ADL launches centennial year campaign
Special to the Jewish Ledger
HAMDEN – In an effort to raise public awareness of the consequences of unchecked hatred and prejudice in society, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has launched a major public awareness initiative that will use public service announcements, video and social media to encourage individuals and communities to stand up to hatred and bigotry.
The centerpiece is a compelling 80-second public service video that imagines the contributions that victims of high-profile hate crimes might have made to society had their lives not been brutally cut short by racism, homophobia or antisemitism. Set to John Lennon’s iconic song “Imagine,” the video pays tribute to the lives of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., hate crime victims Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr., Holocaust-era diarist Anne Frank, former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and slain journalist Daniel Pearl, by imagining their impact on society had they survived into the present day.
“In our work over the last 100 years, and particularly in the aftermath of the Holocaust and other incidents of hate, we have always asked the question, ‘What if?’ ‘What if’ America had been a more tolerant and welcoming society? ‘What if’ more people had stood up to defy Hitler? What kind of world could we imagine for our children and grandchildren if more people stood up to say ‘no’ to racism, bigotry, prejudice and antisemitism?” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director and a Holocaust survivor. “As we look toward the future, we are hopeful that the dream of a world without hate will become a reality, as more and more individuals join ADL as allies in building a world where hate is not fostered, and where diversity is embraced as a cherished strength.”
“We’re so excited to have unveiled this powerful and moving video,” added Gary Jones, ADL Connecticut Regional Director. “We’re working hard to create a world without hate starting right here in Connecticut, and we are proud to have so many allies in Connecticut to help us pursue that noble goal.”
The Imagine a World Without Hate campaign was conceived by ADL in partnership with the creative team at Publicis Kaplan Thaler in honor of the centennial anniversary of the organization’s founding in 1913. It is one piece of a larger initiative to promote the League’s century of work toward a more respectful and inclusive society throughout the organization’s centennial year in 2013 and beyond.
The public service video may be viewed on the ADL web site at www.adl.org/imagine and through its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ADL.Connecticut. The ADL Imagine Web page will also feature biographies about each of the individuals in the video, and a call to action where individuals, communities and corporations can learn how to take steps to create a world without hate, by taking actions in their own lives to counteract prejudice, bigotry and bullying. After seeing the video, viewers are asked to respond to the question, “How will you create a world without hate?” by submitting their own pledges, stories, videos, photos, and art work of how they are taking action. As part of the campaign, ADL will be highlighting these ally stories throughout the year, honoring those who are taking steps against hate.
In addition to being promoted across social media and the Internet, a one-minute version of the ADL “Imagine a World Without Hate” video will be aired in some local markets on broadcast and cable television.
“We are deeply grateful to those who are partnering with us during our centennial year to advance our mission of combating prejudice and bigotry,” said Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL national chair. “We are especially grateful to the estate of John Lennon, the Matthew Shepard Foundation, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Foundation, the Daniel Pearl Foundation, the Harvey Milk Foundation, and to the family of James Byrd, Jr., who have given us not only their blessing to make this video, but their time and energies to help us bring this important public service campaign to life.”