Students Classroom

Kern Institute Grands Rounds

February 18, 2021 | 9:00 am–10:00 am MCW_Icons_Make_An_Appointment_Green iCAL

Healing in the Aftermath of Hate


  • Pardeep Singh Kaleka, Executive Director of Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, Founder of Serve2Unite, and published author of "The Gift of Our Wounds"
  • Arno Michaelis, author of "My Life After Hate" and co-author of "The Gift of Our Wounds" titled "Healing in the Aftermath of Hate"

When white supremacist Wade Michael Page murdered seven people and wounded four in a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin in 2012, Pardeep Kaleka was devastated. This tragedy followed by suicide would be one of the deadliest mass-murder hate crimes committed in US History. One of the victims that day was Pardeep’s father, Satwant Singh Kaleka. 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 washed over him and he knew he had to take action to fight against the very crimes he used to commit. In the aftermath of the Oak Creek shooting, Pardeep reached out to Arno for answers. What would follow this meeting was a journey of two men who breached a great divide to find brotherhood and love.

In a world that seems to be tearing itself apart at the seams, divided by identity, becoming more intolerant, xenophobic, and spiritually ill, it is essential that we remain committed to compassion. This talk will explore the role of both communal and individual trauma and healing.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Recognize the role of well-being from an ecological framework, thus creating a culture of reflection to address the social and emotional well-being of communities.
  2. Understand that the evolution of trauma has now become a much more communal diagnosis.

Our defense mechanisms may be betraying us and subconsciously leaving us more lonely then we would like to admit. Our unprocessed pain is getting in the way of us truly being connected and productive so we need to build trauma-informed cultures. Some communities may suffer from a collective trauma that threatens the entire subgroup, therefore, individuals who were not even directly impacted but identify with the subgroup are prone to victimization and re-victimization. We will discover how to help these subgroups develop meaning and move past what happened to them. Grieving and loss can be very difficult times for many. We cope by relying on what we think we should be doing or the roles we play for our family and friends. Some people busy themselves, others avoid, and some may sink into despair. Because there is no normal way to grieve loss, we engage in both a communal and individual process. It is important that we build communities that not only understand this, but also can support the process of healing.

Event Location

  • Zoom