MALDEF Honors ADL For Efforts To Combat Bigotry
New York, NY, March 3, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has been honored by the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization for spearheading efforts to combat bigotry, discrimination and hate crime against Latinos and other minorities.
The League accepted the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund's (MALDEF) Community Service Award on February 24 during its 10th Annual Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. The League has worked closely with MALDEF and other Latino civil rights groups in recent years in helping to confront a wave of anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric and to respond to anti-immigrant hate crimes.
"We are deeply moved by this honor," said Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair, who accepted the award along with Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "I don't have to tell anyone why a group like the Anti-Defamation League is concerned about the wave of demonization, discrimination, and hate violence that has targeted Mexican Americans and Latinos. You live it. We all understand that the policies adopted in the halls of government – and the words we hear from politicians and on the nightly news – have a direct impact on the ability of any of us to live in dignity and equality."
ADL was recognized for being at the forefront of national and state efforts combating hate crime, raising awareness of the disturbing rise of hate crimes against Latinos and other minorities, and exposing the virulent anti-immigrant rhetoric that has risen to the surface as part of the public debate over immigration.
"We cannot let the task of fighting hate fall to its victims alone," Mr. Lewy said. "We must have allies who can be counted upon to raise their voices alongside ours. The discrimination, bigotry and hate violence that is targeting Mexican Americans and Latinos today hurts all of us, offends all of us. When you take your case to court, to Congress and to the American people, know that you are not alone. We are standing right beside you, and that's where we intend to stay."
The League has adapted a number of its signature anti-bias education and diversity training programs and other resources to address issues and needs in the Hispanic/Latino community in English and Spanish, with programs available to schools, universities, businesses, community organizations and law enforcement agencies.
The MALDEF Community Service Award recognizes leaders in the public and private sector who have been critical forces in advancing the goals of the community and providing social justice for Latinos.
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.