Christian Science Monitor photo
Christian Science Monitor photo

We missed this story ahead of last Wednesday’s FaithWorks Midweek Lenten Pilgrimage service, but for those who continue to be interested in the evening’s speaker, the Christian Science Monitor did a profile of Arno Michaels last August.

The article also mentioned Sammy Rangels, who was the speaker at the service on February 20:

Today the memories of the savage attacks he made on people haunt him like a ghost, he says. But now he is a different man, an open-minded person who admires his diverse colleagues and friends….

Michaels tells his story to young people, hoping to promote the notion of basic human goodness. “If a kid goes to school and bullies someone every day, they’re going to grow apt at being mean,” he says. “We use our stories to illustrate that escalation.” …

Sammy Rangel, also with [Life After Hate], has been speaking for years about his past life as a Latino gang member. Shortly after meeting Michaels, the two spoke together in 2011 at Walter Reuther Central High School in Kenosha, Wis.

“I think their partnership was very exciting, in part because Michaels came from a comfortable city suburb and Sammy from poverty,” says Andy Baumgart, vice principal of Reuther high school. “It was unique for the students to see that it doesn’t matter where you’re coming from – if you aren’t careful about your choices, you can end up in a place of hate.”

The article is part of an on-going series of articles in the Monitor entitled “Difference Makers.” The Monitor also quoted Michaels in a news article about racist hate music after the Oak Creek Sikh Temple shooting which occurred a few days after the profile article was posted.