Published on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 15:53 Written by WNWO Newsdesk
The lecture begins at 11 a.m. in the college's conference center on the Findlay area campus. Owens is located on Bright Road in Findlay. Admission to the event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
Leyden grew up in a close-knit Irish-Catholic family in Fontana, Calif. Life began to unravel for him when his parents divorced, and he began listening to punk rock and venting his rage by slam-dancing and fighting at weekend concerts. His violent behavior attracted the attention of local skinheads and soon he started his own skinhead group in Redlands, Calif. At age 21, Leyden joined the U.S. Marines and his role as a leading recruiter, organizer and propagandist for the white supremacist movement increased. He spent more than 15 years as a leader in the neo-Nazi movement, even marrying a woman deeply committed to the movement and raising two young sons in a hate-filled environment.
Today, Leyden has turned away from the hatred that defined his life. He is one of the few known former skinheads who has left the movement and retained his own name. Leyden worked for more than five years at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles teaching on the culture of hate and the importance in fighting back against it. Additionally, he was invited by U.S. President Bill Clinton to serve as the featured speaker at the White House Conference on Hate and has trained at the Pentagon, the FBI, military bases and for numerous law enforcement agencies. Leyden also has testified against individuals on trial for hate crimes and has received death threats as a result of his advocacy efforts.
For additional information about the free lecture, call (567) 429-3029 or visit www.owens.edu.
Credit: North West Ohio