Dallas Walks Against Hate
Story by Mary Martin. Photo courtesy of ADL Texoma.
This summer, our state has been heavy with news of violence and hatred. And while communities of all types are calling for peace and understanding, the steps toward that goal are varied, if not divided. But a welcome and unifying step forward is now open for all of North Texas—the Anti Defamation League’s inaugural Walk Against Hate in Dallas.
“Looking at our current climate, our team knew that it was the right time to bring this event to Dallas,” said Kerri Aikin Rosenberg, Development Director for the ADL’s Texoma Regional Office. “Together we are saying that there is no place for hate here.” The walk takes place on the morning of Sunday, September 15th in Victory Plaza. ADL is anticipating at least 1,000 people will participate in the two-mile walk, some walking on their own, and some forming teams within their communities to help raise awareness and funds.
Cities like Philadelphia, Las Vegas, and San Diego have held their own Walk Against Hate events, with the goal of unifying people from all backgrounds on behalf of civil rights and anti-bullying. Kerri says that is what the ADL is all about. “Through all of our education programs, we are interrupting the cycle of hate. If hate can be taught, it can also be untaught, but it is more effective to interrupt that cycle at a young age.” By helping schools create student-led initiatives, the Texoma team has recognized 28 local schools with a No Place for Hate distinction.
The Anti Defamation League is also fighting hate around the country with programs focused on anti-Semitism, law enforcement training, extremism, cyberhate, and hate crime legislation. For all of these initiatives, collaboration has been key, which is why the upcoming Walk Against Hate will feature a Diversity Expo, where 12 local nonprofit organizations will set up booths. Walkers will be able to find an organization that connects with their passions and skills, and find a cause to support.
The participating organizations include:
Buddy Up Tennis
CHAI (Community Homes for Adults Inc.)
City of Dallas Office of Welcoming Communities & Immigrant Affairs
Collin County NAACP
Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights Initiative of North Texas
Inclusive Communities Project
Latino Voter Empowerment Coalition (LVEC)
Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC)/Faith Forward Dallas
Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas
Resource Center (Youth First)
After the walk, the hope is that Dallas advocates will take the next step to combat hate in their own corner of the city. “Our real work is in the community, so go to lunch with someone who doesn’t look like you. Get to know your neighbors. Find some common ground and build from there.” ADL’s work is purposefully not political, but it is principled, looking to call out hate in every expression. As our city stands up to bullying and intolerance, there will be no place for hate.
To find out more about the Walk Against Hate, or register a team, visit our Good Events Calendar.
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