CAB sponsoring presentation by former skinhead Frank Meeink
Former skinhead gang recruiter Frank Meeink will discuss his descent into America’s Nazi underground and his ultimate triumph over hatred at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17 in the DiStefano Lecture Hall. His appearance is presented by the Campus Activities Board’s spotlight program.
Meeink’s violent childhood in South Philadelphia primed him to hate, and he made easy prey for a small group of skinhead gang recruiters. At 14, he shaved his head. By 17, Meeink was hosting a cable access show called “The Reich” to recruit more people into the neo-Nazi movement. By 18, he was doing hard time in an Illinois prison.
Behind bars, Meeink began to question his hatred, thanks in large part to his African-American teammates on a prison football league. Shortly after being paroled, he defected from the white supremacy movement. The Oklahoma City bombing inspired Meeink to try to stop the hatred he once had felt, and he began speaking on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League. He also appeared on MTV and other national networks in his efforts to stop the hate.
In time, Meeink partnered with the Philadelphia Flyers to launch an innovative hate prevention program called Harmony Through Hockey, and developed a similar program in central Iowa.