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RIT gets grant to expand campaign to fight terrorism

Rochester Institute of Technology will receive $149,000 from the Department of Homeland Security, Rep. Louise Slaughter said Friday.

The grant is to help RIT continue its “It’s Time: ExOut Extremism” project, a social media campaign aimed at countering terrorist propaganda online.

Last June, RIT was named the first-place winner of the global competition, held by the Department of State and the Department of Education and Cultural Affairs.

“I’m proud of this team of students for harnessing the power of social media to help fight extremism and global terrorism,” said Slaughter, D-Perinton, in a statement. “Today’s award is a testament to the importance of their campaign, which also won an international competition earlier this year.”

With the grant funding, RIT will expand its campaign to include a new online platform that uses targeted campaigns to reach at-risk individuals and communities, to support speaking tours and trainings to a network of mosques and Muslim organizations, and to aid efforts to catalog, record and distribute Muslim American stories, officials said.

“In this age of self-radicalization and terrorist-inspired acts of violence, domestic-based efforts to counter violent extremism have become a homeland security imperative,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said.

Follow Kerry Feltner on Twitter: @KerryFeltner

(c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.

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