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Civil Liberties and Human Services Groups Raise Concerns About DHS Countering Violent Extremism Grants

Washington, D.C. | www.adc.org | September 1, 2016 – Today, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee joined a coalition of civil liberties and human services organizations in a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson outlining concerns about DHS’s Fiscal Year 2016 Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Grant Program.

ADC made a firm commitment to not participate in the CVE Grant Program. While ADC will not be applying for any government CVE grants, we know that some persons, groups and/or organizations may seek CVE grant funding as communities are strapped for resources. With this in mind, ADC has put together Grant Guidelines for applicants seeking CVE grant funding to implement. These guidelines aim to protect the civil rights and liberties of the community.

In the coalition letter, the groups wrote in part:

“We believe that the Grant Program will have a potential negative impact on free religious exercise and political expression, cause the probable stigmatization of community members as a result of the reframing of routine programming and mental health and social services as CVE, and lead to the possible loss of organizational independence and autonomy. These consequences do not justify the anticipated short-term benefit which government agencies, nonprofit institutions, and institutes of higher education would accrue from an infusion of Grant Program funding.”

ADC National President Samer Khalaf contemplating the release of CVE grant funds said, “It is a shame that communities must be looked at as suspicious to get resources. The government is shirking their responsibility to severely underfunded communities under the guise of CVE. These programs do nothing but continue to surveille the community and infringe on our privacy and civil rights.”

To read more about ADC’s work on CVE please click here.

To read ADC’s Grant Guidelines please click here

To read the coalition letter please click here.