A brief history of Life After Hate
Idea and Inception
In January 2010, Arno Michaelis launches Life After Hate as a quarterly online publication. In June 2011, the founding members — Sammy Rangel, Angela King, Arno Michaelis, Christian Picciolini, Tony McAleer, and Frank Meeink — meet at the “Summit Against Violent Extremism” in Dublin, Ireland, and begin collaborating on what is known today as Life After Hate. In August of that year, they launch Life After Hate as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
Expansion and Growth
Tony McAleer becomes board chair, and Sammy Rangel and Frank Meeink are inaugural board members. By late 2012, Michaelis departs Life After Hate, and the remaining members begin expanding the group beyond the online publication. The group begins speaking out publicly against extremist groups, including the attempted neo-Nazi takeover of Leith, North Dakota. McAleer and Angela King — who became deputy director after she was the editor of the online publication — begin developing an assessment tool and Exit program for Life After Hate. By February 2014, ExitUSA is born.
Life After Hate and its partners win an award for “Research and Evaluation on Domestic Radicalization to Violent Extremism: Research to Support Exit USA” in September 2014. In June 2016, Life After Hate is awarded a $400,000 federal grant and partners with a tech company to identify and defuse potentially violent extremists online. In December, “There Is Life After Hate” PSA wins an Emmy award.
In May 2017, Colin Kaepernick donates $50,000 to Life After Hate. Rangel becomes executive director, McAleer becomes board chairman, and King becomes programs director. In June, the Trump administration rescinds a federal grant before Life After Hate receives any of the funding. In response, more than 8,000 supporters donate over $500,000. In September, Rangel is honored as an Everyday Heroes in the Global Campaign Against Violent Extremism and Intolerance in New York City during the week of the United Nations General Assembly.