CHHS Hosts Kick-off Event for the BRAVE Program in Montgomery County, MD
by Mehreen Farooq, CHHS Senior Policy Analyst
Initially developed by the World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE) in 2013, the Building Resilience Against Violent Extremism (BRAVE) program is a collective impact initiative to promote social cohesion and public safety, with a core focus on building resilience against violent extremism through engagement, education, and specialized interventions.
In 2016, the WORDE transitioned the BRAVE program to the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS) to institutionalize the program in Montgomery County, Maryland and expand into other jurisdictions.
On November 30, 2016 CHHS organized a kick-off event for the BRAVE program and discussed the center’s next steps in implementing an Advisory Council and a multi-disciplinary Interventions Task Force. Montgomery County Chief of Police, J. Thomas Manger provided opening remarks and noted the importance of continuing community-led efforts to prevent radicalization in the region. In addition to faith leaders, educators, and social service providers, the audience included Earl Stoddard, Director of the Office of Emergency Management, Assistant Chiefs of Police, along with representatives from Council member George Leventhal’s office and the County Executive’s office.
CHHS staff provided an overview of the BRAVE program, and then invited participants to provide input on the program’s next steps by participating in a SWOT analysis in which Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats and successes were identified. As the backbone organization for the collective impact initiative, CHHS will leverage this community input towards implementing the program.
 Formerly known as the “Montgomery County Model” (MCM), the initiative has been renamed to the BRAVE program for broader applicability