Strong Cities: Doing our part in building community resilience to radicalization and violent extremism
The U.S. Department of State sponsored an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) multi‑regional project entitled “Strong Cities: Building Community Resilience to Radicalization and Violent Extremism,” administered by Meridian International Center and conducted from February 27 to March 19, 2016. Starting in Washington DC with the Project opening, the Strong Cities Network participants were exposed to American system of federal and state government, U.S. government efforts to counter violent extremism, the roles of community engagement, youth alienation, and women preventing violent extremism. In 22 days, the 19 participants visited 5 cities and explored various themes that work together to build social cohesion and resilience to prevent violent extremism in all its forms.
Los Angeles – Community challenges in the radicalization of youth, law enforcement engagement in counterterrorism efforts, empowering at-risk youth through entrepreneurship and countering gang culture and rehabilitation efforts
Denver – Local government and NGO efforts to build resilience within communities and creating counter-narratives to violent extremism
Columbus (Ohio) & Indianapolis – The use of public-private partnerships to counter violent extremism, state government community outreach efforts and training police officers in emergency preparedness
Chicago – The use of social media to create positive counter messaging and the integration of refugees into the community