Program Overview

Invent2Prevent challenges students at universities across the country to develop, over the course of a semester, their own dynamic products, tools, or initiatives to prevent targeted violence and terrorism. University teams compete for awards of $5,000 for first place; $3,000 for second place; and $1,000 for third place, as well as entry into a one-year sustainment program.​

The 25 universities fielding teams for the 2021 spring semester competition include:

American University ● Boise State University ● Bridgewater State University ● Colorado Mesa University ● Columbia University ● Embry Riddle Aeronautical University ● Howard University ● Indiana University ● Johns Hopkins University ● Kansas State University ● Lewis University ● Middle Tennessee State University ● Missouri State University ● Oklahoma Christian University ● Penn State University ● St. Cloud State University ● San Jose State University ● Texas A&M University Texarkana ● The Citadel ● University of Colorado, Boulder ● University of Houston ● University of Massachusetts, Amherst ● University of Nebraska, Omaha ● University of Southern California ● University of Texas, Arlington

69%

Of students believe they have a role to play in preventing hate-based violence or school shootings

70%

Of students fear hate- based violence or school shootings

85%

Of students see or hear expression of hate against minority groups at least once a week

**Students surveyed participated in the McCain Institute Peer to Peer: Protection Project

 

 

Why this Program?

While foreign terrorist organizations still have the intent to attack the United States, domestic terrorists represent a growing threat we face today. Domestic terrorists include racially- and ethnically-motivated violent extremism, anti-government and anti-authority violent extremism, and other violent extremist ideologies. The situation surrounding COVID-19 also has created an environment that may accelerate some individuals to engage in acts of targeted violence or terrorism. ​

As the nature of the threat of targeted violence and terrorism is dynamic and continues to evolve, it is important to take a whole-of-society approach to identify and prevent terrorism and targeted violence anywhere and in any form, and youth play a vital role in these efforts.​

 

Program Objectives

Student teams participating in Invent2Prevent are asked to design, implement, and measure the success of a unique social or digital product, tool, or initiative that:

  • MOTIVATES or EMPOWERS a defined target audience to become involved in preventing targeted violence and terrorism.
  • LEVERAGES social media or digital platforms to drive rich engagement with a target audience and catalyzes a network to get involved in preventing targeted violence and terrorism.
  • PROPOSES a product, tool, or initiative with a strong call-to-action to prevent targeted violence and terrorism.
  • OPTIMIZES the sustainability and scalability of the project to continue its progression and evolution beyond the program term.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention recognizes the value of this program and has provided full program funding to the McCain Institute for International Leadership and EdVenture Partners to support university teams in the program development process.

Follow us on social media for program and team updates throughout the semester: