ADL to honor Dr. Walter Harrison and others


Special to the Ledger

HAMDEN – Dr. Walter Harrison, president f the University of Hartford, Deacon Arthur and Sandra Miller and the Anwar family will be honored at the Greater Hartford Torch of Liberty Award Reception of the Anti-Defamation League to be held on Tuesday, Sept. 24 in West Hartford.

Dr. Walter Harrison

Dr. Walter Harrison

Dr. Walter Harrison is the University of Hartford’s fifth president, a role in which he has served since 1998. He serves on the boards of directors of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges and the Hartford Consortium of Higher Education. He is a trustee or director of a number of other organizations, including Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, the Connecticut Science Center, and Suffield Academy.

“I am delighted to receive the Torch of Liberty Award on the ADL’s 100th anniversary,” said Harrison. “As the world’s leading organization in promoting understanding and tolerance among religious, racial, and ethnic groups, ADL has special meaning for me.  At the University of Hartford, we are proud to share these goals in a diverse, energetic, and peaceful community of people from throughout the United States and around the world.”

Deacon Arthur and Sandra Miller

Deacon Arthur L. Miller is the director of the Office for Black Catholic Ministries for the Archdiocese of Hartford. In addition to his assigned parishes, he is the Catholic chaplain at Hartford’s Capital Community College. Miller, who addresses issues of social injustice at public forums, houses of worship, and schools and universities across the country, often speaks to audiences about his former schoolmate, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy who in 1955 was brutally murdered in Mississippi for allegedly whistling at a white woman. He was a participant in Connecticut ADL’s first Interfaith Mission to Israel in 2007.  Sandra Miller is the office manager for Small Christian Communities for the Archdiocese of Hartford. She was an active participant in ADL’s “Names Can Really Hurt Us” program while working at the Watkinson School in Hartford. The Millers are residents of Windsor.

Dr. Saud Anwar is a founder and co-chair of the American Muslim Peace Initiative, which works to strengthen intrafaith understanding within Islam and interfaith understanding between Islam and other religions. He is a member of ADL’s Interfaith Coalition on Mosques, which was formed in 2010 to support Muslim communities facing unfair discrimination when trying to legally build or expand mosques around the United States. Like Deacon Miller, he was a participant in Connecticut ADL’s first Interfaith Mission to Israel in 2007. He is the founder and past president of the Pakistani American Association of Connecticut and a member of the Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee, a national nonprofit. He also serves on the board of directors of Ibtida, an organization that works to improve the literacy of women and children in rural areas of Pakistan. Dr. Yusra Anwar has been nominated by Catholic Charities to be recognized by the State of Connecticut for her consistent support of refugees of all faiths and backgrounds across Connecticut. The Anwars’ two sons are also active in communal affairs. Taha, 16, is is an intern for the U.S. Attorney’s office. Taseen, 14, recently traveled to Haiti to visit the South Windsor Haiti School, a two-pronged project which aims to improve education in Haiti as well as interfaith relations among the Jewish, Muslim and Christian volunteers in Connecticut helping to build the school. The Anwars reside in South Windsor.

The Anwar Family

The Anwar Family

“This year, ADL is commemorating its Centennial. We are proud to have been in the business of fighting hate for 100 years. We are just as proud of our recognition from ADL’s inception that if we wanted to fight hate against any one group of people in our society, then we had better be prepared to fight hate against any group in our society. That’s just what we do,” said Gary Jones, ADL regional director.

“Our Centennial theme asks for us all to “Imagine a World Without Hate.” To achieve that lofty goal, we need the help and support of good people from all backgrounds. That is why we at ADL work so hard to bring good people together to stand side by side to oppose all forms of bigotry and discrimination. Here in Connecticut, we are proud of the quality of the people who stand up and say that they are proud to be associated with ADL. It would truly be difficult to imagine honorees more committed to the goals of ADL than the Anwar family, Deacon Art and Sandra Miller and President Walter Harrison.”

For more information on the Torch of Liberty Award Reception contact Jan Magid, jmagid@adl.org or (203) 288-6500 x313.

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