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  4. Six Finalists to Compete for Top Spots in CP3’s Invent2Prevent Competition

Six Finalists to Compete for Top Spots in CP3’s Invent2Prevent Competition

Release Date: June 20, 2024

Special Guest to Hold Debate During Lunch Break 

Six finalist teams will compete for $27,000 to fund their projects to address targeted violence, terrorism, and hate crimes in their local communities at the Invent2Prevent (I2P) Final Presentation and Competition Event on June 26. 

Hosted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3), I2P empowers students to identify risk factors that may lead to violence and create a program or tool that increases resilience and inclusivity in their local communities. 

The six inspiring teams from three high schools and three universities will present their innovative initiatives in front of a panel of judges. The finalists include: 


  • Missouri State University Springfield, Montana: the C.R.A.N.E. Project  
  • Ohio Dominican University Columbus, Ohio: Shelve the Hate  
  • University Of Maryland College Park, Maryland: infOasis 

High School-level 

  • Englewood S.T.E.M. High School Chicago, Illinois: Mind Over Mad-her  
  • Penn Manor High School Millersville, Pennsylvania: Friday Fun  
  • Urban Assembly Brooklyn, New York: Bridging the Gap 

Since Invent2Prevent began in 2021, more than 1,200 students have participated, representing 119 universities across 32 states and the District of Columbia, along with 138 high schools from 26 states.  

Register now to attend the event or watch a live broadcast

Where Are They Now? Past Finalist Profile 

Each year, I2P invites the three university finalist teams to participate in an optional year-long sustainment program to build on their project’s success. In 2023, a team of students from George Washington University (GWU) won third place with its Talk with Me: Debate to Deflate Hate project. The GWU team increased both impact and participation with their sustainment funding and will present their pilot program at the June 26 I2P final event. 

The Talk with Me: Debate to Deflate Hate initiative holds the belief that open, civil dialogue is the best way to combat hate and misinformation that place youth on the pathway to violence. The project teaches at-risk youth ages 16-25 how to think critically, ask questions, and conduct independent research with unbiased sources through moderated debate. 

The program’s approach is backed by research. According to a 2023 report by the Secret Service, a quarter of mass attacks between 2016 and 2020 were motivated by hateful ideologies, personal grievances, and a belief in conspiracy theories. Talk with Me believes that critical dialogue and media literacy are more effective at building trust in communities than deplatforming or canceling individuals. 

By providing a safe environment for youth to critically consider and identify illogical arguments, reliable sources, and differing viewpoints, Talk with Me seeks to change hearts and minds across the United States. 

With sustainment funding over the last year, the Talk with Me project created a competition for students across the nation. Four educators and about 50 students from one college and three high schools will contend for spots in the final round. Each student submits a video speech arguing a specific topic such as, “ban hate speech” or “cancel culture does more harm than good.”  Students also have the option to remain anonymous in their videos. 

Before submitting their topic, students must check their speech for bias, propaganda, generalizations, hasty conclusions, or rushed judgements. The team from GWU trained educators how to moderate public forum debates and assist students with their speeches.   

The top two students with the best speeches will travel to Washington, D.C., with their educators. They’ll debate live for prize money at the championship debate during the I2P Final Presentation and Competition Event. 

To continue funding their program over the next two years, the Talk with Me debate project applied for a DHS CP3 Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention grant last month. The initiative hopes to exponentially increase the number of schools and students competing in the project and empower more youth to think critically. 

Watch the Spring 2024 I2P finalists compete on June 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Watch Talk with Me's debate during the I2P competition lunch break from noon to 1 p.m. Register to watch the livestream here.



Last Updated: 06/21/2024
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