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Former Skinhead Frank Meeink to lecture at Marshalltown- White Supremacists on wrong side of history

October 2, 2017
From: Robin Anctil - Director of Marketing - Iowa Valley Community College District , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Frank Meeink, author of "The Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead," will bring his message "From Hatred to Harmony" to Marshalltown Community College on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 10 a.m. Sponsored by the MCC Diversity Committee, the event is free and open to the public.

The presentation will be held at the Iowa Valley Continuing Education Center at the southwest corner of the MCC /Iowa Valley campus, in Dejardin Hall.

A former white supremacist, Meeink has been on the national lecture circuit for nearly a decade, speaking about racial diversity and acceptance.

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Frank Meeink
-Photo provided

He recounts the story of his involvement in America's Nazi underground and his eventual victory over hatred and addictions. Meeink has appeared in "The Experiment" with Adrian Brody and Forest Whittaker, "The Rapper" with David Banner, and "Reconciliation" with Desmond Tutu.

Carolyn Briggs, MCC Diversity Committee Chair, explains, "We have invited Frank Meeink to speak to our students and our community about racial intolerance because he has a unique perspective. He was not only part of the Skinhead movement, he was the face of it appearing on his own TV show and also being featured on nationally broadcast news programs, such as Nightline with Ted Koppel."

After visuals of young people marching in the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August, the MCCDiversity Committee felt the time was right to educate their own students about hate groups. "Frank Meeink is uniquely qualified to share this message he once inspired similar hatred and violence in others," says Briggs. "Now he's helping the rest of us understand why these groups still exist in 2017."

According to Meeink's website, his violent childhood in South Philadelphia primed him to hate. He made easy prey for a small group of skinhead gang recruiters led by his older cousin. At 14 he shaved his head, and by 16 he was one of the most notorious skinhead gang leaders on the East Coast. By 18, he was doing hard time in an Illinois prison. Behind bars, he began to question his hatred, thanks in large part to his unexpected friendships with African-American teammates on a prison football league. Shortly after being paroled, Meeink defected from the white supremacy movement. The Oklahoma City bombing inspired him to try to stop the hatred he once had felt. Eventually, Meeinks partnered with the Philadelphia Flyers to launch an innovative hate prevention program called Harmony Through Hockey. He is currently Director of Fan Development for the Iowa Chops hockey team, where he's developing a similar program. He is also the host of "The Other State of Hockey" on ESPN.

Briggs says the MCC Diversity Committee's mission has always been understanding and inclusion. "This is not designed to be a splashy, sensational event we want to teach something important. We believe that many voices can blend together and create a harmony much more beautiful than any single voice. We look forward to what Frank Meeinks can teach us about understanding and accepting others."

Meeink's books will be for sale at the event, and he will be available to sign them.

 
 

 

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