(New York, NY) -- The Counter Extremism Project today congratulated Missouri State University for its winning submission in the first “P2P (Peer to Peer): Challenging Extremism” initiative competition.
CEP CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace was one of the judges for the event that included entries from 23 universities from around the world. The competition culminated on June 4 with finalists from Australia, Canada and the United States making presentations to an audience at the State Department. CEP, which has fought to rein in the weaponization of Twitter and other online platforms by extremists, was the only non-profit organization asked to judge the competition.
The Missouri State team created a program called “One95” targeted to middle school-aged children that seeks to collaborate and learn from others across cultures and unite people to rise above violent extremism. Second place Curtin University in Perth, Australia developed a mobile application called “52Jumaa” that offers young Muslims daily positive messages about Islam and challenges them to engage in positive community actions. Third place Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta Canada developed a campaign (We Are Not Them, or WANT), aimed at changing misperceptions of Islam as a violent religion.
“The universities from Australia and Canada are to be commended for developing very innovative ideas designed to combat the ability of extremists to radicalize and recruit young people through social media,” Wallace said. “While all the entries were excellent, Missouri State did a superb job of developing its One95 program and curriculum that teaches middle school-aged children about extremism and about tolerance. In a very short period of time, they have made contact with people in more than 90 countries and spread the hashtag #EndViolentExtremism across social media. Theirs was a complete program that could be expanded and adapted to many other countries around the world.”
[Ambassador Mark D. Wallace (back row), other judges and winning Missouri State Team]
The “P2P (Peer to Peer): Challenging Extremism” initiative competition was also featured on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”