Cal OES Announces Grant Funds for Non-Profit Programs Creating Safer Communities in California

Today, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services announced the selection for the Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) Non-Profit Pilot Grant Program. In total, $624,824 has been made available for this pilot grant to fund five proposals at up to $125,000 per non-profit.

Cal OES’ PVE program supports 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations in their efforts to prevent or intervene in violent extremism in California. Establishing collaboration between government and non-government agencies establishes new, innovative community engagement opportunities. The funding made available to the grantees is aimed at creating sustainable products by the end of the 18-month performance period and aims to strengthen partnerships between community organizations and local, county, state, and tribal governments.

“California is working to build innovative solutions to prevent potential homegrown and domestic violent extremism impacting our communities,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. “This is an exciting, first-of-its-kind opportunity to support programs that have this same goal as their top priority.”

The following non-profit programs have been selected for funding based on their direct nexus to the prevention or intervention of violent extremism in California:

The Violence Prevention Network is designed to be integrated into the 2-1-1 Community Information Exchange (CIE). 2-1-1 San Diego is a 24/7 multilingual contact center and online network of more than 6,000 community, health, and disaster support services for the City of San Diego. The project includes the development of a framework to refer at-risk individuals within the CIE to one or more programs to support their social, physical, and/or mental health needs through opt-in long-term records and case management. The goal of the project is to strengthen the community within the local, trusted, interdisciplinary and multi-jurisdictional Violence Prevention Network through the CIE to offer stigma-free support services for individuals at-risk for poor social, physical or mental health, which may be associated with risk for violent radicalization.

The BRAVE-Teacher Training program is planned to train 20 teachers in the San Bernardino City Unified School District. The training is designed to help teachers understand and recognize extremist ideologies in their community, identify youth risk factors and behaviors that may be associated with violent extremism, elevate civic conversation and positive alternative narratives to extremist thought in their classrooms, and engage appropriate supports and services for youth at risk of radicalization to violence. The program also focuses on protecting student civil rights and privacy, and planning for articulation and implementation in the classroom. Participants will be introduced to support organizations/resources in their direct community and will also be informed of ways to collaborate with their school administration to create campus wide initiatives/projects to prevent targeted violence.

The Sacramento-based non-profit, Opening Doors, will expand the counseling services programs for refugees and immigrants facing domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These services include access to outside organizations including health care providers, law enforcement agencies, school districts, other refugee resettlement agencies, and other partner organizations that serve this target demographic to provide culturally-responsive services. An Opening Doors Family Trauma Intervention Coordinator will provide one-on-one counseling sessions, crisis intervention, and/or external community resources, as well as psycho-education support groups for children and parents.

The program is an anti-hate educational campaign that can be implemented at middle or high schools. The project includes the development of “train-the-trainer” curriculum to provide educators with the skills and knowledge to launch and sustain successful kNOwHATE Campaigns on school campuses and how to train their colleagues to launch campaigns on their own campuses. The program will also develop a kNOwHATE Tool Kit for participants that could include background information about bullying, harassment, hate and hate-related violence, impact on students, statistics, etc. The Tool Kit will also include action plan templates for student- or adult-driven action plans, and guides addressing identifying and intervening with students who are at risk of isolation and radicalization to violence, creating restorative strategies and responses to address student issues, discussion guidelines, and research articles.

Grant funding will be used to expand upon classroom-based workshops to include complementary professional development support, youth conferences, and the maintenance of a free mobile app called Combat Hate. This program provides expert education that is sensitive to community fears, respectful of civil liberties, and galvanizes youth voice and leadership issues that directly affect them. The program will fund the training of School Resource Officers and educators to deliver specialized workshop modules, which will then be presented at more than thirty schools in three regions.

 

About the Cal OES PVE Program

The Cal OES PVE program recognizes the whole community approach as inclusive of nonprofit partners because 501(c)(3) organizations are effective at soliciting intervention referrals and often have participation from former extremists or other “credible voices.” Cal OES is coordinating a statewide effort aimed at supporting and enriching community resilience against ideologically motivated violence. This coordinated effort intends to identify and leverage existing federal, state, and private partner resources in order to support existing local PVE efforts and encourage further community engagement.

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