Propaganda by extremists groups is often targeted directly at young, impressionable youth. To combat the spread of hateful and deceptive propaganda, the U.S. government is investing in creative ways to work with civil society and academia to challenge the rhetoric. The P2P (Peer to Peer): Challenging Extremism initiative, a U.S. government effort led by the State Department, managed by EdVenture Partners, and supported in part by Facebook, is a leading example. Through P2P, the U.S. government is working with university students to reach those individuals most susceptible to extremist messaging, as well as more general audiences and those who have the ability to make a difference.
Before a full auditorium at the State Department, three teams of finalists, chosen from almost 50 universities that enter each semester, present the results of their outreach campaigns. There are no limits on creativity or scope, as long as the teams tie their campaigns to challenging extremism. The results are always impressive, and demonstrated why government needs to work together with communities and the private sector to solve this global challenge.
- The Spring 2015 winning campaign was Missouri State University and their One95 campaign, a digital, grassroots movement uniting the voices of every country to rise above violent extremism.
- Launched by students of Lahore University of Management Sciences in Pakistan, “FATE - From Apathy to Empathy,” a campaign that aims to raise awareness and action against extremism, was the Fall 2015 winning campaign.
P2P is one of many exchange programs that are engaging people at all levels, and striving to create a safer and more prosperous world. The State Department is always looking for innovative ways to engage new audiences, and the hundreds of brilliant university students who are participating in P2P are helping the U.S. government challenge the rhetoric.
Watch Finalist Videos
- FATE: From Apathy to Empathy - P2P #ChallengeExtremism
- Let's Talk - P2P #ChallengeExtremism
- Faces4Heritage - P2P #ChallengeExtremism