ADL'S A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Institute Commemorates 10th Anniversary
Houston, TX, October 11, 2002 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today celebrated the founding of the A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute, its international, award-winning, anti-bias training program. Created in 1992 to coordinate anti-bias research, programming and training efforts, the Institute is comprised of four distinct departments - Classroom, Campus, Community and Workplace - which have reached millions of children and thousands of adults internationally.
The Institute is commemorating its 10-year anniversary this week with a celebration of the people who have learned to understand how they can have an impact on others and, ultimately, on the world they live in. Three individuals, Mamta Patel, the Deputy Director for the Office of State Police Affairs for the State of New Jersey, Jibran Shermohammed, an eighth grader from Snellville, Georgia, and Sophia Petrou, Principal of Houston Memorial Middle School, whose lives have been changed as a result of their participation in the Institute's programs described their involvement during the League's National Commission Meeting in Houston.
"We know that education is our best antidote to hate," said Abraham Foxman, ADL National Director. "The A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Institute provides skills and resources to help people understand the destructive impact that bias and prejudice can have on each of us personally, on our communities and our world. The Institute reaches people of all ages and in all segments of society - at work, home, in schools and places of worship."
"The A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Institute made a real difference in the Division of New Jersey State Police," said Ms. Patel. "The cutting edge materials and cultural awareness understanding of the ADL training program are top notch."
Central to the Institute's efforts are its school-based programs. More than 375,000 elementary and secondary school teachers - responsible for nearly 15 million students - have participated in A CLASSROOM OF DIFFERENCE, designed to address diversity issues in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade school communities. Programs for educators, administrators, students and their families are designed and delivered throughout the United States and internationally in ADL's 30 Regional Offices and through a large network of human relation specialists.
"The ADL Peer Training program has been instrumental in teaching students how to be a circle of influence on their circle of friends," said Ms. Petrou.
"When the opportunity came available I took the chance to make a difference," said Mr. Shermohammed. "With the help of ADL peer training I have a better understanding of other cultures and people."
The program's origins are in Boston, when in 1985, the ADL New England Regional Office and WCVB-TV began an ambitious one-year prejudice awareness and media campaign.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.