Peru State College
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News Release
 
10/08/10

Peru State College Announces

Distinguished Speaker Series for 2010-11

Former Skinhead Frank Meeink to Speak Tuesday, Oct. 26

 

(Peru, Neb.) Peru State College (PSC) President Dan Hanson today announced that the institution will host a Distinguished Speaker Series during the 2010-11 academic year. All events are free and open to the public.

Hanson said, “The Distinguished Speaker Series has been developed as part of our commitment to student engagement and success. It’s also a direct response to student interest, following the visit from renowned Holocaust survivor Elane Gellar last year. We want to continue to bring diverse, nationally and internationally recognized speakers to southeast Nebraska to enrich the educational experience of our students while also providing our surrounding communities an opportunity to engage in interesting and relevant topics.”

Speakers will be encouraged to engage with the community in a variety of ways during their visits through classroom discussions, guest lectures, meet and greet receptions, and a keynote address. 

The Distinguished Speaker Series will begin with a presentation by former skinhead Frank Meeink at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26 in the College Theatre, located at the south end of Hoyt Science Hall.

Meeink became a skinhead at age 13 after a violent childhood in south Philadelphia. According to the biography on his Web site http://frankmeeink.com/, “He made easy prey for a small group of skinhead gang recruiters led by his older cousin. At fourteen, he shaved his head. By sixteen, Frank was one of the most notorious skinhead gang leaders on the East Coast. By eighteen, he was doing hard time in an Illinois prison.” He was arrested and convicted of kidnapping and beating a member of a rival skinhead gang.

While in prison, Meeink befriended the racially diverse men he used hate. After his release, Meeink tried to rejoin his old skinhead pals but couldn't bring himself to resume hating those he had grown to consider friends. 

Now a noted speaker, author of Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead: The Story of Frank Meeink and founder of Harmony Through Hockey, Meeink’s life stands for tolerance, diversity and mutual understanding for all parts of society. Meeink’s program, A Former Skinhead’s Fight Against Prejudice, details his downfall and how redemption has the power to open hearts and change lives.   

Two more notable speakers are scheduled to be at PSC in 2011. (More detailed information about their visits will be released closer to the date of the event.) They are:

Minnijean Brown-Trickey, Civil Rights Leader and Member of the Little Rock Nine
Return to Little Rock: A Seminal Movement in American Education and Civil Rights
7 p.m. - Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011 - College Theatre

Arun Gandhi, Mahatma's Gandhi’s Grandson
Lessons Learned from Grandfather
7 p.m. - Tuesday, March 22 - College Theatre

The Distinguished Speaker Series is being sponsored by the PSC Student Affairs Division and Center for Achievement and Transition Services (CATS). For more information, visit www.peru.edu/speakerseries or contact Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Michaela Willis at 402-872-2221 or mwillis@peru.edu.