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Meet author Arno Michaelis on Feb. 16

Book World welcomes author Arno Michaelis for a presentation and book-signing event from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16. Michaelis will sign copies of his 2018 book, “Gift of our Wounds: A Sikh and a Former White Supremacist Find Forgiveness After Hate.”

About the book

The powerful story of a friendship between two men―one Sikh and one skinhead―that resulted in an outpouring of love and a mission to fight against hate.

One Sikh. One former Skinhead. Together, an unusual friendship emerged out of a desire to make a difference.

When white supremacist Wade Michael Page murdered six people and wounded four in a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin in 2012, Pardeep Kaleka was devastated. The temple leader, now dead, was his father. His family, who had immigrated to the U.S. from India when Pardeep was young, had done everything right. Why was this happening to him?

Meanwhile, Arno Michaelis, a former skinhead and founder of one of the largest racist skinhead organizations in the world, had spent years of his life committing terrible acts in the name of white power. When he heard about the attack, waves of guilt washing over him, he knew he had to take action and fight against the very crimes he used to commit.

After the Oak Creek tragedy, Arno and Pardeep worked together to start an organization called Serve 2 Unite, which works with students to create inclusive, compassionate and nonviolent climates in their schools and communities. Their story is one of triumph of love over hate, and of two men who breached a great divide to find compassion and forgiveness.

With New York Times bestseller Robin Gaby Fisher telling Arno and Pardeep’s story, The Gift of Our Wounds is a timely reminder of the strength of the human spirit, and the courage and compassion that reside within us all.

About the author

Arno Michaelis

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Arno Michaelis was a leader of a worldwide racist skinhead organization, a reverend of a self-declared Racial Holy War, and lead singer of the hate-metal band Centurion. But single parenthood, love for his daughter, and the forgiveness shown by people he once hated all helped to turn Arno’s life around, bringing him to embrace diversity and practice gratitude for all life.

After spending over a decade as a successful information technology consultant and entrepreneur, Arno is now a speaker, author of My Life After Hate, a counter-violent extremism consultant, and very fortunate to be able to share his ongoing process of character development as an educator working with Serve 2 Unite (S2U). S2U engages students in creative service learning with a global network of peacemakers and mentors in partnership with Against Violent Extremism, The Forgiveness Project, and Not In Our Town.

The story of Arno’s involvement with Serve 2 Unite and his amazing friendship with Pardeep Kaleka, who lost his father Satwant Singh Kaleka in the August 5th, 2012 Sikh Temple shooting, is the subject of a forthcoming book from St. Martin’s Press, co-authored by Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author Robin Gaby Fisher.

Arno has been a professional public speaker since 2010, and has captivated audiences throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, and Scandinavia. His customizable keynotes and workshops leverage noble qualities of compassion, curiosity, and kindness to engage all human beings, building foundations for diversity appreciation and cultural agility.

Arno also enjoys spending time with his daughter, art, music, and all forms of fearless creative expression, along with climbing things, being underwater, and the wonderful natural beauty of our planet Earth.