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Press ReleaseBlack-Jewish Relations
Groups, Individuals Recognized for Their Community Efforts at ADL's Crown Heights: A Decade of Building Bridges Awards Ceremony

New York, N.Y., August 13, 2001 … In the ten years since riots broke out in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, several groups and individuals have worked to promote healing and understanding in the community. For their efforts to bring together the African-American and Jewish populations in Crown Heights, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today honored Mothers to Mothers, the Crown Heights Youth Collective and former Clara Barton High School teacher Connie Cuttle with the ADL Building Bridges Award, which recognizes those who have encouraged dialogue, relationships and intergroup understanding.  "It is important to recognize the great strides that have been made in Crown Heights in the last ten years," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
"Groups like the Crown Heights Youth Collective and Mothers to Mothers and outstanding community leaders, like Connie Cuttle, present the community with a common ground that helps people to realize that while differences exist, many similarities are also present."

"Crown Heights is certainly a better place right now because of the people in this room," said Martin E. Karlinsky, ADL New York Regional Board Chairman. "Working toward change, these individuals and groups are making a difference by encouraging dialogue and cross-cultural understanding." ADL presented Building Bridges awards to:

  • Richard Greene, founder and director of the Crown Heights Youth Collective, who accepted on behalf of the organization.
  • Henna White, co-founder, on behalf of Mothers to Mothers, an organization that brings together African-American, Caribbean-American and Jewish mothers of Crown Heights
  • Connie Cuttle, former coordinator of student affairs and teacher at Clara Barton High School in Crown Heights and founder of SAVE, Students Against Violence Everywhere

Speaking on behalf of Mothers to Mothers, Ms. White said, "From tragedy, we got a wakeup call. We realized that if we didn't open our hearts and start talking and working together, none of us would make it. We've learned to live and work together and to become one community, not two, making Crown Heights a better place."

Additionally, the ADL Peer Training Program, created in the wake of the rioting, was given a special honor. Nicola Waddell, a graduate in the first group of Peer Trainers at Clara Barton, accepted the award as a representative for the entire class.

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.

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