College and University Peacebuilding Approaches to Violent Extremism and Youth Recruitment

College and University Peacebuilding Approaches to Violent Extremism and Youth Recruitment

October 6th – 8th, 2016, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Registration now open!  Discounts through September 28th  

Click Here to Register 

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Hosted at Cleveland State University, in collaboration with the Alliance for Peacebuilding, Baldwin Wallace, Case Western Reserve University, Cuyahoga Community College, George Mason University, The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, Kent State University, The Ohio School Resource Officer Association, The Ohio State University, Stark State College, The United Network of Young Peacebuilders, The University of Michigan, and Wayne State University.


How are people, especially young people, influenced by hate groups to plan and initiate acts of terrorism? In order to understand what the larger forces are that motivate people to take such extreme measures, we need to closely examine the social structures that lead these youth to join these organizations and the ideological beliefs that motivate the youth.  What forms of recruitment efforts are most successful and what role can institutes of higher education play in helping to address and prevent violent extremism?

The conference will include a focus on prevention, intervention and response with an overarching focus on prevention methods such as community engagement, youth and community empowerment, and education.  The conference will review and highlight strategies that help build relationships in the community.

Media and Conference Handouts:

Thursday, October 6th, 9:00 – 10:00
What is Violent Extremism?  A Global and U.S. PerspectiveHeidi Beirich, Ph.D., Director, Intelligence Project, The Southern Poverty Law Center 

Thursday, October 6th, 10:15 - 11:15 
Media Coverage of Violent Extremism, Julie Shedd, Ph.D., Associate Dean, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution George Mason University

Thursday, October 6th, 11:35 - 12:35
Upholding Religion or Promoting Terrorism?Josephine Stommel, Student, Elizabethtown College

Friday, October 7th, 8:30 – 9:45
Radicalization and the Radical Right: Lessons from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Research, Heidi Beirich, Ph.D., Director, Intelligence Project, The Southern Poverty Law Center

Friday, October 7, 12:30 - 2:00 PM
Arab Peace Corps vs Daesh? Sustainable Solution to Countering Youth Radicalization

Friday, October 7, 12:30 - 2:00 PM
Civil Resistance to Counter Violent Non-State Actors: Realistic Possibilities and Lessons from Organized People, Maria J. Stephan, Ph.D., Senior Policy Fellow, The United States Institute of Peace and Hardy Merriman, President, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict


  • Registration Information (Registration will open in June)
  • Conference Costs - Discounted rates available for college students with current I.D., Sponsoring Colleges/Universities and Presenters

Special Events

Travel Information

Hotel Details: Click Here

Planning Committee

Conference Planning Committee Roster (.pdf)

Recommended Readings: Click Here

Questions?  Please contact the Conference Coordinator, Jennifer Batton, at 1-216-952-5609 or by e-mail at

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