350 middle school students and 75 educators from No Place for Hate® campuses participated in the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL’s) Beau and Abe Merfish No Place for Hate® Youth Summit October 23 at the South Texas College of Law.
The students, from numerous school districts in ADL’s Southwest Region spent all day learning how to recognize bullying, how to prevent it, and how to respond to it.
Students first attended an ADL’s A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute Step Up! Assembly, a program for middle schools students designed to give a voice to the targets of bullying and prejudice, build empathy in the aggressors and inspire bystanders to become allies. Then they divided up into breakout sessions where they participated in activities from ADL’s Becoming an Ally workshop.
While the students worked on anti-bullying strategies, the educators who came to the Youth Summit attended a session on No Place For Hate®. There, they worked on redefining what qualifies as a No Place for Hate® activity, and reaffirming the purpose of No Place for Hate®. They also explored ADL’s educational resources.
After the breakout sessions, students returned to classrooms with their sponsors to work on action plans for achieving the No Place for Hate® designation in the 2015-2016 school year.
“The Beau and Abe Merfish No Place for Hate® Youth Summit is a labor of love, not just for me, but for ADL’s staff and all of our terrific volunteers,” said Susan Shaw, ADL Associate Director. “It’s a chance for us to engage hundreds of students in one day of activities exploring the harms of name-calling and bullying and developing and practicing skills to respond to incidents. “
ADL’s partners in the Summit are the H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Marathon Oil, SNCF America, Spectra Energy, and Sysco. Sponsors of the Youth Summit include, Fund for the Future of the ADL Southwest Region, Rochelle, Alan, Julie and Scott Jacobson, South Texas College of Law, University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work and Jason’s Deli.