- The BRAVE Model
- Faith Community Working Group
- Applied Social Integration Theory
- White House Recognition
- WORDE Training Opportunities
The Montgomery County BRAVE Model
WORDE’s First Community-led Initiative to Build Resilience Against Violent Extremism (BRAVE)
WORDE has developed an innovative community-led public safety model, (formerly known as the Montgomery County Model) that has a core focus on generating public awareness about the risk factors of violent extremism, and empowering the appropriate figures to intervene with vulnerable individuals before they choose a path of violence. The model is now evidence-based and has an undergone an independent, scientific evaluation.
Designed to respond to the needs of each locality, the four-part program can also address a wide range of issues including promoting social cohesion, encouraging disaster preparedness, and responding to acts of hate or targeted violence.
With proof of concept established in Montgomery County, the model can now be expanded into other jurisdictions so that our region continues to be at the cutting edge of a multi-disciplinary approach in violence prevention.
Introduction and Overview by Dr. Hedieh Mirahmadi (4 mts, 8 secs)
Main Presentation by MCPD Chief Thomas Manger (15 mts, 29 secs)
Contact us to learn how WORDE can train your jurisdiction to adapt the Model for your region.
Our Four Part Model
- The model builds community resilience by incorporating a wide range of stakeholders, including faith community leaders, public officials, law enforcement officers, educators, social service providers, and civic activists. Together, they create a network of trusted adults who can intervene in the lives of troubled individuals.
- A cornerstone of the program is specialized training and community workshops that generate awareness of the various public safety threats, including radicalization and recruitment to violent extremism.
- Stakeholders are connected with public and private resources that can provide mental health counseling and other direct services for vulnerable members of the community.
- Interventions are facilitated by professionals who are trained to reduce potential risk factors of violent extremist behavior, using a culturally competent, trauma-informed framework.
- The interventions can be part of a prevention scheme or set up as a diversion program in lieu of incarceration.
Faith Community Working Group (FCWG)
Our work in Montgomery County involves an array of diverse stakeholders. To date, the collaboration between public and private actors has been executed through the Faith Community Working Group (FCWG), which is an official body within the Montgomery County Executive’s Office of Community Partnerships. WORDE acts as the primary “backbone” organization, which is responsible for the management and administration of the FCWG and its programming.
The purpose of the FCWG is to:
- Deepen the understanding and appreciation for our diverse faith traditions;
- Coordinate, facilitate and enrich interfaith collaboration on programs throughout Montgomery County;
- Support, enrich and expand existing County government initiatives by including the faith communities’ perspectives and participation on programs that affect our communities; and
- Increase collaboration between the faith community and county government on issues ranging from disaster preparedness and promoting public safety to supporting positive social integration.
- Click here to find out more about our programs and events.
- To participate or learn more about the FCWG, contact Hedieh Mirahmadi
- Read our signed Solidarity Statement: Click here to view the Solidarity Statement.
- Initial Media Coverage: National Journal Article by renowned reporter Michael Hirsh covered the event at ICC.
A cornerstone of the Montgomery County BRAVE Model has been bringing diverse communities together to collaborate on a shared vision, with a single entity, WORDE, providing the central infrastructure as the Backbone Organization that anchored the community-led engagement.
It is important to note that cross-cultural collaboration is not always a smooth process and social science research strongly suggests that merely bringing different groups together, who are likely to view the other groups as “not like us,” stands the risk of increasing intergroup alienation. To bridge the intergroup divide successfully in ways that tend to create lasting change, decades of research in positive social integration theory have demonstrated that several conditions should be met. The Montgomery County Model was developed in line with these guidelines to ensure maximum program effectiveness.
 See Galen V. Bodenhausen, Stereotypic biases in social decision making and memory: testing process models of stereotype use, 55 J. of Personality and Soc. Psychology 726 (1988); and John F. Dovidio, Nancy Evans, and Richard B. Tyler, 22 J. of Experimental Soc. Psychology 22 (1986); and Chris S. O’Sullivan & Francis T. Durso Effect of Schema-congruent Information on Memory for Stereotypical Attributes, 47 J. Personality and Social Psychology 55 (1984); and Robert S. Wyer, Jr, Social Memory and Social Judgment, in Social memory and Social Judgement 243 (Paul R. Solomon et al eds., 1988).
 See Elliot Aronson & Diane Bridgeman, Jigsaw Groups and the Desegregated Classroom: In Pursuit of Common Goals 5 Personality and Soc. Psychology Bulletin 438 (1979); and Stuart W. Cook, Cooperative Interaction in Multiethnic Contexts, in Groups in Contact: The Psychology Desegregation 155 (1984); and Cornelius Riordan, Equal-Status Interracial Contact: A Review and Revision of the Concept, 2 Int’l. J. of Intercultural Relations 161(1978).
On November 13, 2013, The Washington Institute hosted a Policy Forum luncheon with George Selim, J. Thomas Manger, Hedieh Mirahmadi, and Matthew Levitt to discuss how policymakers and law enforcement are addressing homegrown Violent Extremism.
The forum explores the utility of the Montgomery County Model and the potential for replicating the community-led initiative in other jurisdictions across America.
George Selim, who at the time served as the Director of Community Partnerships on the White House National Security Staff noted,
“The progress of the Montgomery County effort will help guide federal focus in a number of key regions nationally, and will allow us to leverage ongoing, albeit nascent efforts in many cities and make substantial investments of time and effort in a few critical places. I hope that the success of the Montgomery County model will spur action in other cities in the DC metro area as well as in nearby regions.”
Click here to view the video of the event: Countering Violent Extremism Policy Forum
WORDE can provide a range of services for your jurisdiction to adapt our model for your needs: