Posted on February 6, 2023
Life After Hate is Making a Difference in Combating Violent Far-Right Extremism
Note from the CREDO team: This February, Life After Hate is among three amazing groups that will receive a share of our monthly grant. Funding from the CREDO community will help its crucial work to combat violent extremism. By interrupting violence committed to advance extremist beliefs, the organization can move toward a world that allows people to change and contribute to a society without violence.
Read this important blog post from LAH’s CEO Patrick R. Riccards then click here to visit CREDODonations.com to cast your vote to help determine how we distribute our monthly grant to this organization and our other amazing grantees this February.
Why Life After Hate?
Now, more than ever, our nation needs individuals and organizations who are committed to combating violent far-right extremism and who offer practical paths to help individuals disengage from their lives of violent and destructive hate, to a place where they can take accountability for their past actions, and reintegrate into society in meaningful, productive ways.
The United States continues to experience a surge in homegrown domestic terror incidents. This reality is flooded into our lives on a daily basis through social media platforms and news outlets. The deadly violence of domestic terrorism continues to threaten our nation on overwhelming levels. Today, violent far-right extremism (VFRE) assumes many forms. It is white supremacism, antisemitic, male supremacism, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-government, anti-Latino, anti-Asian, and it is all pro-hate.
Decades of research has concluded that individuals join VFRE because it provides them a place of belonging in a society where they feel disconnected and without hope.
It doesn’t have to be this way. For those who are prepared to account for their pasts, for those who are ready to leave their VFRE families behind, for those who are prepared to write a second chapter of their life focused on second chances and doing good, there is life after hate. Our efforts, and the results of our initiatives, demonstrate what is possible.
Life After Hate (LAH) is the leader in the violence intervention community in the United States. LAH is dedicated to helping individuals disengage and deradicalize from violent far-right extremist (VFRE) hate groups and online spaces.
To support this mission, LAH provides intervention services at the individual, family, and local community levels in conjunction with public education initiatives to weaken the growth and impact of violent extremist groups. Life After Hate’s work assists individuals find pathways away from hate and ideologically-driven violence.
Originally founded in 2011 by former violent extremists, today we are a growing team of community engagement leaders, mental health professionals, social workers, and Formers dedicated to helping individuals disengage from VFRE. This work is done through interventions, education, research and outreach.
Our crucial work in combating violent extremism is imperative to establish a safer and more resilient nation. Our clients come to us in various stages of disengagement from violent behavior; it can take months or years to completely disengage from VFRE and reintegrate into society. We assess and track progress at the individual level and aggregate data to identify trends, patterns and evidence to help measure our success. By interrupting violence committed to advance political, social, religious, or ideological beliefs, we are able to carry out our vision of moving toward a world that allows people to change and contribute to a society without violence.
What We Do
The only way to send VFRE into retreat is to help individuals identify what they need to leave hate and violence behind. More directly, we need to reduce the magnitude of VFRE and make it more difficult for new members to be recruited.
To accomplish our mission, Life After Hate offers a portfolio of resources, including our direct services program, ExitUSA™, and a range of complementary education and community engagement initiatives designed to amplify the work and findings of ExitUSA™.
ExitUSA™ is an intervention program addressing violent far-right extremism in the United States for individuals who are already radicalized by providing disengagement services and support for women, men, and families.
ExitUSA™ provides case management, life skills training, and peer mentoring services to individuals who are or have been involved in VFRE. ExitUSA™ also provides case management, skills training, and a bi-weekly psychoeducational support group for families or friends with loved ones involved in the violent far-right. Case management includes a comprehensive assessment, collaborative goal setting, and systematic identification and coordination of referrals and resources. Peer mentors work with clients to change violent far-right extremist beliefs, behaviors, and social networks to promote reintegration into society. Our work with clients is labor intensive and many of our clients are high-need, meaning they may require years of services.
Outreach, Education, and Research
We work diligently to ensure our staff and external partners have the training they require to handle the intricacies of the population we serve. Ongoing outreach and education is provided to mental health practitioners and social service providers who work with the specific needs of our clients in the state where they reside. Education and consultation is available to referral partners that we are working closely with such as, law enforcement, probation officers, correctional personnel, and state and regional threat assessment teams. These partners are able to offer support to individuals involved in and/or contemplating disengagement from VFRE. Life After Hate partners with researchers to facilitate better understanding of reasons people join and exit VFRE, which informs the ongoing development and implementation of our services and furthers our mission.