Thursday, April 1, 2021 | Virtual Webinar (Zoom)

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After the election of Donald J. Trump, journalist Seyward Darby went looking for the women of the so-called “alt-right” — really just white nationalism with a new label. The mainstream media depicted the alt-right as a bastion of angry white men, but was it? As women headlined resistance to the Trump administration’s bigotry and sexism, most notably at the Women’s Marches, Darby wanted to know why others were joining a movement espousing racism and anti-feminism. Who were these women, and what did their activism reveal about America’s past, present, and future?

Darby researched dozens of women across the country before settling on three — Corinna Olsen, Ayla Stewart, and Lana Lokteff. Each was born in 1979, and became a white nationalist in the post-9/11 era. Their respective stories of radicalization upend much of what we assume about women, politics, and political extremism.

The NYU Brademas Center and Brennan Center for Justice hosted this discussion with Seyward Darby and Faiza Patel

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Seyward Darby

Seyward Darby

Faiza Patel

Faiza Patel

Seyward Darby is the editor in chief of The Atavist Magazine. She previously served as the deputy editor of Foreign Policy and the online editor and assistant managing editor of The New Republic. As a writer, she has contributed to The AtlanticThe Washington PostElle, and Vanity Fair, among other publications.


Faiza Patel serves as Co-Director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. She is also a member of the UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries. Previously, Faiza worked as a senior policy officer at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and clerked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. She has been published in leading academic publications, including the American Journal of International Law, the Emory Journal of International Law, the European Journal of International Law, and the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics. Faiza is a frequent commentator on national security issues for media outlets such as the New York Times, the L.A. Times, the Guardian, MSNBC, Al-Jazeera, and NPR. Born and raised in Pakistan, she is a graduate of Harvard College and the NYU School of Law.