A century later, the ADL is still fighting discrimination, racism and anti-Semitism. Its broadened scope is exemplified by the third Walk Against Hate, to be held Sunday in Philadelphia.
From 1 to 4 p.m., hundreds of area residents of all ages are expected to join in the 5K walk along Martin Luther King Drive.
Barry Morrison, ADL regional director, said the walk is “a great way for people from all walks of life to stand together.”
The registration fee is $10 for adults and $5 for youths. To register, go to walkagainsthate.org.
Funds raised will be used to support the ADL’s mission, but Morrison said the walk is not just a fundraiser: It spreads messages of cultural appreciation and the value of diversity, and inspires participants to fight against hatred, he said.
At first, the ADL consisted of two desks in a Chicago lawyer’s office and a $200 budget.
It could not have appeared on the scene at a more pivotal moment. On Aug. 25, 1913, a Jew named Leo Frank was convicted in Georgia of murdering a 13-year-old Christian girl, and two years later he was lynched by a mob led by prominent citizens. Frank was posthumously pardoned in 1986.
Through the years, the ADL has battled high-profile cases ranging from exposing the falsehoods in Henry Ford’s The International Jew to combating KKK leaders David Duke and Tom Metzger to working with Internet providers in preventing hateful incidents.
In Philly, the first ADL office opened in 1955. The regional office, which also serves South Jersey and Delaware, has programs ranging from providing elementary schools with books promoting anti-bias and anti-bullying messages to helping train law-enforcement professionals to respect citizens’ rights.
Walkers on Sunday may want to keep in mind the five Philly men who were on the original ADL executive committee roster: