This Thursday there’s a fundraising party you won’t want to miss, ADL’s True Colors at Wanderlust Live. You’ll want to be there because first, all your friends will be there and, second, because now more than ever, we need ADL.
The Anti-Defamation League sounds like an old-school charity, but it’s mission is (unfortunately) extremely relevant for our times. Karen Gross, the Austin community director (and GCA New Philanthropist for 2012), tells us more.
The mission of ADL is to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Want to tell me about a couple recent accomplishments in the Austin area?
The Austin ADL is playing an important role in this community as convenor of civil rights groups, law enforcement and community leaders.
Two years ago, a Hate Crimes Task Force was launched with the aspirational goal of creating a respectful community free of hate. ADL is proud to be spearheading this effort along with so many committed leaders including District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, County Attorney David Escamilla, City Council members Morrison, Cole and Tov, Chief Art Acevedo among others. This task force is looking out how we can prevent bias, bullying and bigotry on the front end, but also how we respond when an incident occurs.
Additionally, ADL’s school-based No Place for Hate campaign has grown tremendously over the past couple of years and we are now reaching over 200 schools with our anti-bias/anti-bullying program. The purpose of this campaign is to empower young people to take responsibility for what happens in the school community. Austin students learn how to be an ally in the face of bullying and bigotry, the value of accepting and respecting individual differences and ultimately will be more successful in an ever diversifying society.
True Colors is just three years old and was designed to create an avenue for younger Austinites to learn about the mission of ADL — to secure justice and fair treatment for all– through a well-messaged and engaging event experience and to invite an opportunity for folks to give at a level that is more affordable then some of the other more traditional dinner events we host.
This event is different because it is a group of all young, creative and compassionate volunteers who are calling on their friends to leverage in kind donations of food, music, art and more. It’s a grassroots event that will have a meaningful call to action. At ADL we pride ourselves on creating fundraising events that inspire and leave attendees feeling like they were part of an experience, this year’s event will be no different.
Sometimes the greatest progress in society comes in the aftermath of tragic events. The launch of our local hate crimes task force formed following the beating of two gay males outside of our city hall. Now we are bringing communities together, focusing on prevention not just within our schools but also in the corporate community, identifying internal processes within APD that can be improved and exploring ways to restore or heal victims of hate.
The devastating news about the shooting in Wisconsin at a Sikh Temple just reinforces the significant need for ADL’s work. ADL exists to combat hate and extremism and to preserve a healthy, pluralistic democratic society. As we enter our Centennial year we will be reflecting on the progress that has been made over the past 100 years but also looking forward with hope that 100 years from now our work will not be needed.
True Colors tickets can be purchased online at adl.org/truecolors