Posted on September 2, 2023
CREDO funding helps Life After Hate rehabilitate far-right extremists
Fed by political forces that thrive on division, far-right extremism is now the most lethal terrorist threat in the U.S. 90% of U.S. terrorism cases are classed as domestic and, of domestic extremists, 95% are far-right.
They are white supremacist, male supremacist, antisemitic, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Latino, anti-Asian and anti-government. And they are all pro-hate.
But we can counter this hate with help. To give it, we need organizations that offer practical paths for individuals to disengage from their lives of violence and anger, and reintegrate into society in meaningful, productive ways.
An organization making real progress in this arena is Life After Hate. The first nonprofit in the U.S. dedicated to helping individuals separate from violent far-right groups, Life After Hate provides timely and critical assistance to people who decide to leave extremism behind, reconnect with humanity and lead compassionate lives.
In recognition of Life After Hate’s vital work, CREDO customers and community members in February voted to donate to support Life After Hate. And, backed by its CREDO donation, Life After Hate has been able to strengthen its services at the individual, family and community levels.
How CREDO is helping
This year, our grant assisted Life After Hate in the launch of a new initiative, the Daily Former, a podcast and website where former far-right extremists share stories and challenges, celebrate successes, air grievances and prove that, sometimes, quitters do win. The program is helping many individuals recognize extremism for the dead-end it is and see that there are paths to exit a life of anger and violence.
CREDO funding will soon help Life After Hate begin a new program focused specifically on U.S. veterans connected with violent extremism.
Life After Hate’s existing efforts include ExitUSA, which provides case management, life skills training and peer mentoring services to individuals who are or have been involved in extremism, as well as psychoeducational support for families and friends who have loved ones involved in the violent far-right. Case management is a comprehensive assessment followed by collaborative goal setting, and identification and coordination of referrals and resources. Peer mentors work with clients to change extremist beliefs, behaviors and social networks to promote reintegration into society.
Hope instead of hate
Research shows that people join violent far-right extremist groups because these groups give them a sense of belonging in a society where they feel disconnected and without hope.
But there is hope and there is help. For those who are prepared to account for their past, leave their violent communities behind and write a new chapter focused on acceptance, there is Life After Hate.