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Son of a victim in the Sikh Temple shooting will give presentation on forgiveness at Carroll University

March 25, 2014

A reformed white supremacist and the son of one of the six victims killed in the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin shooting in Oak Creek have joined forces to battle racism and violent radicalism.

They'll give a presentation on Monday at Carroll University.

Pardeep Kaleka and Arno Michaelis are the founders of Serve 2 Unite, an organization that fosters student leaders and peacemakers, based on the Sikh concept of Chardi Kala, of expressing relentless optimism in the face of adversity.

The "Forgiveness, Transformation and Peace" presentation is a mix of storytelling and discussion. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Humphrey Memorial Chapel, 238 N. East Ave. It is free and open to the public.

Kaleka is the oldest son of Satwant Singh Kaleka, president of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, who was killed by a white supremacist during the Aug. 5, 2012, attack. A former police officer and current teacher in Milwaukee's inner city, Kaleka is no stranger to the battle against racism, bigotry and ignorance, a news release said.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Michaelis was a founding member of a racist skinhead organization, a reverend of a self-declared racial holy war and lead singer of hate-metal band Centurion.

Raising his daughter as a single parent and experiencing the forgiveness of people he once hated helped Michaelis to embrace diversity and practice gratitude for all life. He is the author of "My Life After Hate," which will be available for purchase at the event.

Michaelis and Kaleka met through Against Violent Extremism, a global network of former violent extremists and survivors of violent extremism.

Serve 2 Unite engages young people of all backgrounds to value humanity and the aspiration of living as a peacemaker. Student chapters build inclusive, compassionate, nonviolent climates in their schools and surrounding communities by creating art and participating in service-learning activities.

The presentation is sponsored by Carroll University and Waukesha's Plowshare Center. It is part of Carroll's yearlong theme of "Humanity," an exploration of how war, ethics, science, religion, hunger, abuse and lack of civility affect our humanity, both individually and collectively.

To learn more about Serve 2 Unite, visit serve2unite.org. For more information about the presentation, contact the Rev. Bill Humphreys at chaplain@carrollu.edu, or Katy Launius, assistant director student activities, at klaunius@carrollu.edu.

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