A 2000 survey conducted by the Anti-Defamation League found that participation in the A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Institute's Names Can Really Hurt Us Assembly Program allows students open, honest and relevant exploration about diversity and bias in their school communities. More than 600 students and staff from two Southern California High Schools participated in the study.
Evaluations findings that as a result of participation:
- 47% of students perceived one or more positive changes in other student's behavior.
- 39% of students reported that at least one positive change had taken place among teachers.
- 68% of students reported to be more interested in other cultures.
- 76% of students would recommend this program to students at other schools.
- 60% of students reported that they would be less likely to call someone a name.
- 60% of students claimed their own behavior had changed in a positive way, even three months after the assembly.
What students had to say
"I feel like I accomplished something...like I helped people-and myself...I think everyone should be able to experience this during their high school years."
"This is the most valuable thing this school has ever put together. For the first time I feel proud to be a student here."
"I never realized until today how much I have hurt other people. I'm glad to be able to say 'I'm sorry'."
"We all have much in common-experiences with prejudice unite us all. If we can only make the connection that prejudice hurts everyone, it will be a big step towards change."
What teachers and administrators had to say
"We had an incredible day. Kids were thinking, really thinking, about the implications of what they say."
"It was the greatest day I ever had. The program gave me a new connection with the kids, many of whom are experiencing the same things I've already experienced."
"The day was powerful. But more important, we have an action-plan; next steps to ensure that this is more than a 'feel good' day."
"The ADL staff became our partners in this program. They trained us, and helped us process the thoughts and feelings of students, and then challenged us to go forward and make changes."