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MILWAUKEE, WI (Thursday, May 23, 2024) – In a bold new initiative designed to help individuals successfully disengage from violent extremist groups and online hate spaces, Life After Hate  unveiled its The Daily Former Discord channel. 

The Daily Former Discord is a multi-level public engagement tool designed to help those currently engaged in violent extremism, those looking to exit such hate groups, and those who have successfully left lives of hate behind, reengaging in society. TDF Discord is the only such initiative of its kind in the world, building on more than a decade of proven experiences on how to help individuals leave behind lives of violent hate.

“Online spaces, including Discord, can be used to do both great good and horrific evil,” said Patrick Riccards, Life After Hate’s executive director. “With a growing number of individuals looking to take accountability for their involvement in violent extremism, we must do all we can to engage in places seen as familiar and safe. If one can be recruited into an extremist group on Discord, one can successfully disengage with the help of Discord.”

Life After Hate’s Discord initiative builds on its The Daily Former (TDF) podcast, launched in April 2023 to much fanfare. TDF was developed to provide a safe and inclusive community that offers a supportive environment for people who want to leave violent extremism behind and start a new life and as an educational tool for those who want to support this work. Listeners hear directly from former members of violent extremist groups, family members of former extremists, and experts in violent extremism, exploring real experiences and demonstrating to those currently involved in violent extremism that they can write a new chapter in their lives by taking accountability for their past actions and committing to positive change. The TDF podcast just concluded its second season.

“The Daily Former gives voice to those whose words and shared experiences are needed far more today than they have ever been needed,” Riccards said. “By giving those who have lived lives of violent extremism control over their own stories and how their experiences are represented, Life After Hate is able to offer the dignity, compassion, and hard truths that are required if one is to leave behind lives of violent hate and successfully reintegrate into our civil society.”

LAH’s TDF Discord channel provides monitored discussions on a range of issues, including current events, health and wellness, accountability, and life after extremism. It also offers a safe space for individuals to engage with those who have successfully disengaged from violent extremism, exploring topics such as how to leave, how to make it right, and how to effectively tell one’s story.

In late 2023, Life After Hate conducted a national survey that found two-thirds of Americans believe violent hate crimes have increased over the last decade. Only a third of those surveyed, though, believe that those guilty of ideologically driven violence are capable of change. Life After Hate’s work over the last 13 years, impacting thousands involved in and affected by violent extremism, says otherwise.

“Change is possible, but only when one takes accountability for their past actions and responsibility for doing what is necessary to disengage from hateful ideology,” Riccards said. “TDF and our Discord channel are necessary tools to achieve that change.” 

About Life After Hate

Founded in 2011, Life After Hate is the nation’s leader in violence intervention, helping individuals disengage from violent extremist groups and online hate spaces. Initially founded in 2011 by former violent extremists, today it is a growing team of community engagement leaders, mental health professionals, social workers, and Formers dedicated to helping individuals disengage from violent extremism. This work is done through licensed social services, peer interventions, public education, research, and outreach.