Life After Hate

Life After Hate
Founded: 2011

Mission: To inspire individuals to embrace compassion and forgiveness, for themselves and all people.

About the Organization: Founded in 2011 by former members of the extremist far-right movement, Life After Hate works with individuals who wish to leave a life of hate and violence as well as organizations (community, educational, civic, government) seeking to address the causes of intolerance and racism. Based on its members' experiences, the organization has developed a sophisticated understanding of what draws individuals to extremist groups and why they leave, and focuses on the roles that compassion and empathy play in healing individuals and communities. 

Current Programs: Life After Hate's outreach efforts include ExitUSA, a program that helps radicalized individuals disengage from extremist white power groups and begin the process of "walking away from hate and racism." Under the slogan "No judgment. Just help," ExitUSA provides individuals seeking to leave violent extremism behind with the support of a team of former hate group members who have succeeded in building a new life for themselves, conducts public awareness campaigns, provides individualized education and job-training programs, and fosters community partnerships against hate and extremism. The organization also reaches out to those struggling to address an addiction to a lifestyle involving crime and/or drugs (including alcohol) and the addictive pull of related thoughts and behaviors.

Life After Hate's educational initiatives include the Against Violent Extremism Network, which works to empower former violent extremists and survivors to push back against extremist narratives and combat the recruitment of at-risk youth. The organization also supports the efforts of schools, community groups, nongovernmental organizations, and others to understand, counter, prevent, and heal the effects of racism and violent extremism.

In 2015, the organization helped launch the Strong Cities Network, the first-ever global network of mayors, municipal-level policy makers, and practitioners united in building social cohesion and community resilience aimed at countering violent extremism in all its forms.

Website: Visitors to the Life After Hate site can learn about the organization's co-founders and programs and services, watch videos about the ExitUSA program, or contact ExitUSA to get help for themselves or a family member or friend. They also can support the organization by making a donation or by purchasing books written by Life After Life members who have walked away from a life of extremism and hate.

Funding: Life After Hate is funded by individuals. Although the organization was awarded a $400,000 grant by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under the Obama administration's Countering Violent Extremism initiative in January 2017, the Trump administration rescinded the grant in June.

Address:
917 W. Washington Blvd., Suite 212
Chicago, Illinois 60607