Texoma Regional office event will highlight diversity
By Deb Silverthorn
The Texoma Regional office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is readying for the community-at-large to take a step in the right direction at the city’s inaugural Dallas Walk Against Hate. The walk, open to the public, will begin its two-mile stretch on Sunday, Sept. 15, at Victory Plaza.
Check-in begins at 8 a.m., followed by the opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. and the walk at 9:30. Main Stage entertainment, a nonprofit diversity expo, and a corporate village will continue, with all events concluding at 11 a.m.
“From strollers to wheelchairs we want to come out in force and to involve our community in celebrating our diversity,” ADL Texoma Regional Director Cheryl Drazin said. “This isn’t a protest or a march, but rather a gathering together of people who are on the same page against hate.”
As ADL regional director, Drazin oversees the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland-Odessa, Temple, Waco, Tyler, Marshall and all of Oklahoma.
The ADL Walk Against Hate events started in 2010, with thousands participating in Las Vegas, Philadelphia and San Diego. After attending the 2018 Walk in Las Vegas, Drazin and Kerri Aikin Rosenberg, the organization’s director of development, committed to bringing the North Texas and Oklahoma community together to promote diversity while celebrating the values of respect and inclusion.
“Las Vegas was amazing with close to 1,000 people who felt it important to come together to stand against hate,” said Rosenberg. “The ADL provides resources and support to both our Jewish community and the greater community. Hate has no place in our society.”
Co-chaired by Susie Carp and Wendy Stanley, the Walk Against Hate will, rain or shine, be a morning filled with spirit and activities. The main stage entertainment arena will include comments from community dignitaries and ADL leadership, musical and other celebrations from drum circles and dancers, cheerleaders and choirs.
At the diversity expo, selected nonprofit organizations will share their work through engaging activities while, at the corporate village, sponsors will be provided marketing opportunities.
Beginning in 1913, the ADL has fought hate and intolerance; protected free speech and religious freedom; spoken out against anti-Semitism, racism and bullying; and built respect for diversity.
ADL Texoma’s programs include its No Place for Hate® program, reaching 36 local schools last year; its Words to Action program providing resources to increase understanding of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias; and its Managing Implicit Bias training for Law Enforcement, enabling understanding of implicit bias concepts and their relevance to contemporary policing practices.
“The ADL’s mission is to fight hate,” said Stanley, who has served on the ADL Texoma board for nearly five years. “Together, we can be a force that will fight hate for good and that is exactly the opportunity we are bringing to our community on Sept. 15.”
ADL Texoma’s goal is to highlight the diversity in North Texas while celebrating the values of respect and inclusion. . Participants can register individually or as a team. Net proceeds of the event will support anti-hate and anti-bullying programs in schools, civil rights advocacy work, extremism training for law enforcement, incident response and the ADL Texoma leadership development program for young adults.
“We want to bridge our communities and bring together participants of all ages, ethnicities and religions from throughout the Metroplex — all those who care, who want to be part of the answer.”
High school students (grades nine to 12) are invited to participate in the Walk Against Hate essay contest, co-sponsored by ADL Texoma and The Dallas Morning News. Essays, in 500 words or less, should reply to the prompt “What I can do to take a step in the right direction to fight hate?” and must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org (with the subject line “ADL Walk Against Hate Essay Contest”) by Sept. 1.
The contest’s winner will be announced at the event and will receive a prize of $1,000, and the essay may be published in The Dallas Morning News.
ADL Texoma is taking a step, just one at a time, in the right direction.
Early registration ($15) is open until Aug. 15 and general registration, $20, is available through Sept. 14. At the event, participation is $25. Children ages 3 to 18 are $10, and there is no fee for those age 2 and under.
Prospective participants, volunteers, entertainers and sponsors can find details and registration at walkagainsthatedallas.org. Visit dallas.adl.org/walk-against-hate-essay-contest for essay contest details and forms.