No Place for Hate® Luncheon Celebrates 15 Years of Initiative, Work of Three Educators

  • April 12, 2016

2016 is a special year for the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL’s) No Place for Hate® Initiative. This year marks the 15th year of the No Place for Hate® Initiative, the region’s signature education initiative, which empowers schools to promote respect for individual and group differences while challenging prejudice and bigotry.

The Luncheon will celebrate the anniversary with cake and compliments for the hundreds of schools that have achieved a No Place for Hate® designation, especially Hunters Creek Elementary School in Spring Branch ISD, Johnston Middle School in Houston ISD, and the Kinkaid Middle School, the three schools that have achieved the designation each year since the program began.

It also will honor three educators with the Walter Kase Teacher Excellence Awards, for their outstanding efforts to create a school atmosphere that promotes respect for and understanding of diversity.  Honorees include Klein ISD Superintendent Dr. James W. Cain, Kenneth E. Little Elementary School Counselor Yvonne DeLeon, and The Kinkaid Lower School Counselor Dr. Nancy Simpson.

Dr. Cain, Superintendent of Klein ISD, made character education one of the district’s two goals and set out to find a program that would produce results in the schools. After meeting Walter Kase and hearing about the No Place for Hate® Initiative, Dr. Cain encouraged all schools throughout the district to participate. As a “spin-off” of No Place for Hate®, Dr. Cain developed and implemented The Unite for Understanding Council, an adult advocacy group, charged with doing at least three anti-bias programs yearly in the community.

K. E. Little Elementary School Counselor DeLeon teaches students to be kind, tolerant and accepting of each other through the school’s Buddies Yes, Bullies No platform.   With her guidance, students learn how to respond to bullying and often become empowered to explain to the bully how his or her actions hurt, and ask the bully to stop. Ms. De Leon also created a student Welcome Committee that makes new students and others who visit the campus feel included and valued.

Focusing on the four core values of honesty, kindness, respect and responsibility, Dr. Simpson, the counselor at The Kinkaid Lower School, strives to help students be empathetic. Using ADL’s No Place for Hate® Initiative, as an important component of their character education program, Dr. Simpson promotes respect for and understanding of diversity, challenging students and teaching them how to see the ways we are similar rather than simply focusing the ways we are different.

The Teacher Excellence Award is named in memory of Walter Kase, a Polish-born Holocaust survivor who dedicated a quarter century of his life to telling students his personal story of surviving five camps and what that taught him about the dangers of prejudice and the importance of love and respect.

ADL’s No Place for Hate® Luncheon also will feature keynote speaker Dr. Jennifer Arnold, M.D. of Texas Children’s Hospital and TLC’s The Little Couple.

The Luncheon takes place at noon, May 4 at the Hilton Houston Post Oak, 2001 Post Oak, Houston, TX  77056.  It is generously underwritten by Sysco. Event chairs are Lyn F. Schmulen and her daughter, Caren S. Sweetland.  Tickets are $200 and tables start at $2500.  The luncheon is underwritten by a generous donation from Sysco.  Sponsors include SNCF, and longtime No Place for Hate® sponsor the H-E-B Tournament of Champions.

For more information or to buy tickets or tables, contact Angela Atlas at aatlas@adl.org.