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Reformed white supremacist will present ‘From Hate to Justice’

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Posted on Thursday, November 4, 2021

Shannon Foley Martinez, a former white supremacist with decades of experience mentoring people leaving right-wing violent extremist groups, will speak at Westminster College at 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 11, in the Witherspoon Rooms of the McKelvey Campus Center.

Foley Martinez, now an anti-hate activist who develops community resource platforms aimed at inoculating people against hate and violence, will share her experiences about her life as a former skinhead and the work she does today in her presentation “From Hate to Social Justice.”

Her visit is sponsored by Classrooms Without Borders and Westminster’s criminal justice studies, education, peace studies, political science, psychology, sociology and first-year programs.

Foley Martinez has worked in at-risk communities teaching and developing dynamic resiliency skills, as well as school systems, nonprofits and community organizations. She has also assisted in training law enforcement officers, building programs for educators and collaborating with tech companies like Google and Twitter.

She has participated in programs with organizations such as the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, the National Counterterrorism Center, Hedayah, the Center for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence, UN Women and the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.

Her story has been featured globally, including on “The Today Show,” NBC’s “Left Field,” The Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Associated Press, The Washington Post, Marie Claire magazine, Quartz, Al Jazeera America,and Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “On Second Thought” program. She has been a commentator on such news outlets as HLN, CNN, Canada One and BBC Radio.

The event is free and open to the public. All attendees are required to be masked and observe all other COVID mitigation measures while inside the McKelvey Campus Center.

For more information, please contact Dr. Sherri Pataki, professor of psychology, at