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Today, Secretary Johnson announced the new Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Grant Program to support community-led initiatives across the country to build resilience to the threat of violent extremism.
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 to state, local and tribal governments, non-profit organizations and institutions of higher education are eligible to apply.
Violent extremism is not a threat we can ignore, particularly in light of events from Orlando to San Bernardino to Charleston. Terrorists are promoting hateful ideologies to encourage travel overseas and attract young people to violence, and the Internet makes it easier for them to do so.
Our new grant program will enable more communities prevent and deter violent extremism in these core areas:
- Developing resilience: This can take many forms, such as the development of culturally proficient mental health centers, job training and placement programs benefiting at-risk individuals or groups, and efforts to increase civic engagement.
- Countering the narrative: Trusted individuals and institutions, both in-person and online, can not only counter extremist narratives, but create competing narratives as well.
- Training key community members: DHS is providing funding to train key community members in how to engage with at-risk individuals.
- Managing intervention activities: This area focuses on the creation of “off-ramps” that can address the specific needs of at-risk individuals. These off-ramps will provide rehabilitative care to individuals who are moving towards committing illegal activity, which can take the form of social services, mental health care, or faith-based programs.
- Building capacity of community-based organizations active in CVE: DHS is providing funding to provide better resources, such as technical assistance and programmatic support, for groups already engaged in CVE efforts.
Countering violent extremism is part of our work to protect the homeland, and building bridges to local communities is central to this mission. As the Director for the Office for Community Partnerships here at DHS, my team and I work with communities around the country every day to find innovative ways to counter this evolving threat. Some of these approaches include educational outreach, community engagement, social service programs, and training and exercises.
These grants will provide community groups—religious groups, mental health and social service providers, educators and other NGOs—with the resources to build prevention programs that address the root causes of violent extremism and deter individuals who may already be radicalizing to violence.
Today, we are taking an important step forward to support community partners in their critical efforts to prevent individuals from becoming radicalized to violence. More information about the grant opportunity and application process can be found here.