The ADL Michigan education team was invited to be a part of an innovative program at West Bloomfield High School on November 20, 2018. The “Humanity for All” program was hosted by the Jewish and African-American Awareness clubs in response to the increasing number of hate crimes around the country and the horrific incidents that happened at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the Kroger’s store shooting in Louisville, Kentucky.
The club members wanted to bring awareness to the student body about the increasing percentages in hate crime statistics from 2016 to 2017 and hoped to encourage members of different identity groups in the community to work together as allies. The event began with the clubs collaborating on a public service announcement shared during the morning school news program. They also encouraged the students to wear blue as a symbol of togetherness. The day ended with an hour and a half long program in the media center that included guest speakers who shared their experiences as a Holocaust survivor and a victim of racial discrimination as a person of color in the south during the beginning of the civil rights movement. The ADL education team members– Kristin Jager and Arleen Platt, closed the program with interactive activities that fostered a deep discussion around the topics of the escalation of hate and the pyramid of allyship.
The students have vowed to continue the conversation and invite more student groups to participate in their follow- up programs. The education team at ADL is looking forward to the continued partnership throughout the school year.