Countering Violent Extremism: Strong Cities Exchange – A Program for the U.S. Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago

Participants with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

Meridian International Center worked with the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, to implement exchange programs on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) from 2017 to 2018. The program helps to build capacity of community leaders and government officials who communicate with the public and improve resilience in the face of the threat of violent extremism. The ultimate goal is for participants of these exchange programs to return home empowered to develop realistic counter-narratives to ISIS, promote best practices for cooperation between community and law enforcement, and build a network of credible voices to counter the threats posed by violent extremists.

From November 11-17, 2018, Meridian arranged the fifth cohort of this program. A group of seven Trinidadians who work in local government and community outreach came to the U.S. and met with counterparts working on countering violent extremism, gang activity, and violent crime in their communities. Six American participants, who met with the Trinidadian cohort in Orlando in November 2018, traveled to Port of Spain and Chaguanas in Trinidad and Tobago as part of a Strong Cities city pair exchange in December 2018. The Strong Cities Network brings together cities and regions around the world to share best practices and strategies for preventing and combating violent extremism. This American cohort met with U.S. Embassy staff, the Mayor of Chaguanas, and some of the organizations represented at the November cohort of Trinidadians. The visit ended with a reception, bringing together both groups along with past participants of CVE exchange programs.

Program Team

Project summary

Countering Violent Extremism: Strong Cities Exchange – A Program for the U.S. Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago | November 2018
Number of Visitors: 7
Regions: Western Hemisphere
Countries: United States, Trinidad and Tobago
Impact Areas: Civic Engagement, Education, Public Diplomacy, Security and Defense, Volunteerism, Youth Leadership Development
Program Areas: Exchanges, Training
Partners: NGOs