ADL: Innovate Against Hate

Campus Challenge

One of the biggest challenges facing civil society is growing hate and extremism, and its increasing prevalence on America’s college campuses. Hate groups have demonstrated skill and sophistication with their use of marketing, technology, and social media tools to promote their ideologies. An effective way to confront and respond to the growing campus presence of these groups, and to erode their power and influence, is to mobilize individuals to create and implement localized, community-based campaigns that challenge all forms of hatred, while refocusing attention to positive alternatives and different perspectives. Social media and propaganda by extremist and hate groups is often targeted directly at young, impressionable youth. University students are in the best position to educate their peers about how to counter these narratives and empower each other.

ADL piloted ADL: Innovate Against Hate on 19 campuses throughout the United States in the 2018 Spring Semester. The program challenged student teams to design, pilot, implement and measure the success of a social or digital initiative, product or tool to help achieve the goal of countering all forms of hate and extremism, and promoting justice, equity and inclusion. The primary target audiences included at-risk youth, the silent majority, uncommitted population and civic-minded university students on campus.

At the end of the semester, upon submitting a creative brief for review by ADL, the top three teams were invited to present their ADL campaigns in front of a jury panel and an audience of industry leaders in June in Washington, DC, where the winner was determined.  

Program Objectives:

1.    Motivate or empower students to become involved in fighting hate and extremism
2.    Promote conversations within communities about how to prevent or heal from events designed to promote hate and extremism
3.    Galvanize other students to create their own initiatives, products, or tools to fight hate and extremism

Top Three Finalist Schools

First Place:
Boise State University, Boise, Idaho
Campaign Name: S.A.M.E. (Students Against Misogynistic Establishments)
Topic: Promoting Women's Rights, Raising Awareness about Domestic Violence

Second Place:
University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
Campaign Name: Maryland Frame
Topic: Countering the negative stereotypes and enhancing inclusion of the immigrant and international students at University of Maryland

Third Place
University of Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska
Campaign Name: Room at Our Table
Topic: Challenging Stereotypes and False Narratives about Refugees

Spring 2018 Participating Schools

Auburn University
Aurora University
Boise State University
Bridgewater State University
Clark Atlanta University
Colorado Mesa University
Coppin State University
Florida Institute of Technology
Mercyhurst University
Merrimack College
Ohio Northern University
San Jose State University
Texas Christian University
University of Arizona
University of California, Berkeley
University of Houston-Downtown
University of Maryland
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
University of Nebraska at Omaha