Founded in the early 2000s in Berlin, Violence Prevention Network is one of Europe’s largest civil society organizations working on preventing and countering violent extremism. Over 120 staff members work in 10 regional offices across Germany, which include researchers and trained specialists.
In fall of 2022, we founded a Pittsburgh, PA based organization—Violence Prevention Network USA, Inc.—and filed for our 501c(3) status. While waiting for IRS approval, we are honored to be working with New Sun Rising as our fiscal sponsor.
RESTORE is our inaugural pilot project in the United States.
Our motto best summarizes our unique, practice-oriented approach to preventing and countering violent extremism: We talk to extremists, not about them. We fight extremism and create a safer society by working directly with ideologically motivated individuals. Thus, we are precisely not preaching to the choir, as many well-intentioned initiatives and theory-heavy policy recommendations often do.
Our knowledge of what works is informed by thousands of individual cases across the spectrum from (violent) far-right to Islamist extremists and their journey to let go of hate and violence and embrace more democratic ways of thinking and acting. We know from experience that change is possible.
The expert advisory council consists of a carefully selected and diverse group of experts. The council’s goal is to ensure that the US training curriculum takes into account the unique opportunities and challenges of the current US social and political environment, as well as historical and cultural specificities that must be considered when working with ideologically motivated individuals in the US context.