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"Life After Hate" Speaker to Talk to Beloit Memorial High School Students

A Milwaukee man who spent most of his late teens and early 20s immersing himself in and leading hate groups will be at Beloit Memorial High School on May 23 to talk about his transformation into the leader of “Life After Hate.”

Arno Michaelis will be in Beloit because of Milwaukee’s Holocaust Education Resource Center, which is paying for the presentation. The HERC has a tie to Beloit in Dustin Rondeau, a social studies teacher at BMHS, who is friends with Samantha Goldberg, the education director at HERC.

Rondeau said Michaelis’ message would be relevant at any time, but it is especially relevant today with growing unrest between Jews and Muslims over the Israel-Hamas conflict.


“Any time there is an elevated level of hate speech or animosity directed towards specific groups of people, it’s certainly a good time to hear this message,” Rondeau said in an email. Beloit Memorial offers a History of the Holocaust and Genocides class as part of its curriculum. “Especially since Arno Michaelis has a very unique perspective to offer: someone whose early adult years were spent propagating hate and starting/joining hate groups, to the polar opposite where he now spends his time and his life towards ending hate.”


Michaelis got involved in the White power movement in the 1980s when he was 17. He founded a White power group and became a lead singer of a race-metal band. It wasn’t until after he became a single parent at the age of 24 that he began to distance himself from his earlier beliefs. In 2004, he quit drinking and in 2007 he wrote a reflective memoir and founded the online magazine Life After Hate.

In 2010, he became a co-founder of the Life After Hate non-profit organization. The Chicago-based organization’s mission is to “interrupt far-right violence committed in the name of ideological and/or religious belief” by offering support to men and women looking to leave hate groups.

Michaelis will talk with students at 1 p.m. in the Beloit Memorial High School auditorium.

Source: Beloit Daily News