Rep. Pascrell Announces $453,000 Grant to Counter Violent Extremism in New Jersey
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), a former member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, announced a $453,497 federal grant for the Global Peace Foundation to do training and engagement to counter violent extremism.
The CVE grant program was created during the Obama Administration. On January 13, 2017, then-DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the federal government would provide $150,000 to Global Peace Foundation as part of a $10 Million grant announcement.
When the Trump Administration announced that they would be placing a hold on these dollars and examining the program, Rep. Pascrell sent two letters (attached, including DHS reply) to push for the funding to be released and for the program to continue. DHS completed its review of the program and today announced the awarding of the grants. However, the Trump Budget proposal for FY2018 eliminates future funding for the program.
“After an unnecessary delay, it is good news that DHS listened to those of us who supported this program and decided to move forward with funding the CVE grant program. I am most pleased that the Global Peace Foundation was awarded $453,000 to do important work in New Jersey’s urban communities,” stated Rep. Pascrell. “We need to come together as a nation to develop a comprehensive strategy to combat homegrown extremism in order to mitigate it. The Trump Administration budget plan is being shortsighted by seeking to eliminate this program in future years. I am committed to ensuring that we continue federal funding to counter violent extremists from any background or with any dangerous agenda.”
Global Peace Foundation plans to use grant funding to address the urgent urban challenges shared by proactively engaging communities to prevent conflict and extremism, with a focus on youth leadership and development. The program developed would engage at-risk youth from various ethnic communities over the course of one year by having these individuals participate in a series of workshops, field trips and activities designed to build cross-cultural relationships. The GPF has engaged a broad array of stakeholders, including Co-operation Ireland, Federal Administration on Children and Families, NJ Attorney General’s Office, NJ Department of Children and Families, Jersey City Police Department, and Board of Education to tailor this program to a diverse, American urban setting. The GPF has a successful track record of working with communities to develop local and tailored programs to counter violent extremism around the globe since 2009.
Rep. Pascrell has long been an advocate for Countering Violent Extremism in the House. He cosponsored a series of briefings on Capitol Hill to promote CVE efforts last year and has criticized efforts by some to prioritize fighting terrorism from some individuals and groups over terrorism from others.