The mission of Life After Hate is to demonstrate and practice the primal, basic goodness of humanity and to discover common threads that interconnect us all. We all need compassion, and we can all give it.
In their youth, both Christian Picciolini and Arno Michaels were deeply involved in developing the racist skinhead movement in the United States. Christian was indoctrinated at the age of 14 and became a part of the first neo-Nazi skinhead gang in the United States. Arno was a substantial part of the white power movement from ages 17-24 and was a founding member of what became the largest racist skinhead organization on Earth. After years of being surrounded by racist dogma that they had vehemently promoted, both left the neo-Nazi lifestyle after realizing the hollowness of the movement they helped to create.
After over a decade of soul-searching, an online literary magazine was conceived to study and practice what is best about being a human being: love, honesty, openness, and compassion. Christian and Arno were joined by Angie Aker, a Survivor with the strength and courage to free herself and her children from domestic violence. With the love and help of many others, the first issue of Life After Hate was released on the 2010 birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It featured reflective essays by Former perpetrators of violence, along with Survivors of violence, to explore who we are through an open and honest dialog that includes all human beings. Those who have returned from violence to share their stories with the world in hope of guiding others to avoid making the same tragic and misguided mistakes—to prove that there is Life After Hate.
Life After Hate is a character development organization dedicated to the truth of basic human goodness—the innate human need for compassion and the ability to give it. Character development addresses a host of symptoms caused by lack of character, such as bullying, racism, sexism, homophobia, religious intolerance, and substance abuse. Using the online magazine found at lifeafterhate.org as a foundation, Life After Hate engages a cycle of compassion, collaboration, and outreach across disparate populations through our Kindness Not Weakness speaking engagements and workshops for schools and community organizations. The Life After Hate publishing arm, La Prensa, publishes books in print, audio, and ebook formats, along with curriculum material to supplement the Kindness Not Weakness outreach. Coverage of these activities in the magazine creates further opportunities to broaden and empower this practice of peace, which is the most effective response to the cycle of violence that grips human society.
Submissions for future editions of Life After Hate are welcome, and the foundation of waves of interdependence that power what we can all do together.