March 2 marked the graduation of six members of the Southwest Region’s Glass Leadership Institute (GLI) in what was an unusual year, to say the least. GLI is designed to empower young leaders to fight bigotry and bias and gives them the opportunity to get an inside look at ADL and what it does in the fight against hate.
This year’s participants included Robert Finder, Brian Holzman, Chelsea Klumpp, James Spear, Louis Williams, and Josh Zwickl.
Traditionally, participants attend a number of in-person sessions focused on different aspects of ADL’s work, such as education, technology, development, civil rights and combatting extremism, but COVID-19 forced Associate Director of Development and GLI coordinator Bailey Player and lay coordinators Rebecca Ahrens and Sarah Robinson to schedule virtual sessions and create other avenues for learning.
This year’s GLI sessions saw the development of a book club, and a teambuilding exercise, both geared toward helping participants develop leadership skills.
The graduation ceremony, also virtual, included congratulations and encouragement from Board Chair Mark Trachtenberg and Southwest Regional Director Mark Toubin, breakout sessions with representatives of the Southwest Region’s committees to encourage participants to work with ADL committees. The evening also featured testimonials from the participants about what they had learned and how they hoped to continue with ADL.
“I didn’t realize until GLI the depth and reach and scope of ADL’s work and how nimble it remains in an ever-changing environment,” James Spear said. “I hope that this is the beginning of a long journey for me with the ADL.”