Anti-Defamation League Expands No Place for Hate Program

The effort to fight prejudice and strengthen respect is moving out of the classroom and into the community. Houston Public Radio's Rod Rice reports that the Anti-Defamation League is expanding its No Place for Hate program.

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No Place for Hate began six years and has now been introduced into 200 area schools. Committing to the program requires that each school do activities to alleviate bigotry and prejudice. Judy Kajander at Dulles High School in the Fort Bend school district says the school's Diversity Club has been participating for five years.

"One year they collaborated with the Art Club and drew a big mural in an outside courtyard and made peace poles with the eight predominate languages spoken at Dulles. It's really cool. It took them a long time to draw up the plan and paint it out, but it's permanent and it really honors the diversity at our school."

Kajander says one year students made a motivational CD about diversity. She says the key to success is to involve more then just the Diversity Club.

"When we plan a project we want to try to have impact for the whole school. So, when we did our week of embracing diversity every classroom was involved in someway with the motivational CD."

The Anti-Defamation League has just recently kicked off the effort to expand No Place for Hate. Martin Cominsky is the ADL's Regional Director. He says the participating schools have been doing a great job.

"We realize though that education is a life long experience and it's important that parents, and churches and businesses adopt the same mantra that schools have to make our whole city a community of respect."

The ADL wants businesses, churches, organizations of all types, to take part in No Place for Hate. Cominsky says it's simple, first, commit to the idea and then plan activates to demonstrate that commitment. Cominsky says ADL will even help with ideas.

"In our resource guide we have 115 ideas, but certainly you could go beyond that. The first thing you do is sign a resolution of respect, that says we're going to be a respectful institution, we're going to understand the differences in diversity in our environment and we're going to build on that. And then the activities could be anything from just even acknowledging holidays. The holidays of many different religions and cultures are represented there, so you can realize that today may be a very special day for someone of a different religion."

That acknowledgment of differences leads to respect for differences and moves the area closer to being one in which there is no place for hate. For more on this effort you'll find a link at kuhf.org.

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Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...