The Mayor’s Council Against Hate will welcome author and activist Christian Picciolini to be the guest speaker at its next public meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 5:30 p.m. at the Camp House.
Mr. Picciolini's life since leaving the white-power movement over two decades ago has been dedicated to helping others overcome their own hate. After leaving the hate movement he helped create during his youth in the 1980s and ‘90s, Mr. Picciolini earned a degree in international relations from DePaul University and launched Goldmill Group, a counter-extremism consulting and digital media firm. In 2016, he won an Emmy Award for producing an anti-hate advertising campaign aimed at helping people disengage from extremism.
His involvement in, and exit from, the early American white-supremacist skinhead movement is chronicled in his memoir “White American Youth: My Descent into America's Most Violent Hate Movement--and How I Got Out.” His forthcoming book, “Breaking Hate: Confronting the New Culture of Extremism,” will be released in February 2020. His disengagement work is spotlighted in his MSNBC documentary series Breaking Hate.
The Nov. 12 Council Against Hate event marks his first public appearance in Chattanooga.
"There are disturbing signs that hate continues to spread across the country, and that young people, in particular, are being targeted for recruitment by extremist groups, so Christian’s message of hope and reconciliation is particularly timely,” said Council Against Hate co-chair Alison Lebovitz. “Christian speaks about these issues with a unique empathy and passion that is unshakable. We believe that what he has to say will resonate with anyone who seeks to build a more welcoming, peaceful, and safe community for everyone.”
The event is free and open to the public, but registrations are encouraged. Please visit cha.city/againsthate to RSVP.
The Nov. 12 public meeting will be preceded by a Nov. 6 panel discussion, “Covering Hate,” that the Council Against Hate is producing in conjunction with PRSA Lookout. It will be a conversation with breaking news reporters and investigative journalists from Chattanooga, Atlanta, Memphis, and Nashville.
"Covering Hate” will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 11:30 a.m. at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Tickets and more information may be found at cha.city/coveringhate.