University Teams Present Innovative Campaigns to Challenge Extremism

Notice to the Press
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
February 1, 2016


On February 2, the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs will host the finalists for the “Peer to Peer [P2P]: Challenging Extremism” initiative. The initiative, an innovative partnership between the U.S. government and universities around the world, empowers students to design and pilot new digital products and tools that counter violent extremist narratives and reach those susceptible to violent extremism messaging.

The final presentations and judging will take place at the State Department in the George C. Marshall Center at 2:30 p.m.  The following university finalists, selected by an expert panel from among 45 U.S. and international schools, will present their work:

  • Lahore University of Management Sciences - Pakistan: FATE: From Apathy to Empathy
  • Università della Svizzera Italiana - Lugano, Switzerland: #faces4heritage
  • West Point Military Academy - United States

Prior to the event, non-finalist teams will host a “marketplace of ideas” to showcase their P2P projects as well.

This semester, Facebook joined the program and sponsored travel for three additional university teams to Washington, D.C. to participate in a second competition, the Facebook Global Digital Challenge, which will take place February 3 at 1776 in Crystal City, VA.

All international finalists are in the United States as part of the International Visitor Leadership Program.  Following their time in Washington, D.C., these students will travel to New York City/West Point and San Francisco/Silicon Valley.

Event-related social media will use the hashtag #ChallengeExtremism. Both the State Department and Facebook events are open to media by RSVP, and the finalists are available for media interviews upon request.  

Interested media should contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at eca-press@state.gov