“Students are more open to talking about race and identities this year,” said Cox. “It’s resonating differently when students have struggled with losing family members to COVID and feeling isolated. These programs provide a safe space for them to be themselves, where they don’t have to censor themselves.”
Those activities keep the school’s No Place for Hate certification in place. The requirement is that participants host three events during the year that touch every student. Schools can tap into resources and programs provided by the League, including a 45-minute video offering step-by-step guidelines on how to implement the program and activities.
“We’re always trying to adapt and update No Place for Hate to ensure we’re having the greatest impacts in our schools,” said Erin Beacham, ADL’s deputy regional director based in Buckhead. “But it’s up to the individual schools to decide what activities they want to build on each year. If something is happening in their community, they can pivot to address that. That’s why this program has been so successful: It has the ability to adapt to work on what’s most impactful for them.”
ADL’s Southeast region of Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee has 254 participating schools, a number that has grown 15% in the last year.
“That’s pretty incredible given they were finishing the school year virtually,” said Beacham. “It also says schools are looking to get involved and do positive things.”
Schools interested in participating for the current year should register by Oct. 28 at atlanta.adl.org/npfh.
SEND US YOUR STORIES. Each week we look at programs, projects and successful endeavors at area schools, from pre-K to grad school. To suggest a story, contact H.M. Cauley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-744-3042.