Press Release

ADL In Concert Against Hate Honors Leaders Fighting Antisemitism and Racism

This year’s award winners include Holocaust survivors, voting rights and racial justice advocates, and students creating discussions around antisemitism on college campuses.

New York, NY, December 9, 2021 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) will recognize six individuals for their extraordinary courage and compassion when confronted with bigotry and hate as part of the 27th annual ADL In Concert Against Hate.

The free virtual event, taking place at 8 pm ET/ 5 pm PT on Sunday, December 12, will be hosted by Karamo and feature performances from an all-star lineup of musicians and performers including Josh Groban, Gloria Estefan, Joshua Bell, The American Pops Orchestra and members of the National Symphony Orchestra as well as  appearances by Judith Light, Jason Alexander and Norm Lewis.

“While at times the fight against hate can seem overwhelming, it’s inspiring to learn about incredible individuals who have taken on these challenges in their communities,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. “These courageous individuals have demonstrated that even in difficult times, there is immense opportunity for progress, dialogue and greater understanding. We are honored to share their stories and encourage others to fight hate for good.”

Actors, musicians, civil rights leaders, policymakers, and friends of ADL will join the free event to celebrate this year’s honorees, each of whom has stood up to hate, injustice, and bias so that others will not have to experience the same. The individuals, who will be presented with the ADL Kay Family Award, are:

  • Rabbi Philip and Ruth Lazowski

Rabbi Philip Lazowski and his wife Ruth are both Holocaust survivors whose story of perseverance and dedication to the Jewish community is remarkable. Rabbi Lazowski and his wife, Ruth, have dedicated their lives to advocating against hate and sharing their personal stories of living through the Holocaust. They are true leaders in their community, having led more than 33 trips to Israel and serving as educators and religious leaders for decades.

  • Jessica Owyoung

Jess Owyoung, a fourth generation Chinese American who was devastated by the violence against Asian Americans, co-founded “Compassion in Oakland” with other concerned community members. Inspired by a social media post from co-founder Jacob Azevedo who offered to walk with anyone who felt vulnerable, the organization pairs volunteer chaperones with elderly Asian Americans in the community who may feel unsafe going on walks or running errands. Today, more than 1,000 volunteers have stepped up in Oakland, representing all racial backgrounds, cultures and ages. Jess’s leadership has helped the organization to launch additional services such as self-defense workshops and expand to other communities and cities.

  • Olivia Coley-Pearson

Olivia Coley-Pearson of Douglas, a small town in Coffee County, GA, has for decades led the fight there for voter rights. She was criminally charged with voter fraud in 2012 for legally helping one Black voter cast a ballot, brought to trial for that in 2016, and charged again in the 2020 elections. Pearson has seen meaningful growth in voter registration and turnout, and her goal is to inspire the Douglas’ Black residents and to provide voters with ways to right racial wrongs.

  • Julia Jassey and Isaac de Castro

Julia Jassey and Isaac de Castro were shocked by the frequency of antisemitic experiences they personally witnessed as students on their college campuses — encounters that often went unchallenged by campus administrations. Realizing they must not be alone in this experience, they created “Jewish on Campus” – an Instagram campaign and shared online space for students to anonymously share their experiences of campus-based antisemitism. Given the success of the campaign and the clear need for a space for Jewish students to connect and share their experiences, the duo expanded their advocacy to confront antisemitism as well as to expose it. Now an international advocacy organization, “Jewish on Campus” has more than 30,000 followers and is committed to exposing antisemitism on campus globally and emboldening a new generation. 

The first ADL In Concert Against Hate was held in 1995 as a special event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust. The concert honored the memory of four individuals who are recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations” – non-Jews who rescued Jews from the Nazis. Response to the concert was so overwhelming that what was intended as a one-time celebration was transformed into an annual tradition, which brings thousands together to be inspired by the stories of real heroes and to stand up against all forms of bigotry, injustice and extremism.

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