No Place for Hate: Pledging respect, promoting equality

Anti-Defamation League initiative empowers students to improve cultural climates at their schools

“We started with nine schools, and even during a pandemic we had 235 schools complete the program during the 2019-2020 school year.”

That’s the ADL’s No Place for Hate initiative. ADL has fought discrimination for over a century around the world—and in the midst of an especially tumultuous year, schools remain committed as ever to complete No Place for Hate programming.

In 2000, the No Place for Hate initiative was adapted from the ADL’s New England office to an anti-bias and bullying prevention program suitable for the classroom. Susan Shaw, education director for ADL’s Southwest Region, says the school climate improvement framework “really allows students to look at the inequities on the school campus.”

As part of the initiative, a coalition of students and adults is formed, a resolution of respect is signed by school community members, and three anti-bias and/or diversity lessons are implemented throughout the school year.

Although Shaw is based in Houston, the program has extended across the country.

Enbridge is dedicated to improving lives in communities near our operations and projects, and has supported the Anti-Defamation League since 2005. This year, Enbridge gave $10,000 towards the No Place for Hate initiative for the 2020-21 school year, helping to fund ongoing resources, an annual luncheon and a recent youth summit.

While the ADL began with a focus on fighting antisemitism in 1913, the organization has evolved nationally and globally to advocate for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, voting rights, criminal justice reform, and race and racial justice, to name a few.

“Our founders learned early on that you can’t fight for the rights of one group without fighting for all groups,” says Shaw. “One of the best things the No Place for Hate initiative provides is a platform for members of the school community to talk openly and safely about these topics.”

A recent No Place for Hate Youth Summit in early October brought together thousands of students from approximately 700 middle and high schools across Texas. The summit was carried out virtually to reach the large number of students.

Without the No Place for Hate initiative, difficult and necessary conversations about real-time racial and discriminatory issues might not happen in such a widespread movement across the country.

“Anything that is going on in the community is going to come into the school environment, and we do our students a great disservice if we don’t talk about it,” says Shaw.

“No Place for Hate gives students the tools to address things in their community that are bothering them—so not only do they feel like they are processing issues, but they are doing something about it, too.”