As a 14-year-old boy, Matthew Boger was beaten to a near-unrecognizable state and left for dead by a group of teenage Nazi-punks. More than two decades later Boger found himself working with one of the people who attacked him. He will tell his story of hate, hope and forgiveness at Luther College in a 2018 Distinguished Lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, in Luther's Center for Faith and Life Main Hall.
The event, open to the public with no charge for admission, also includes a screening of the film "Facing Fear." The film, an Academy Award Nominee, is a documentary short film chronicling the story of the confrontation between Boger and his attacker, their resulting collaboration, and eventual friendship. A Q&A session will follow the lecture and screening; be advised the film contains mature language. Boger will speak in Chapel at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 7.
Boger is the general manager of the Museum of Tolerance, located in Los Angeles. Boger met Tim Zaal, a former neo-Nazi, 26 years after Zaal committed a hate crime against Boger. Working together in the Museum of Tolerance, Boger and Zaal had a life-changing conversation, developed an unlikely friendship and now regularly share their story. Through their program "HATE 2 HOPE" they travel the country sharing their story of forgiveness.
The lecture is part of Hope over Hate week, which highlights Boger's lecture as well as a lecture and screening from Daryl Davis—two stories of unlikely friendships that led to extraordinary change. The Davis lecture is at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 8, in the Main Hall of the Center for Faith and Life. With the goal of shifting beyond immediate interests and present knowledge into broader understanding and community-building, Hope over Hate week is designed to encourage a platform for difficult conversations.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.