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The Beauty of a Darker Soul


Pleasant Hill - Main University Campus 100 Ellinwood Way
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523-4817

February 15, 2018 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

While serving as a Platoon Leader with the 1st Cavalry Division in Iraq, Joshua Mantz was shot and killed by an enemy sniper. He flatlined for 15 minutes before being revived. That 15 minutes, and the decade-long period of turbulent healing that came in its wake, formed the basis for the work that has come to be the focal point of Mantz’s second life.

What does it really mean to survive? How can those of us who have experienced trauma recover from that frontline and regain control over our lives? According to Mantz, “The only force of nature powerful enough to overcome the emotional impacts of traumatic events is a strong sense of community and human connection.” Charting his brave passage through the harrowing realms of emotional disturbance, The Beauty of a Darker Soul offers a pathway to reemergence, aiming to give others the strength to overcome their own experiences.

Having shared his story at TEDx and hundreds of other events, Mantz’s next stop is our Thursday Night Soapbox! Join us for a presentation and book signing of this important new work. Proceeds from book sales will support JFKU’s VALOR Center, which serves and supports veterans in their academic pursuits.

Thursday Soapbox Lecture and Event Series
John F. Kennedy University Lecture and Event Series Thursday Soapbox, continues the tradition of hosting cutting-edge thinkers and practitioners from around the world. Covering a wide range of topics of vital importance in today’s world, the “Thursday Soapbox Series” will bring together students, faculty, and interested members of the public to spread knowledge, spark dialogue; and create a more informed, involved citizenry. Go to to see the full line up of speakers and events.