Episode 39 with Christian Picciolini
Christian Picciolini is an award-winning television producer, a public speaker, author, peace advocate, and a former violent extremist. After leaving the hate movement he helped create during his youth in the 1980s and 90s, he began the painstaking process of making amends and rebuilding his life. Christian went on to earn 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. Christian’s life since leaving the white‑power movement over two decades ago has been dedicated to helping others overcome their own hate. He now leads the FREE RADICALS PROJECT, a global extremism prevention and disengagement network.
He has spoken all over the world, including on the TEDx stage, sharing his unique and extensive knowledge, teaching all who are willing to learn about building greater peace through empathy and compassion. Christian’s involvement in, and exit from, the early American white-supremacist skinhead movement is chronicled in his memoir WHITE AMERICAN YOUTH, and he is the featured subject in season 3 of WBEZ’s ‘Motive’ podcast. His latest book,BREAKING HATE: CONFRONTING THE NEW CULTURE OF EXTREMISM, was released in February 2020. His disengagement work is also spotlighted in his MSNBC documentary series BREAKING HATE.