Reducing Prejudice

The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center has established as one of its goals the reduction of prejudice in our community. We advocate through adult education programs, films and exhibits, releases to media, and ongoing work in religious institutions, schools and community groups. This is a consistent theme in all of our education programs.

Most young people visit the Holocaust Center in school groups and learn about the prejudices that allowed the Holocaust to happen. Some students, however, require a more intensive, individual approach. The Holocaust Center offers several programs designed to meet a variety of needs.

UpStanders:Stand Up to Bullying

There is no question that bullying in its many forms has caught the public’s attention. In response to this growing concern, the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center created its UpStander program as a core part of its mission. The problem of bullying and child-on-child violence will take time, community effort and resources to address. We believe that this is an important, productive step to help children become more responsible for the well-being of others, and to ensure that all children can feel safer in their school and in their community.

The Center has often used bullying as an easily-understood example of bystander and rescuer behavior during the Holocaust. This new project formalizes these lessons, asking children to stand up for others who are in distress.

Other Programs

Prejudice Reduction Education Programs
Hate groups frequently view schools as fertile ground for recruiting new members. There are documented incidents of such recruitment at schools across the country and in our own community. Young people may be drawn into a hate group for personal reasons. Once inside, however, they are indoctrinated with the group’s philosophy of prejudice and violence. An intense effort is required to counteract this influence. The Holocaust Center offers individually tailored education programs for young people who have become involved in hate group activities. Most frequently, participation in this program is ordered by a judge as part of the sentence imposed for the commission of a “hate crime”. The structure and duration of this program depends entirely on individual circumstances.

Prejudice Awareness Classes
Some young people who become involved in incidents involving prejudice are not members of hate groups. They may benefit from a program developed by the Holocaust Center at the request of the Juvenile Alternative Services Program (JASP) of the Orange County Juvenile Court. It is also open to referrals from public and private schools and from parents. It consists of a short-term program at the Holocaust Center for the young person and (if possible) his/her parent(s) and is designed to communicate the following themes:

  • Attitudes of prejudice and acts of discrimination are part of our history. The ramifications of this history continue to exert an influence on the present.
  • The common bonds of humanity shared by all people are of greater significance than individual or group differences.
  • Anyone can develop or reject attitudes of prejudice. Anyone can commit, facilitate, or oppose acts of discrimination.
  • Every person is responsible for his/her attitudes, actions, and influence on others.
  • Overcoming prejudice requires the consistent effort of all people of good conscience. This process requires time and the development of open-mindedness and empathy.

Upstanders Script Available
We have adapted a Readers Theater script created by the University of Minnesota that celebrates the efforts of “upstanders” — people who stand up, speak out, and take risks to protect the safety and well-being of others.

You can download and use the script, and you have permission to alter it to suit your needs. Please give credit to the University of Minnesota Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida · 851 N Maitland Ave · Maitland, FL 32751 · Phone: 407-628-0555 ·