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Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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(Courtesy of SWC) The Simon Wiesenthal Center conducted Combat Hate workshops in New York City recently, working with 10,000 New York City students to engage them in critical thinking for decoding and rejecting online hate.

The Combat Hate workshops, which took place at 10 different schools throughout New York City, discussed the recent wave of violence in minority communities and schools throughout the United States.

New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams assisted in coordinating these workshops. Speaker Adams, in late April, took part in the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s 2022 Digital Hate Report press conference. The speaker and several other council members called for $5 million in funding for hate-crime prevention.

“Hate has no place in New York City, and we must work together to prevent hate violence,” said

Adams. “I was proud to partner with the Simon Wiesenthal Center to host a forum on digital terrorism and hate in my district. We will continue to unify to ensure that hate is rooted out in our city.”

The program featured a presentation from Jeff Schoep, a former neo-Nazi. Schoep shared his story about his entry and exit from the world of extremism and the powerful lessons that can be learned.

“I’m deeply honored to be part of these monumental efforts to unite people in our shared humanity,” Schoep said. “Thanks to the Simon Wiesenthal Center for providing leadership, vision and hope worldwide.”

The workshops took place at the following institutions: Pelham Preparatory Academy, High School of Language, Wagner Middle School, MS 53, Thomas White Jr. Foundation, Lincoln Hospital Auditorium, Rock Safe Streets, a subsidiary of Sheltering Arms, PS/MS 183Q, Collaborative Arts Middle School and PS 264.

The Combat Hate workshop is a dynamic, virtual workshop for grades 6 through 12 that engages students in critical thinking for decoding and rejecting online hate. Combat Hate is an online safety curriculum, aligned with International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) digital citizenship standards and based on foundational media literacy skills.

Students are challenged to interpret hateful messages from social media and their impact, exploring topics including antisemitism, racism and online humor. The workshop ends using an action planning worksheet which all students keep and share for ongoing use. The workshop provides an opportunity to begin and maintain critical conversations between adults and students regarding online safety and speaking up against hate.

Last year, the Simon Wiesenthal Center delivered approximately 125 workshops to middle and high school students across New York City. This year, the center will be delivering roughly 200 workshops and assemblies to continue tackling this critically important topic.

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