LEAWOOD, Kan. -- Almost exactly five years after a Neo-Nazi gunned down her father and her son, Mindy Corporon shared a stage with two reformed white supremacists on Thursday night at the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood.
“The reason I invited them here is because after the murders I wanted to know why,” Corporon said.
The forum was part of the SevenDays- Make a Ripple, Change the World movement Corporon started after the tragic shootings in 2014.
Christian Picciolini spent much of his youth fanning the flames of hatred as a prominent member of the white power movement.
It wasn’t until Picciolini had a child of his own and his own experiences with people of all races that he realized a life devoted to hatred is built on lies.
Picciolini has spent the last twenty years working to undo the harm his hatred has done. He recalls hearing about the racially-charged murders of Corporon’s loved ones in 2014.
“I remember that story hitting very close to home because it was really the beginning of a long string of incidents that are still continuing to this day,” Picciolini said.
Shannon Foley Martinez, another reformed Neo-Nazi, works with Picciolini to mentor young people seduced by the lies of hate groups.
“People coming from really dark places can still find one another and work together to bring about really great things in the world,” Foley Martinez said.
Mindy Corporon said inviting the reformed white supremacists offered a rare opportunity to put evil under a microscope, in the hopes of preventing future tragedies.
“I can’t fix (what happened in 2014),” Corporon said. “But I want to help fix it going forward because I don’t want other people to suffer like we have.”