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February 4, 2014

FBI Hosts ADL Extremism Training for North Texas/Oklahoma Regional Office

ADL’s North Texas/Oklahoma Regional Office provided a day-long training on domestic extremism to 161 local, state and federal law enforcement officers representing 40 agencies on January 29. The training was co-sponsored and hosted by the FBI, Dallas Division.dallas-fbi-adl-extremism-training

ADL’s Dr. Mark Pitcavage and Oren Segal, two of the Directors of ADL’s Center on Extremism, presented training on the activity, tactics and ideology of various domestic extremists movements and groups. Dr. Pitcavage focused on anti-government movements, including sovereign citizens, as well as white supremacists. Mr. Segal focused on the radicalization process and criminal activity associated with homegrown extremists motivated by radical interpretations of Islam, as well as the role of the Internet in the radicalization process.

“The FBI Dallas Division is proud to partner with ADL on a number of initiatives, including law enforcement training opportunities,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Donald Freese. “These conferences strengthen national security by training law enforcement to identify and prevent hate crimes and extremism in our community.”

“ADL is grateful to the FBI for being strong community partners, helping to provide such important trainings for law enforcement throughout our Region,” said ADL North Texas/Oklahoma Community Director Roberta S. Clark. “In addition to providing critically important training, these opportunities allow us to inform law enforcement professionals about the many ways ADL can be of assistance to them in areas of hate crimes, hate groups, extremists and terrorists.”

The FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association generously hosted a Continental breakfast for the participants. The training evaluations were overwhelmingly positive and expressed great appreciation to ADL for providing such an important opportunity.

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April 17, 2013

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

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

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January 18, 2013

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


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