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MA: More than 800 Teens Take a Stand Against Hate

Boston, MA, March 9, 2007 ... More than 800 teens from throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts participated in the Anti-Defamation League's 13th Annual New England Youth Congress.

ADL New England Region's Youth Congress, a program within ADL's internationally recognized / nationally acclaimed anti-bias education program, The A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute, convened middle school and high school students and their teachers representing more than 50 Massachusetts communities for this year's program, "Valuing Diversity in a Nation of Immigrants." The program focused on the stereotyping, name calling, and exclusion of immigrants that has become all too common in our schools and communities.  In peer-led workshops, students examined the issues that immigrants face in their own schools and developed the tools to create a more inclusive learning environment.

ADL Regional Director Andrew Tarsy noted the importance of these workshops, saying, "Teens today are preparing to be leaders in an America that is more diverse than ever. This conference explored their attitudes about that diversity, and built their confidence and skill sets with regard to interrupting prejudice and respecting differences. Our aim is to help these young leaders appreciate the tremendous positive contributions of immigrants to the American story."
"If students are frequently subjected to misinformation and myths associated with immigrants," added Education Director Phil Fogelman, "they might find themselves believing they are true.  Some might even find themselves acting on the misinformation and myths—consciously or unknowingly—and, in doing so, marginalize newcomers because they speak other languages, or possess cultural differences."
Fogelman further explained the Youth Congress program as follows: "This program was designed with the value of diversity in mind, encouraging participants to meet students from other schools and communities. The opportunity to explore different immigrant backgrounds, geographic regions, and cultural traditions allowed all participants to come away with a better understanding and better appreciation of the value of diversity."

Among the communities represented in this year's program are: Ayer High School, Ayer; Beverly High School, Beverly; Boston Community Leadership Academy, Brighton; Brimmer and May School, Chestnut Hill; Briscoe Middle School, Beverly; Cameron Middle School, Framingham; Coakley Middle School, Norwood; Cohasset Middle High School, Cohasset; East Somerville Community School, Somerville; Framingham High School, Framingham; Fuller Middle School, Framingham; Gann Academy, Waltham; Greater Lawrence Technical School, Andover; Hamilton-Wenham Public Schools, Hamilton; Hingham Middle School, Hingham; Holten-Richmond Middle School, Danvers; Lincoln-Sudbury High School, Sudbury; Littleton High School, Littleton; Malden High School, Malden; Marblehead High School, Marblehead; Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School, Melrose; Merrimack High School, Chelmsford; Milton High School, Milton; Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Fitchburg; Mt. Mansfield Union High School, Jericho; Nazerene Christian Academy, New Bedford; North Shore Tech High School, Middleton; Oak Hill Middle School, Newton Centre; Pembroke Community Middle School, Pembroke; Pembroke High School, Pembroke; Pollard Middle School, Needham; Salem Academy Charter School, Salem;  Scituate High School, Scituate; Sharon High School, Sharon; Silver Lake Middle School, Kingston; Umana Barnes Middle School, Boston; Walsh Middle School, Framingham; West Boylston High School, West Boylston; Westwood High School, Westwood; Winthrop High School, Winthrop.

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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