Muslims in the D.C. region and nationwide.

Key Facts: According to the grant proposal, there is a growing threat of violent extremism among Muslims in Washington, D.C. and nationally. As evidence, the proposal cites recruitment at a local mosque and the presence of Salafi Muslims in the D.C. region, which it describes as a sect “often cited as a precursor to extremist ideology and behavior.” Masjid Muhammed, in collaboration with counter-terrorism experts, American Islamic scholars, and mosques and religious centers, will develop a national online platform, as well as a speaking tour, to counter online violent extremist recruitment with “authentic” and “credible” Muslim voices. The website presents alternative narratives and provides resources to help individuals “headed down a path of destruction,” including a page of potential signs of violent extremism that may warrant intervention. Separately, Masjid Muhammad runs a 24-hour crisis hotline where people can discuss “a personal issue related to radicalization.” The program also includes an in-depth geotargeting campaign aimed at reaching certain “demographics, genders, interests, languages, and boundary areas” with “anti-radicalization digital media” via mobile phones. The program, with the help of unnamed CVE experts, will work with local mosques to “identify high risk groups within their communities.” It is not clear whether information about their targets will be shared with law enforcement.  

The grant proposal does not mention potential impacts to civil rights, civil liberties, or privacy.

The proposal states that with the assistance of Greene Street Communications, the program is to provide an analytic report of daily participation rates on social media and the website, as well as a comprehensive assessment of online analytics, best practices, current trends, and post community engagement workshops.

Partners: Greene Street Communication LLC, America’s Islamic Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, Haneefiya America, Center D.C., All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), Muslim Community Cultural Center of Baltimore and Islamic Affairs Council of Maryland/Civilization Exchange and Cooperation Foundation, and D.C. Police.

Pass-through Organizations: None identified.

Consultants: Unnamed app developers ($50,000); marketing consultants ($6,000);  “[g]eotargeting CVE experts to target risk demographics” ($50,000); consultant to produce “rapid assessment study/report on CVE issues” ($72,000); “CVE experts to write articles for site” ($96,000); video and editing post production team ($48,000); photographer consultant ($19,200); CVE communications expert ($40,000).

Supporters: None identified

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Washington, D.C. (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices)

Name of Program: State Approaches to Violent Extremism (S.A.V.E.) Policy Academy.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: Intervention.

Type of Organization: Academic/ Research.

Grant Amount: $500,000.

Targets: Governors who will implement the program’s “CVE Roadmap.”

Key Facts: According to the grant proposal, there is a need for greater coordination between different levels of government and disciplines to counter the threat of violent extremism. With ongoing input and support from DHS, the Center will develop and implement a CVE “roadmap” to provide training, policy, and engagement strategies to be implemented and adopted by five states. To initially engage and train states, the Center will conduct a “policy academy,” that will address a range of topics including “recognizing violent extremist behaviors and indicators,” which are not specified in the grant proposal. The program also anticipates developing materials for use by state governments beyond the five selected to implement the roadmap.

The CVE roadmap will include unspecified civil rights and civil liberties protections.

Through regular communication and engagement with selected states, the Center will track progress and ensure project goals are met. Criteria used to measure success include community engagements, the creation of bodies (e.g., a task force or council), evidence-based trainings to communities, development of a single reporting mechanism, and/or awareness campaigns.

Partners: Council of State Governments, National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties, and International City/County Management Association, National Association of City and County Health Officials, University of Maryland, American Red Cross, and Business Executives for National Security.

Pass-through Organizations: Five unnamed states ($50,000).

Consultants: None identified.

Supporters: None identified.

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Chicago, IL (Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority)

Name of Program: Targeted Violence Prevention Program.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: Intervention.

Type of Organization: Public Safety.

Grant Amount: $187,877.

Targets: 150 community leaders and community members in Chicago, DuPage County, and the greater Springfield area.

Key Facts: According to the grant proposal, this program was created in response to the proliferation of hate groups/ hate crimes and “Illinois-affiliated terrorism incidents” (involving individuals previously residing in Illinois). The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority will train community leaders from schools, faith-based, and community organizations (who will train community members) to identify individuals who exhibit warning signs of extremist involvement and to off-ramp them via connection or referral to unidentified resources within their communities. The project has been developed “alongside, but independent of,” a companion proposal by the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois Department of Mental Health, which plans to provide unspecified CVE training to mental health providers in the same three pilot communities.

The grant proposal states that “building resilience and preventing ideologically inspired targeted violence is not inherently at odds with individual civil liberties,” but does not address potential impacts or safeguards.  

There is no plan for a formal evaluation, but the program will “collect evidence of both process and outcomes” that can be evaluated through later research. Mentioned informal “evaluation activities” include focus groups to assess participants’ perceptions of the program and pre- and post-training surveys to “record attendee characteristics, gauge knowledge attainment and satisfaction with the training, and document participant perceptions about whether the training increased their likelihood of acting when they view concerning behaviors.”

Partners: Makki Masjid, Chicago Police Department, Islamic Center of Naperville, DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management -- Medical Reserve Corps, Islamic Society of Greater Springfield, Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago, Compassionate Care Network, and Parliament of the World’s Religions.

Consultants: Dr. Stevan Weine, Dr. Nancy Zarse, Dr. Linda Langford, Dr. Matthew Clarke, and Sadia Covert (total $90,800).

Pass-through Organizations: None identified.

Supporters: None identified.

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Boston, MA (Police Foundation) 

Name of Program: Youth and Police Initiative Plus (YPIP).

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: Community Outreach; Social Service; potentially Intervention.

Type of Organization: Academic/ Research.

Grant Amount: $484,835.

Targets: 120 Somali immigrant youth and their families in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood.

Key Facts: The program is premised on the view that young Somali-American men are at risk of engaging in violent extremism due to a variety of factors, including recruiting efforts by Al Shabab and ISIS, disenfranchisement, and mistrust of law enforcement. To counteract this risk, police will work in collaboration with two community groups, the North American Family Institute and the Somali Community and Cultural Association. They will conduct a number of activities focused on young Somalis, including interactive training sessions aimed at building mutual respect, pairing participants with adult Somali mentors, and, where necessary, linking participants to social and mental health services. The program will recruit youth participants through word of mouth, social media, flyers shared during sermon prayers, and “working closely with area mosques.” The program will also undertake parent engagement initiatives for Somali families, including “parent/police trust-building & info-sharing sessions.” Officers participating in this program are expected to share information regarding known terrorism recruitment with the Somali Community and Cultural Association to “better inform” Somali parents in Boston. The grant proposal does not specifically indicate that the program is aimed at identifying individual Somalis as at risk for violent extremism. However, it lists a number of factors (e.g. weak parental support, “absolute trust” in people who attend community mosques, and unsafe neighborhoods) as relevant to such a determination and measures youth “attitudes towards ideology-based violence by others and own violent intentions,” which suggests that such evaluations are part of YPIP.

The proposal states that memoranda of understanding and other unspecified policies will be established at the outset of the project to protect participants’ civil rights and liberties, but does not include specific information.

The Police Foundation will undertake an evaluation via pre- and post-program surveys of youth and officers to assess short and long-term effects of program participation. The youth surveys will measure “opinions towards police officers, individual and collective relative deprivation, social disconnectedness, and attitudes towards ideology-based violence by others and own violent intentions.” The criteria for police surveys are unspecified, although the proposal states that they were adapted from a 2014 Department of Justice-funded study.  

Partners: North American Family Institute, Boston Police Department, Somali Community and Cultural Association.

Consultants: Deeqo Jibril (Somali Community Liaison) ($350/day up to 200 days/year), Slonky (web-hosting and maintenance company) ($4,000/year); unnamed video production company ($4,000/year).

Pass-through Organizations: North American Family Institute ($162,200).

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Boston, MA (Massachusetts Office of Public Safety and Security)

Name of Program: New Freedoms Intervention

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: Deradicalization; Social Service.

Type of Organization: Public Safety.

Grant Amount: $500,000.

Targets: 139 men being released from maximum security prison in Massachusetts.

Key Facts: Almost all the funds will be subgranted to the state’s Department of Correction, which will identify 139 recently incarcerated men for participation. These individuals are regarded as being at heightened risk for violent extremism due to their “high propensity for displaced aggression” (all have been placed in a Department Disciplinary Unit, have known gang affiliation and/or have had a disciplinary report for violence within the last three years). The Department will contract with licensed outpatient behavioral health treatment centers to provide participants with direct behavioral health services and facilitate connections to “culturally-appropriate pro-social outlets,” educational/employment opportunities, and other unidentified transitional services.

The grant proposal does not mention potential impacts to civil rights, civil liberties, or privacy.

Mentioned evaluation objectives include measuring the percentage of “individuals who engage in community-based treatment and support,” “reductions in arrests, convictions, and serious (violence-related) offenses,” and the “level of service delivery participation.”  Department of Correction Office of Strategic Planning & Research will provide ongoing evaluation of quality of services, program effectiveness and opportunities for development.

Partners: Massachusetts Department of Corrections, the U.S. Attorney’s Office (if needed).

Pass-through Organizations: Massachusetts Department of Corrections (via an unnamed vendor) ($452,529.64).

Consultants: None identified.

Supporters: None identified.

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Dearborn, MI (Dearborn Police Department)

Name of Program: Community Training and Awareness Briefings to Counter Violent Extremism.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: Intervention.

Type of Organization: Police Department.   

Grant Amount: $51,521.

Targets: Arab populations in and around Dearborn.

Key Facts: Noting that the city’s dense Arab population and “unique blend of cultural diversity” may make it a target for recruitment to violent extremism, Dearborn police are expanding their existing CVE “Intervention Model.” Interventions are triggered when “family, friends, or acquaintances are worried about a person’s behavior and tips off police.” Police refer the case to the “appropriate source” (school counselor, clergy, psychiatric ward, etc.) and investigate whether “there were weapons incidents or previous assaultive behavior.” No further information on the process is included in the proposal or the publicly available materials on Dearborn’s Intervention Model.

The expansion financed by DHS will include at least 22 officer-led trainings to teach civilians to effectively respond to threatening situations and to recognize unspecified “disturbing behaviors which warrant non-criminal intervention” by law enforcement and mental health professionals. In addition, officers will deliver trainings to unidentified schools in Dearborn on how to respond to an active shooter. Other materials indicate that the Dearborn School Superintendent Brian Whiston “is a co-leader of CVE efforts, and schools are a major partner to law enforcement.”

Despite the obvious risks, the grant proposal does not mention potential impacts to civil rights, civil liberties, or privacy.

Dearborn Police will evaluate the degree to which the program has “enhanced resilience to violent extremist recruitment and radicalization” by tracking “number of training/awareness briefings held,” “number of attendees,” and “number of radicalization incidents.” The grant proposal does not indicate how the latter will be identified or recorded or how the success of identifications or interventions will be measured.

Partners: Dearborn Area Interfaith Network.

Consultants: None identified.

Pass-through Organizations: None identified.

Supporters: None identified.

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Minneapolis, MN (Heartland Democracy)

Name of Program: Empowering U.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: Intervention.

Type of Organization: Non-Profit.

Grant Amount: $423,340.

Targets: Minnesota’s Somali population.

Key Facts: Empowering U was established in response to an increase in terrorist recruitment and “civil unrest” in Minnesota in recent years. The initiative will run programs in schools to provide “at-risk” students with opportunities to discuss race, politics, and social issues, in hopes that an outlet for their grievances might prevent the adoption of extremist ideologies. The program will also convene mental health and primary care providers to share and develop culturally competent care and outreach. Heartland Democracy has a team (the composition of which is unknown) which will identify and work with youth and at least three to five families directly affected by or at risk of recruitment and refer them to mentors, case managers, educational, health, and social service providers. Although the proposal does not specify the indicators used in the program’s referral component, a number of political, socio-economic, and cultural factors are cited as increasing an individual’s risk to terrorist recruitment.

There will be a “memorandum of understanding for participants and service providers; information-sharing practices, limits and constraints, civil liberties, privacy protections,” the specifics of which are not available.

Empowering U has developed surveys, in partnership with the University of Minnesota, to evaluate program success in mental health and cognition, although it is not known how these are defined.

Partners: African Immigrants Community Services, Government Agencies in Hennepin County, former U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger, Minneapolis Public Schools, University of Minnesota’s Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development, and the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute, Affinis Labs, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, IBM, Somali-American Task Force, Base Management, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, YWCA of Minneapolis, Girls Inc., Minnesota Humanities Center, AbuBakr Mosque, Average Mohamed, ThinkSmall, Base Management, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Pass-through Organizations: None identified.

Consultants: Unnamed educational professional ($30,000); mental health and primary care clinicians ($30,000); coaches and mentors ($30,000); community outreach coordinator ($10,000); communications and information management consultant ($40,000); translation services ($8,000); consultant with program assessment and evaluation experience ($14,400); researcher and writer ($85/hour, 120 hours total); financial management consultant ($50/hour, 100 hours total).

Supporters: None identified.

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Minneapolis, MN (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

Name of Program: Community Engagement: A Frontline Strategy for Countering Violent Extremism.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: Intervention; Community Outreach; CVE Online.

Type of Organization: Police Department.  

Grant Amount: $347,600.

Populations Targeted: Somali, Liberian, Oromo, East African, Native American, and Latino communities in Hennepin County and the Minneapolis area.

Key Facts: The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is expanding its existing CVE efforts in response to increases in Minnesota’s non-white and Latino populations and an increase in recruitment of area residents to ISIS and al Shabaab. The office, in partnership with community groups, will conduct workshops with as many as 300 women, children, and young adults in Minneapolis’ Cedar Riverside neighborhood to enhance awareness of the nature of violent extremist threats, including signs, not specified in the grant proposal, that purportedly indicate adoption of extremist ideology, and availability of community resources. Liaisons will conduct outreach to minority communities to develop relationships and bridge cultural/language gaps. Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office will implement a version of the London Metropolitan Police Department’s “Red STOP” program, through which community members can anonymously report “extremist internet content” to law enforcement.

The proposal notes the program’s commitment to “protecting the civil rights and civil liberties” of local communities but does not identify potential risks or safeguards to be established.

Evaluations of program effectiveness are to be led by participants, speakers, and program leaders (workshop goals and outcomes), the Criminal & Information Sharing Unit of the Sheriff’s Office (quality of data collected from the online reporting system), and unspecified entities (effectiveness of community outreach). Analysts in the Criminal Information Sharing & Analysis Unit of the Sheriff’s Office will also document instances of credible information referred to the Sheriff’s Office and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force via the online reporting system.

Partners: Voices of East African Women, Ka-Joog Organization, Twin Cities Security Partnership (which includes Chief Security Officers from many of the Twin Cities largest companies including Target, 3M, Cargill, General Mills, and St. Jude Medical), Metro Region Information Collaboration, the Minnesota State Joint Analysis Center, other state-operated fusion centers throughout the United States, DHS Customs & Border Protection, Police Research Forum, DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, U.S. Attorneys’ Office, FBI, Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Office, and the Department of State.

Pass-through Organizations: Unnamed community partners and organizations ($100,000).

Consultant: Unnamed independent contractor or consultant ($60,000); CVE experts ($20,000).

Supporters: None identified.

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Lincoln, NE (Nebraska Emergency Management Agency)

Name of Program: Addressing barriers to reporting signs of radicalization using a public health approach.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: Intervention.

Type of Organization: Public Safety.

Grant Amount: $300,000.

Targets: Rural and mid-sized communities in Nebraska.

Key Facts: This program is premised on the notion that there are barriers to reporting potential signs of violent extremism in Nebraska, especially among rural communities experiencing increases in diversity. To address this issue, the agency will disseminate existing CVE training materials from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism and the FBI, identifying behavioral indicators of violent extremism, to local families, public health workers, and school teachers. It will also collect data on barriers to reporting in these communities.

Additionally, Nebraska’s Departments of Education and Health and Human Services and the Two Rivers Public Health Department, will help develop strategies that encourage reporting of behaviors associated with violent extremism to mental health experts and law enforcement. For example, the program will connect community leaders with Nebraska State Patrol’s Fusion Center, and other threat assessment professionals, to help them assess reports of potential signs of violent extremism. The program envisions that individuals identified as at-risk will be referred to public health departments and unidentified “trusted local organizations.” It is unclear what will be done at that stage. The proposal only mentions one criteria for identifying potential terrorists – paying off debts, which is something that Muslims are meant to do before their deaths – suggesting that despite its neutral language it is in fact focusing on Muslims.

Despite the obvious risks, the grant proposal does not mention potential impacts to civil rights, civil liberties, or privacy.

Surveys conducted in communities will gauge “change in knowledge about CVE warning signs, reporting processes, and levels of trust,” but there is no indication that the success of such identification or interventions will be measured.

Partners: Nebraska Fusion Center, Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, Nebraska’s Departments of Education and Health and Human Services will work with the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center.

Pass-through Organizations: University of Nebraska Public Policy Center ($150,000); Two Rivers Public Health Department ($150,000).

Consultants: None identified.

Supporters: None identified.

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Las Vegas, NV (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

Name of Program: Southern Nevada Community Resiliency and Intervention Coalition.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: Intervention; Social Service.

Type of Organization: Police Department.   

Grant Amount: $500,000.

Targets: 14-24-year-olds in Southern Nevada, with a focus on Muslim and refugee youth.

Key Facts: Las Vegas police created the Southern Nevada Community Resiliency and Intervention Coalition to address an increase in recruitment to violent extremism, especially among youth and young adults. It is premised on the notion that community members are best placed to recognize and respond to warning signs of violent extremist behavior and such identification and reporting should be supported. The program envisions that schools, law enforcement, and community partners will, based on unspecified criteria, refer individuals identified as “at risk of recruitment to violent extremism” to the coalition, which includes social service providers, community mental health professionals, local non-profit organizations, and cultural and religious leaders. The coalition will evaluate each case and determine the appropriate response, which could include referrals to social services, unidentified mental health providers, or law enforcement. The grant proposal indicates that searching for belonging, purpose, or identity is linked to being at-risk for extremist ideologies.

The grant proposal recognizes that civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy of referred individuals is “paramount” to the program’s success and states that memoranda of understanding and non-disclosure agreements are to be drafted for use by all members. It does not include specifics on what will be contained in these agreements.

The police and coalition will develop tools to assess individuals as they progress through the intervention process, but it is not clear what these tools will evaluate. In addition, technical assistance providers will independently assess the program using an unspecified methodology. There is no indication that the program will measure whether reported individuals were found to pose a threat, or the impact of any interventions.

Partners: Al-Maun Foundation, ARMAN Foundation, Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice, Clark County School District, Police Executive Research Forum, Southern Nevada Terrorism Center, Safe Schools Program: Private/Charter/Religious, and the Faith-Based Homeland Security Committee.

Pass-through Organizations: None identified.

Consultants: Unnamed consultants/contracts for: establishing, maintaining, and evaluating the coalition ($180,000), and creating, developing, and validating referral management resources ($110,000). Stipends for coalition board members ($180,000).

Supporters: Al Maun Foundation, ARMAN Refugee Migrant Assistant Network, Police Executive Research Forum.

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Jersey City, NJ (Global Peace Foundation)

Name of Program: CVE Train-the-Trainer and Cross Community Engagement Program.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: Intervention; CVE Online; Community Outreach.

Type of Organization: Non-Profit.

Grant Amount: $453,497.

Targets: Muslims; “immigrants and other marginalized populations;” and at-risk young “Latinos, African-American, Asian Indians, Caucasian and Arabs” in Camden, Jersey City, and Peterson.

Key Facts: According to the grant proposal, the program is needed to respond to an increase in young people joining violent extremist groups. Global Peace Foundation will develop two train-the-trainer programs, both focused on identifying unspecified behaviors and indicators associated with violent extremism for law enforcement personnel and prosecutors (in partnership with the New Jersey Attorney General’s office) and for “community leaders,” such as educators, parents, pastors, and imams. The training for community leaders will also deal with “when it is appropriate to notify law enforcement about individuals at risk,” and include social media training focused on how to recognize and report violent extremist messaging and counter-messaging strategies. Additionally, police will participate in community engagement events, which aim to reach 1500 people, to facilitate information sharing and increase police-community trust.

Despite the obvious risks, the grant proposal does not mention potential impacts to civil rights, civil liberties, or privacy.

A semiannual survey will be distributed among law enforcement and community leaders to evaluate program progress, although there is no information on what it will measure. Additionally, the program will use unspecified focus groups, data compilation, analysis, and reporting to share best practices and develop next steps.

Partners: Federal Administration on Children and Families, New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, New Jersey Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, New Jersey Institute of Social Justice, New Jersey Board of Education, New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Jersey City Police Department, Jersey City Public Schools.

Pass-through Organizations: None identified.

Consultants: Unnamed consultants/contracts to support monitoring and evaluation ($18,000).

Supporters: None identified.

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New York, NY (Tuesday’s Children)

Name of Program: Project COMMON BOND: Building Resilience and Long-Term Healing in Youth, Families & Communities

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: Social Service; CVE Online.

Type of Organization: Non-Profit.

Grant Amount: $386,670.

Targets: Individuals, especially young people ages 15-20, families, and communities, who have been impacted by terrorism, violent extremism, or war.

Key Facts: Tuesday’s Children focuses on building resilience in those impacted by terrorism, violent extremism, or war. According to the organization these individuals are at higher risk of adopting extremist ideologies due to past trauma. The organization will use the grant to expand two existing programs: the Long-Term Healing Model and Project COMMON BOND.

The Long-Term Healing Model is designed to help service providers deliver programs to groups impacted by traumatic events such as terrorism. They will expand the initiative by training service providers and “frontline workers in countering violent extremism and long-term disaster recovery” in an estimated six communities per year and sharing the model in multiple formats (e.g. train-the-trainer curriculum, resource guide, online toolkit, etc.) with service providers, government agencies, and family support networks. Project COMMON BOND is an international peace-building initiative that brings together teens and young adults from around the world who have been impacted by terrorism, violent extremism, or war to engage in cross-cultural dialogue and learn to counter extremist ideologies and messaging.

The grant proposal does not mention potential impacts to civil rights, civil liberties, or privacy.

Tuesday’s Children evaluates the success of its programs through feedback surveys, program evaluations, and consultation with experts, to assess participant skill attainment, motivation, satisfaction with the experience. In addition, Project COMMON BOND evaluates changes in participants’ ability “to respond thoughtfully” rather than “react impulsively,” “to identify and response to prejudices,” and “to maintain a positive outlook in the face of difficulty” (through evaluations, feedback sessions, and focus groups).

Partners: An appendix to the grant proposal lists 137 community, corporate, international, and military partners, but the document does not explicitly link any of them to the programs to be funded by this grant.

Pass-through Organizations: None identified.

Consultants: Sallie Lynch, Candida Cucharo, and Monica Meehan McNamara ($134,580 to be split among the three consultants).

Supporters: None identified.

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New York, NY (Counter Extremism Project)

Name of Program: Muslim World Today Support Program.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: CVE Online.

Type of Organization: Academic/Research.

Grant Amount: $298,760.

Targets: Muslim teens and young adults, especially recent immigrants from South and Central Asia.

Key Facts: This program is premised on the view that “the anti-Western propaganda of extremist recruiters” can be countered by fostering “a greater sense tolerance and pluralism” within Muslim American communities, especially recent immigrants from South and Central Asia. The grant will fund MuslimWorldToday.org, a website that promotes “ideas of tolerance found naturally within Islam” as well as related digital outreach. Over one-third of the funds will be funneled to the Council for Democracy and Tolerance which is headed by an individual with links to anti-Muslim elements, such as the Middle East Forum’s “project to resist the Islamist agenda to spread Shari’a through lawful means.” 

The grant proposal does not mention potential impacts to civil rights, civil liberties, or privacy.

The Counter Extremism Project and the Council for Democracy and Tolerance will conduct joint monitoring and evaluation of key programmatic outputs/outcomes, digital outputs (assessed by Brick Factor and Mercury Digital Media Strategies), and public outreach (via digital surveys completed by participants in the platform’s online outreach programs).

Partners: Council for Democracy and Tolerance, Mercury Digital Outreach Campaign, Brick Factory LLC.

Pass-through Organizations: Council for Democracy and Tolerance ($120,000), Brick Factory, Inc. ($11,840); and Mercury Digital Media Strategies LLC ($26,000).

Consultants: Unnamed contractors for initial website build ($2,240) and technical support ($9,600).

Supporters: None identified.

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Rochester, NY (Rochester Institute of Technology)

Name of Program: It’s Time: #ExOut Extremism

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: CVE Online.

Type of Organization: Academic/ Research.

Grant Amount: $149,955.

Targets: Youth between the ages of 16 to 24.

Key Facts: ExOut was created to respond to the growing threat of online recruitment to ISIS through social media campaigns promoting tolerance and inclusion. According to the proposal, young people who use social media for 3.5 hours per week on average are “uniquely vulnerable” to terrorist recruitment. This grant will enhance current initiatives, particularly the “ExOut through Education” campaign. Through workshops and seminars, the Rochester Institute will educate teachers and students in New York about “the differences between Islam and ISIL,” and how they can combat violent extremism online and offline. The grant will fund a new interactive mobile app to serve as the main teaching and learning platform.

The grant proposal does not mention potential impacts to civil rights, civil liberties, or privacy.  

ExOut will evaluate online engagement using social media and digital analytics (comments, clicks, shares). Additionally, it will evaluate the impact of its education campaign by using the new mobile app to collect measurement data using pre- and post-program surveys, which include “demographical and attitudinal variables of interest.” 

Partners: Islamic Center of Rochester, Muslim Student Association of Rochester Institute of Technology.

Pass-through Organizations: None identified.

Consultants: Unnamed team of developers ($37,700).

Supporters: None identified.

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Nashville, TN (Nashville International Center for Empowerment)

Name of Program: Proactive Engagement to Achieve Community Empowerment (PEACE).

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: Intervention; Social Service.

Type of Organization: Non-Profit.

Grant Amount: $445,110.

Targets: 500+ “New Americans” (i.e., refugees, immigrants, and children of immigrants) in the middle Tennessee area.

Key facts: The program intends to address disenfranchisement and the threat of terrorist recruitment among middle Tennessee’s large refugee population, especially Somali youth. In collaboration with Peace Ambassadors USA, the Center will recruit 500+ “New Americans” who “may be considered at risk for violent extremism” through outreach, including presentations in schools and churches. The program will facilitate community participation in annual forums (interfaith organization-led dialogues on inclusion and peacebuilding), outreach activities (e.g., educator and principal-led “cultural training”), and youth engagement, leadership, and mentorship activities (led by religious and community leaders). In conjunction with the Metro-Nashville Police, the program will facilitate parenting workshops focused on training to “teach disengagement from violent extremist behaviors,” which suggests that police will provide information on signs of such behaviors. The program also includes referrals to unidentified mental health providers and community services (e.g. employment training), which seem to operate in conjunction with the latter. Although the proposal does not identify the behaviors that specifically warrant referral, it states that social exclusion, discrimination, and frustrations with government were linked to possible “collective violence.”

Despite the obvious risks, the grant proposal does not mention potential impacts to civil rights, civil liberties, or privacy.

The program will be evaluated using a framework for assessing development assistance that, according to the grant proposal, has been suggested by DHS for CVE. They will also use a framework that measures the quality of programs for youth, such as interaction, engagement, access, youth and staff expectations, youth-centeredness of practices, and safety and support of the environment.

Partners: Peace Ambassadors USA (PA-USA), Metropolitan Police Department of Nashville and Davidson County, and unnamed principals and educators in Metro-Nashville Davidson County Public Schools.

Pass-through Organizations: None identified.

Consultants: Unnamed speakers ($20,000); “creative services” ($10,000).

Supporters: Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Metropolitan Police Department of Nashville and Davidson County, Islamic Center of Tennessee, Family Engagement University (affiliated with Metro-Nashville Public Schools), Salahadeen Center of Nashville, and the Belcourt.

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Arlington, TX (Arlington Police Department)

Name of Program: Project Connect.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: Community Outreach; potentially Intervention.

Type of Organization: Police Department.  

Grant Amount: $47,497.

Targets: Estimated 2,000 Arlington residents, with a focus on Muslims.

Key Facts: In response to the city’s growing Muslim population, Arlington police established Project Connect, which provides crime prevention training in mosques, Muslim community groups, and several unidentified schools and aims to build relations through traditional community outreach activities such as “meet and greets.” A former FBI agent, Gamal Abdel Hafiz, has been hired to liaise with Muslim communities and assist in developing CVE training curricula. The grant proposal does not specify whether crime prevention training and the CVE materials to be developed by Hafiz will aim to encourage the reporting of individuals as potential violent extremists. The proposal notes, however, that the program’s “activities may not be accepted in all Muslim community groups” and could encounter “some pushback from individuals and groups in the community.” This may be a reference to community opposition to CVE programs and could suggest that crime prevention training will be focused on identifying individuals as potential violent extremists.

The grant proposal states that Project Connect activities “are not intended for the purpose of restricting a resident’s civil rights, civil liberties, or privacy,” but does not evaluate whether they have the potential to do so.

People attending programs will receive an evaluation form which will measure the utility of the format and the topics covered. Six-monthly program “progress reports” will measure markers such as overall program attendance at events and “the number of Muslim enrollees in [Arlington Police Department] citizens’ programs.”

Partners: Arlington Clergy & Police Partnership.

Pass-through Organization: None identified.

Consultants: Gamal Abdel Hafiz ($13,125).

Supporters: None identified.

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Houston, TX (Houston Mayor’s Office)

Name of Program: Countering Violent Extremism Training and Engagement Initiative.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: Intervention; Social Service.

Type of Organization: Public Safety.

Grant Amount: $500,000.

Targets: 810,000 youth of the Greater Houston region and nearly 1.5 million family households, with a focus on Muslim communities.

Key Facts: The grant proposal stresses the need to reduce the risk of terrorism in the city as Houston rises to prominence as a nationwide leader in refugee resettlement and cultural and religious diversity. To do so, the office will establish and coordinate a multi-disciplinary CVE “steering committee,” made up of governmental, inter-faith, non-profit, law enforcement, and academic partners. In conjunction with the FBI and Houston’s fusion center, this committee will develop workshops for Muslim parents and youth that aim to explain “terrorism ideologies” and the “root causes of extremism,” as well as risk factors and available social and community resources. An addendum to the application describes a number of activities supposedly linked to people at-risk for extremist ideology. Unidentified consultants with “CVE expertise” will conduct initial trainings, while community leaders will be identified and trained to serve as future facilitators (“train-the-trainer” program).

Partners from the Anti-Defamation League will assist the CVE steering committee with “ensuring civil rights and civil liberties are protected,” but the proposal provides no specifics.

The success of the initiative will be evaluated based on activities conducted (e.g., number of youth and parent workshops held, the number of trainers vetted, trained, and certified). There will also be workshop evaluation responses and follow-up surveys, but it is not known what they will measure.

Partners: Rice University, University of Houston, Islamic Society of Greater Houston, United Way, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Houston Regional Intelligence Service Center (Fusion Center), Anti-Defamation League, Houston Regional CVE Steering Committee.

Pass-through Organizations: None identified.

Consultants: Unnamed consultants for curriculum development ($152,000), the train-the trainer initiative ($50,000), project management support ($160,750), communications and media ($50,000).

Supporters: None identified.

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Houston, TX (Crisis Intervention of Houston)

Name of Program: Community Collaborative to Counter Violent Extremism in Houston, TX.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: CVE Online; Intervention.

Type of Organization: Non-Profit.

Grant Amount: $500,000.

Targets: Primarily young Muslims in the city of Houston, as well as Latinos and South Asians.

Key Facts:  Two groups, Crisis Intervention and Alliance for Compassion and Tolerance, have created a CVE program to address the risk of violent extremist recruitment in Houston. The groups emphasize that the city’s diversity (e.g. “most diverse in the nation,” “largest number of refugees,” “over 100 mosques and a dozen Islamic schools”) makes it a model for pioneering intervention activities across the country. The program will operate an anonymous crisis hotline for “individuals struggling with thoughts of violent extremism” and run anti-bullying workshops for “Arab, Latino, and South Asian children” who are “called ‘terrorist’ by classmates because of their faith or skin color.” Additionally, it will train parents and community leaders from over 100 mosques and a dozen Islamic schools on unspecified “warning signs to watch for with their children for online extremism,” and train community/youth leaders to facilitate discussions addressing youth concerns, such as “questions on religious texts, sociopolitical issues, and terrorism.” It is not clear what will happen to information gleaned from the hotline, but the proposal does mention providing callers who exhibit “warning signs” with information about unspecified community resources. An addendum to the application describes a number of activities supposedly linked to people at-risk of extremist ideology.

The proposal states that “protecting privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties is of utmost importance” to the program but does not include specific information on how this will be accomplished. 

Crisis Intervention has the most extensive metrics among all CVE grantees. It plans to conduct evaluations for the anti-bullying workshop (participant surveys and biannual assessments), the hotline (changes to call data), the online safety workshop for parents (participant surveys), and discussions addressing youth concerns (participant surveys). For the hotline, the group plans to assess, using crisis management metrics, whether the counseling provided prevented terrorist attacks as well as.

Partners: Alliance for Compassion and Tolerance, Shifa Clinic, Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs, River Oaks Islamic Center, EMERGE USA Houston, Salaam Reentry Program, WISE, Muslim Professional Association, Amaanah Refugee Services, University of Houston, Center for Borders, Trade and Immigration Research, Rice University, United Way, Anti-Defamation League, World Affairs Council of Houston, Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, A.T. Still University, Indus Arts Council, Islamic Arts Society & Muslim Artists of Houston, Intersections International, Islamic Society of Greater Houston.

Pass-through Organizations: Alliance for Compassion and Tolerance ($100,000).

Consultants: Unnamed consultant for marketing/outreach and training ($156,000).

Supporters: None identified.

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Seattle, WA (Seattle Police Department)

Name of Program: Countering Violent Extremism Program.

Detailed Program Information: Available here [PDF].

Type of Program: Community Outreach; Social Service.

Type of Organization: Police Department.

Grant Amount: $409,390.

Targets: Immigrants and refugees, “disengaged youth” aged 5-18, and “disenfranchised Seattleites” (such as African American, Native American, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, and homeless populations).

Key Facts: The program targets groups it considers to be “at risk” for violent extremism and aims to address the threat by improving community cohesion and trust in law enforcement. The Seattle police have an existing program focused on combining community engagement, crime data, and police services in “micro” communities, which they are expanding. Police will participate in workshops with refugees and immigrants to improve officers’ understanding of minority cultures and community members’ understanding of police procedures and laws. Officers will coach and mentor youth from communities of color. They will also help conduct youth workshops in schools, which may result in referring students to mental health services. Finally, officers will facilitate integration sessions to address issues raised by “disenfranchised Seattleites.”

The grant proposal does mention potential impacts to civil rights, but only in reference to a 2014 Department of Justice funded CVE guide.

Seattle University researchers will evaluate the program through community surveys that measure “perceptions of police, neighborhood features, and crime as related to public safety,” and the “demand and success of additional community activities and services” resulting from this grant.

Partners: Seattle University, Seattle Police Department Demographic Advisory Councils, Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, King County Rehabilitation Center, Seattle Public Interagency Schools, and unnamed city, faith, and community-based organizations.

Pass-through Organizations: Seattle University ($60,000), Interpretation Institute ($12,400).

Consultants: Unnamed Public Outreach and Engagement Liaisons ($18,000), facilitator for the Immigrant Family Institute ($10,000), and instructor to train Immigrant Family Institute and Seattle Police Department about trauma care ($3,000).

Supporters: None identified.

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