The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has designated 87 New York area schools from across the five boroughs, upstate, Westchester County, Long Island and Northern New Jersey as “No Place For Hate” for their efforts in creating safe learning environments, bringing awareness to the issues of bullying and bias, and promoting unity and respect.
During a ceremony Tuesday at The Skirball Center for Performing Arts, ADL recognized more than 600 students and educators. The event included keynote remarks by the Chancellor of New York City Schools Carmen Fariña, who expressed the importance of standing up against bullying.
No Place For Hate®, an ADL initiative offering students, teachers, administrators and family members the opportunity to work together to enhance a culture of respect in the school community, encourages schools to complete various activities and projects to promote unity and reduce bullying, name-calling and other expressions of bias.
“The ceremony really shined a light on the tremendous impact the initiative has on young students’ experiences at school,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director. “Students shared various personal stories about stereotypes and bullying incidents and how No Place For Hate helped them understand why an inclusive school community is so important for a healthy learning environment.”
“If there was ever a time we needed ‘No Place For hate,’ it’s now,” said Chancellor Fariña in her remarks to the students and educators. “We must stand up for what’s right and sometimes it’s hard. We must be inclusive in our schools and the cafeteria is a great place to start. There is always room for one more at the table.”
ADL also presented its Making a Difference Award to Hudson Taylor, founder and Executive Director of Athlete Ally for his work to end homophobia and transphobia in sports and educate athletic communities to stand up against anti-LGBT discrimination.
Samantha Alzate, an eighth grader at BELL Academy in Queens, and Kenelson Marcellin, a 12th grader at Brooklyn International High School, along with educator Sean McInerney from P176X in the Bronx, were presented with the ADL Alexander Bodini Prize for Diversity, an award given to those who went above and beyond in making their schools No Place For Hate.
This year’s ceremony also featured a special video message from world renowned entrepreneur and Shark Tank star Daymond John, who personally congratulated the schools for working hard to eliminate bias and bullying from their schools. Jada Mothersill, a 5th grade student at the Christy J. Cugini Port Richmond School/PS 20 in Staten Island, closed the ceremony by singing “Lean on Me.”
Since its inception in 1999, No Place for Hate® has directly reached over 3.5 million people and is currently active in more than 1,500 schools and communities nationwide.