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The Gift of our Wounds

with Arno Michaelis

Date: January 27th, at any time

Listen to the Episode

The F Word Podcast examines the complex, messy, gripping subject of forgiveness. 

In each episode Marina Cantacuzino, a journalist and founder of The Forgiveness Project, a Charter for Compassion partner, talks to a guest who despite having experienced great pain or trauma in their life has found a way through.

Some have forgiven those who’ve harmed them, others are grappling with forgiving themselves. Not everyone is able to forgive. Not everyone has made complete peace with their past.

But all those featured on the show display a strength that has grown out of vulnerability, and they all bear witness to the human search for meaning.


Conversation with Arno Michaelis

Marina Cantacuzino talks to Arno Michaelis about his time spent in the white power movement and how he transformed his life to become an advocate against hatred and racism. Arno now works to promote understanding and compassion with his friend Pardeep Kaleka who is also a guest on The F Word Podcast. Having both experienced extreme racism, albeit from very different ends of the spectrum, together they co-founded the organization Serve2Unite and co-authored the book, The Gift Of Our Wounds.


For Further Exploration

The Gift of Our Wounds by Arno Michaelis and Pardeep Singh Kaleka (St. Martin's Press, 2018).

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.



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