Sikh and former white supremacist bring story of forgiveness and friendship after tragedy


On Aug. 5, 2012, a white supremacist walked into a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisc. and fatally shot six people. Arno Michaelis was a founder of the white supremacist group to which the shooter belonged. Pardeep Singh Kaleka was the son of victim Satwant Singh Kaleka, the temple leader. Following the shooting, Kaleka and Michaelis, who denounced his former affiliation in 1994, came together to found Serve2Unite, an award-winning, international peacebuilding and educational initiative.

On March 12, Michaelis and Kaleka will speak at the Bella Concert Hall as part of MRU's Manmeet Bhullar Speaker Series and to receive the Arts Distinguished Speaker Award, which recognizes persons who through scholarship, advocacy or service are considered champions for advancing the importance of the arts and/or social sciences.

Michaelis and Kaleka, along with New York Times bestselling author Robin Gaby Fisher, have collaborated on a book called The Gift of Our Wounds: A Sikh and a Former White Supremacist find Forgiveness after Hate, published in April 2018 by St. Martin's Press.

Tickets to the event are free but registration is required. For more, please see our story.


Manmeet Bhullar Speaker Series: The Gift of Our Wounds.

Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Time: 7:30 p.m. Interviews, photo/video opportunities available on request Monday, March 11
Who: Pardeep Singh Kaleka and Arno Michaelis. Organizer Michael Hawley, PhD.
Where: Bella Concert Hall, Mount Royal University
Parking: Marked media vehicles can park in East Gate drop-off zone. Parkade vouchers available.


For further information, and to arrange interviews, please contact:

Peter Glenn, Senior Media Relations Officer
Media cell: 403.463.6930