Harnessing Technology to Combat Bias and Build Respect: ADL Announces Online Interactive Educational Initiative
Update: The launch of the Online Institute, originally slated for January 2007, has been pushed back due to technical issues. Information on the official launch of "Making Diversity Count" will be made available in mid-2007.
Washington, DC, April 24, 2006 … A new groundbreaking online educational initiative to combat bias and promote respect was previewed today by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an industry leader in the development and delivery of anti-bias training and diversity education programs and services. The Online A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute will provide on-demand, Web-based training programs and services reaching into schools, homes, corporations, law enforcement agencies and other entities. The unveiling of the project was made at the League's annual Shana Amy Glass National Leadership Conference in Washington, DC.
"Developing the skills, knowledge and awareness to live, work and play successfully in our increasingly diverse society will be only a mouse-click away," said Barbara B. Balser, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Through the Internet, vast numbers of individuals will have access at their work or home to the most advanced and comprehensive tools for combating prejudice and promoting understanding and respect."
Funding for the development of the infrastructure of the Online Institute and its first course offering for educators was provided by the Ford Foundation and the Sylvia and Leon P. Nagin Family Foundation.
"The ADL is a leader in the fight against bigotry and discrimination," said Susan V. Berresford, president of the Ford Foundation. "The practical approaches it has developed to teach tolerance and promote diversity are more important now than ever, and we are pleased to help share them with a worldwide audience."
The Nagin Family Foundation supports the wishes of its founders, Sylvia and Leon P. Nagin, that all people respect and understand each other. "The Foundation believes education is one of the major tools to achieve this goal," said Laurance Nagin, a son of the founders. "ADL's important new teaching tool uses the Internet and modern technology to allow this information to be accessed worldwide reaching the largest population to accomplish the mission of the Foundation."
Making Diversity Count, the inaugural training course, an interactive and engaging professional development online training program for secondary school educators, will go live in January 2007. Educators enrolled in the Making Diversity Count course will: Develop critical skills to combat prejudice and bias in high-schools; use "learn-by-doing" technology to create inclusive, safe learning environments for young adults; learn from experts in the field of education and explore current research related to identity development, bullying and name-calling prevention and intervention, and cross-cultural communication; gain anti-bias curricula for use in the classroom.
ADL is currently exploring a partnership with the University of Massachusetts, Amherst School of Education, to review course content and research, provide continuing education and academic credit for course participants.
An Advisory Board of Experts comprised of professionals representing such organizations as the National Staff Development Council, National Council for the Teachers of English, National PTA, and National Association for Multicultural Education, supports the project through review and feedback of course content, outreach to schools and with educators for the pilot phase of activities and guidance on strategic planning for national launch and dissemination.
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.