TJP Staff Report
October 30, 2023
Dallas — Chilly weather Sunday did not deter more than 1,000 people from participating in ADL (Anti-Defamation League) Texoma’s annual Walk Against Hate. Those in attendance were a cross-section of members of the Jewish community and the North Texas community at large.
Folks began gathering before 8 a.m. at Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas for what Mayor Eric Johnson had officially proclaimed as ADL Walk Against Hate Day, Oct. 29.
Dallas Chief of Police Eddie Garcia and Carter High School junior Akela Larzei were named Heroes Against Hate.
Chief Garcia said he valued the working relationship he had with ADL and that it was something he had not experienced before coming to Dallas.
“I want to thank ADL for welcoming me to the area early in my time here and for their partnership, both the Texoma office and ADL Center on Extremism, for helping us with important workshops and for the department to better understand what is happening in our city.”
He added, “There is always work to be done. And we continue to educate and better ourselves as a department to be more inclusive. And make sure all feel supported and welcome, whether you live or work here or are just visiting.”
Chief Garcia said that he accepted the recognition of Heroes Against Hate on behalf of every police officer in Dallas. He reiterated that hate has no place in Dallas.
“Thank you for being here to share our commitment to fight hate for good. By you being here you show and prove that together, we are stronger.”
In the three weeks since the Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel by Hamas, ADL has seen a 400% increase in antisemitic incidents across the United States, reported Stacy Cushing, ADL Texoma director. In addition to its mission of securing fair and just treatment for all, ADL Texoma has been tracking incidents of antisemitism and responding, correcting media bias and misinformation and educating thousands of K-12 as well as university students.
“We are engaging in challenging conversations with campus leadership when concerns about Israeli policies cross the lines into antisemitism,” Cushing said.
Dignitaries in attendance included Dallas City Council members, Paula Blackmon (District 9), Kathy Stewart (District 10), Jaynie Schultz (District 11), Cara Mendelsohn (District 12) and Paul Ridley (District 14); Consul General of Mexico in Dallas Francisco de la Torre; and members of the Mayor’s Anti-Hate Advisory Council.
Members of the Greenhill School drumline and The University of Texas at Dallas Pep Band were stationed along the 1-mile route and performed for the walkers.
Susie Carp was the event’s chair and Neil Goldberg was honorary chair. Proceeds from the Walk will support ADL’s efforts to fight hate for good through anti-hate and anti-bullying programs in schools, civil rights advocacy work, extremism training for law enforcement and incident response and community support for the region.