CRCL regularly engages with diverse American communities whose civil rights may be affected by DHS activities. CRCL's Community Engagement Section responds to community concerns and provides information on DHS programs, activities, and issues. Its engagement efforts also occur abroad, working with interagency and international partners to provide information and training on partnering with communities to build trust and establish a routine process for communication and coordination.
Germany: CRCL and the U.S. Embassy in Germany coordinate an annual Community Engagement on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) exchange program for participants from Germany and the U.S. This program, in its third-year, pairs two cities in the U.S. with two in Germany with civil society and local government delegations to discuss community engagement best practices, youth empowerment, resolution of grievances, and protection of rights and liberties. On September 16-20, 2013, participants met with community members, organizations, and law enforcement officials in Chicago and Seattle. The program included visits to mosques, meetings with law enforcement, and attending the quarterly community engagement roundtables organized by CRCL. On November 4-8, 2013, participants met in Dusseldorf, Germany and interacted with community-based stakeholders, German State Ministry of Interior officials, local law enforcement, and members of German civil society, including faith-based groups, focused on developing innovative methods to counter violent extremist narratives and ideology.
Belgium: CRCL participated in an International Conference on Preventing Violent Radicalization hosted by the Belgium Ministry of Interior. The goal of the conference was to bring together CVE practitioners from Europe and the U.S. to discuss and collect best practices in CVE engagement. During the trip, a CRCL representative, in coordination with the U.S. Mission to the European Union led several discussions on best practices in empowering local communities and the U.S. National CVE Strategy.
European Tour: CRCL in coordination with the U.S. Embassies in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark and the U.S. Mission to the European Union, participated in a two-week CVE speakers tour to Stockholm (Sweden), Gothenburg (Sweden), Kristiansand (Norway), Oslo (Norway), Aarhus (Denmark), Copenhagen (Denmark), and Brussels (Belgium). CRCL shared DHS engagement strategies, and lessons learned in community engagement. CRCL held several meetings with law enforcement and community leaders in these countries to understand and study similarities in youth violent radicalization.
Kosovo: CRCL was a keynote speaker at the Seminar on Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization that leads to Violence, held in Pristina, Kosovo, and sponsored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The three-day seminar focused on conditions conducive to the spread of violent radicalization, such as lack of access to education, political alienation, and socio-economic marginalization.
London: CRCL has partnered with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations for Somali media outlet training on CVE. This project will bring together up to 40 different media outlets in London to train in content development, media ethics, and CVE messaging. Such training will also allow these partners to come together and establish their own networks and will assist spreading positive messages in the future. CRCL also worked with community leaders and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) on the “Broken Dreams Project,” a documentary focused on parents who have lost their children to violent extremism to create awareness among families about youth violent radicalization.
Indonesia: CRCL traveled with colleagues from DOJ Civil Rights Division to conduct trainings to support religious tolerance for 46 Indonesian government officials, religious leaders, and representatives of Indonesian NGOs. The program was designed to promote implementation of United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, a resolution which addresses intolerance, negative stereotyping, discrimination, and incitement to violence based upon religion or belief.