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January 31, 2014 1

Derrick Coleman: Creating Conversation About Differences

The Super Bowl is arguably one of the biggest days in Amer­i­can sports, and with good rea­son. In addi­tion to being a com­pe­ti­tion of the best two foot­ball teams in the most pop­u­lar sport in Amer­ica, this year it is also the kind of cel­e­bra­tion not often asso­ci­ated with pro­fes­sional sports.

Der­rick Cole­man, a run­ning back for the Seat­tle Sea­hawks, is the only legally deaf ath­lete in pro­fes­sional foot­ball his­tory to play offense. In early Jan­u­ary 2014, Cole­man served as the inspi­ra­tion for a major brand’s com­mer­cial where he talks about the impact his hear­ing impair­ment has had on his life. The video went viral and in less than a week, and had 5.5 mil­lion views.

Coleman’s per­sonal story pro­vides an excel­lent teach­ing oppor­tu­nity to dis­cuss dis­abil­i­ties and the impor­tance of safe­guard­ing the rights and dig­nity of peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties in our com­mu­ni­ties and around the world. As the U.S. Sen­ate debates whether to rat­ify an inter­na­tional treaty on dis­abil­ity rights , Derrick’s story pro­vides an oppor­tu­nity to put a human face on the impact that treaty can have on people’s lives.

Edu­ca­tion can be for­mal and infor­mal. We have cre­ated a new class­room les­son for teach­ers, but adults can cre­ate a les­son in their own liv­ing rooms dur­ing the Super Bowl. Here are a few ques­tions to the get the con­ver­sa­tion going with your friends and family.

  • Do you know what a dis­abil­ity is?
  • What’s unique about Der­rick Coleman?
  • What do you think it’s like to feel you are dif­fer­ent from every­one else?
  • What are some ways you could help oth­ers who are treated unfairly because they are different?

It’s not nec­es­sary to have all the answers.  The very act of cre­at­ing a con­ver­sa­tion about dif­fer­ence is a healthy and pro­duc­tive way to raise aware­ness that being dif­fer­ent is ok, and is in fact some­thing to celebrate.

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April 17, 2013 1

Bringing Holocaust Education to Alaska

Echoes and Reflec­tions staff trav­eled to a remote area of Alaska to deliver the program’s first pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment pro­gram in the state. The Echoes and Reflec­tions pro­gram has now offered pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment in 47 US states and Dis­trict of Colum­bia. The pro­gram has pro­vided edu­ca­tional resources on the Holo­caust to over 18,000 edu­ca­tors and com­mu­nity members.

Deb­o­rah Batiste, Project Direc­tor for Echoes and Reflec­tions, trav­eled from her office in Mary­land to Kodiak, Alaska to con­duct an in-person train­ing pro­gram that would be broad­cast by video-conference to other remote loca­tions so that addi­tional edu­ca­tors could take advan­tage of this pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment opportunity.

Nine­teen local edu­ca­tors attended the train­ing pro­gram in per­son and an addi­tional six edu­ca­tors par­tic­i­pated vir­tu­ally from addi­tional loca­tions at vil­lage schools on Kodiak Island.

Dur­ing the April 15th pro­gram, Deb­o­rah Batiste mod­eled active and col­lab­o­ra­tive learn­ing as par­tic­i­pants in Kodiak and those edu­ca­tors in remote loca­tions explored Les­son 4: The Ghet­tos from the Echoes and Reflec­tions Teacher’s Resource Guide and learned how to incor­po­rate visual his­tory tes­ti­mony from Holo­caust sur­vivors, res­cuers, and lib­er­a­tors into their teaching.

LeeAnn Schmelzen­bach, lit­er­a­ture teacher at Kodiak High School reflected on the program.

“I know the cost and dif­fi­culty for train­ers to come to our schools, but I also know the intense ben­e­fits such train­ings pro­vide for our teach­ers and, in turn, our stu­dents. This par­tic­u­lar train­ing was so help­ful. The resources that you were able to place in our hands are going to help me change the way I teach my stu­dents, and it will help me pro­vide more per­spec­tives for my stu­dents to view the Holocaust.”

 

A leader in Holo­caust edu­ca­tion, Echoes and Reflec­tions pro­vides com­pre­hen­sive pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment for mid­dle and high school edu­ca­tors and mul­ti­me­dia resources suit­able for history/social stud­ies, English/language arts, fine arts, social sci­ences, reli­gion, and other con­tent areas. The com­bined resources and exper­tise of three world lead­ers in education―the Anti-Defamation League, USC Shoah Foun­da­tion, and Yad Vashem―have resulted in a robust edu­ca­tional pro­gram to help US sec­ondary edu­ca­tors deliver accu­rate and authen­tic Holo­caust edu­ca­tion to today’s students.

To learn more about Echoes and Reflec­tions and upcom­ing pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties, visit www.echoesandreflections.org

Some pro­grams are avail­able via video-conferencing. To learn more about these pro­grams, con­tact: echoes@adl.org.

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January 18, 2013 1

ADL Workshop Cultivates Ally Behavior Online

Over the past few years the media has cov­ered many sto­ries about cyber­bul­ly­ing and its detri­men­tal effects on youth.  The research, and our own expe­ri­ences, make it clear that cyber­bul­ly­ing hurts the youth tar­geted and cre­ates a neg­a­tive expe­ri­ence for those who wit­ness the behav­ior.   We also know that youth are often tar­geted online because of their iden­tity, includ­ing their weight, real or per­ceived sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, gen­der expres­sion, reli­gion and race.

To help address issues of cyber­bul­ly­ing, ADL’s AWORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Insti­tute cre­ated Cyber­ALLY®, a half-day (3-hour) or full-day (6-hour) inter­ac­tive train­ing for mid­dle and high school-age youth that pro­vides prac­ti­cal infor­ma­tion and oppor­tu­ni­ties for skill-building.  Cyber­ALLY sup­ports youth in devel­op­ing per­sonal strate­gies for pro­tect­ing them­selves against cyber­bul­ly­ing as well as act­ing as cyberallies—preventing and tak­ing action against cyber­bul­ly­ing and social cru­elty in online forum.

We recently con­ducted a research eval­u­a­tion of Cyber­AL­LYto assess the effec­tive­ness of the train­ing pro­gram and gain insight into areas for improve­ment.  Funded by Cir­cle of Ser­vice and Microsoft, we con­tracted with an eval­u­a­tion research firm, TCC Group, to design and con­duct the eval­u­a­tion.  With TCC Group, we iden­ti­fied in research terms the out­comes we hoped to achieve with Cyber­ALLY:  1) aware­ness and knowl­edge about cyber­bul­ly­ing, 2) demon­stra­tion of respon­si­ble and eth­i­cal online behav­ior, and 3) abil­ity to be a CyberALLY.

The data analy­sis shows highly sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant improve­ment in all three out­come areas, indi­cat­ing that the Cyber­ALLY pro­gram is effec­tively equip­ping stu­dents to take action against cyber­bul­ly­ing. The stu­dents showed the great­est improve­ment in the out­come “the abil­ity to be a cyber­ally.”  Some spe­cific find­ings include: 93% of stu­dents indi­cated that they learned dif­fer­ent strate­gies for respond­ing to cyber­bul­ly­ing and online bias and 81% indi­cated that “all kids my age should par­tic­i­pate in this work­shop.”  By chang­ing the cul­ture from one of pas­sive bystanders to one of active cyber­al­lies, we can change the way stu­dents inter­act online. In all, the results of this eval­u­a­tion have shown that ADL is con­tribut­ing to fur­ther­ing the  over­all goal of fos­ter­ing increased cyber-civility and a cul­ture of e-safety among our youth.

For spe­cific strate­gies on how you can be a cyber­ally and address bias and bul­ly­ing online, visit www.adl.org/combatbullying.

 

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