College and University Peacebuilding Approaches to Violent Extremism and Youth Recruitment October 6th – 8th, 2016, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

By: David J. Smith, September 13, 2016

College and University Peacebuilding Approaches to Violent Extremism and Youth Recruitment

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

Discounted registration available through September 15th.  Space is limited to 300 people.

Hosted at Cleveland State University, in collaboration with the Alliance for Peacebuilding, Baldwin Wallace 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 – Dearborn and Wayne State University.

Thursday, October 6 Overview of Root Causes and Current Issues in the Field


Friday, October 7 What Works?  Prevention Strategies
Saturday, October 8 What Role Can Colleges and Universities Play in Addressing and Reducing the Challenges in Our Communities


 Sample Speakers:

  • Ms. Brette Steele, Deputy Director of the CVE Task Force, Department of Homeland Security
  • Heidi Beirich, Ph.D., Director, Intelligence Project, The Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Maria J. Stephan, Ph.D., Senior Policy Fellow, The United States Institute of Peace
  • Saeed A. Khan, Professor, Near East & Asian Studies, Wayne State University
  • Saji Prelis, Director of Children and Youth Programs, Search for Common Ground
  • Ali G. Awadi, Ph.D., CHS-V, Director of Public Safety, Allegheny College
  • Julie Shedd, Ph.D., Associate Dean, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution George Mason University
  • Stevan Weine M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine
  • Tony McAleer, President, Executive Director, Life After Hate
  • Erin Wilson, Senior Officer, National Counterterrorism Center
  • Michael E. Rolince, Senior Advisor, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Countering Violent Extremism Section
  • Abdirizak Farah, Senior Policy Advisor, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Office, Department of Homeland Security
  • Hardy Merriman, President, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict
  • Sami Jamil Jadallah, Founder, Director, The Arab Peace Corps
  • Tony Sgro, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, EdVenture Partners
  • Achaleke Christian Leke, Youth, Peace and Counter Violent Extremism Activist, United Network of Young Peacebuilders, Cameroon Youth Ambassador to the Commonwealth
  • Saba Ismail, Co-Founder, AWARE Girls
  • Oliver Wilcox, Deputy Director for Countering Violent Extremism, Bureau of Counterterrorism, US Department of State (Invited)
  • And more!


College Administrators           College Faculty/Staff              College Students

K-12 Educators                       Health Educators                    Gender Based Violence Prevention

Practitioners                            Police                                      Government

Public Policy Advocates         Social Workers                        Counselors

Safe School Centers                Departments of Education      Youth Serving Organizations

Juvenile Courts                       Juvenile Detention Facilities   Juvenile Prisons

Public Health Officials           Policy Makers                         Community Organizations

Clergy                                     Law Enforcement


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 youth to join these organizations and the ideological beliefs that motivate them.  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.

General Hotel Information:

A special discounted rate of $115.00 per night plus applicable taxes(single/double rooms), is secured at the Wyndham Cleveland at Playhouse Square 1260 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115.  Parking is available at the Wyndham Cleveland at Playhouse Square for over night guests at $24.00 per day and $15.00 for day guest.  All parking at the Hotel is valet parking in addition we offer a complimentary shuttle service that is accessible within a 5 mile radius of the Hotel, which includes Cleveland State University.

Costs and to Register:  Please find all cost information on the conference web site at  Discounts are available through September 15th.  The registration link is also accessible from this page.

Please call me with any questions you might have.  216-952-5609 or 


Published by David J. Smith

I am a career coach, consultant, and head of a not for profit - the Forage Center - that offers humanitarian education training. I also teach at George Mason University and Drexel University. A one time lawyer, I spent many years teaching in a community college where I was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar teaching in Estonia. I'm the author of Peace Jobs: A Student's Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (IAP 2016). I've been married to my best friend for over 31 years and we have two well adjusted adult children who teach me something new everyday. I live in Rockville, Maryland.

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