APNewsBreak: Effort to stem homegrown US extremism launches

Source: Associated Press

FILE – In this March 31, 2015 file photo, Muslim, Christian, minority and government leaders fix… Read more

BOSTON (AP) — A federally backed effort to stem the rise of homegrown extremists is underway in Massachusetts, nearly three years after the White House announced the initiative on the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured hundreds.

The state last week selected three organizations to use $210,000 in federal money earmarked for the pilot effort, The Associated Press learned through a request of public records. The organizations propose initiatives meant to keep youths from being drawn to the violent messages of extremist groups.

United Somali Youth, which operates out of New England’s largest mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, was awarded $105,000 to help Somali, African and Middle Eastern youths build critical life skills through afterschool programs, counseling, college readiness assistance and other efforts.

Empower Peace, which was founded by a communications and marketing executive, was given $42,000 to teach high schoolers statewide how to develop social media campaigns promoting tolerance and combating bigotry so that they can produce them at their schools.

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