Ranney School partnered with the ADL and A World of Difference Institute for a three-day training. The ADL was on campus on Monday, January 2 and Tuesday, January 3, and will return on January 27, to train 30 Upper School students and two faculty members (who will oversee the program) to serve in a peer-to-peer capacity to help build a tolerant, welcoming community for all students in the entire school.
The ADL is a leading anti-hate organization with the mission of stopping the defamation of the Jewish people and securing justice and fair treatment to all. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate. ADL’s A World of Difference® Institute’s Peer Training Program was created following the unrest in Crown Heights, NY, in 1991. The ADL staff worked with students from Clara Barton High
School in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, who were concerned about the events in their community and their personal experiences with bias and discrimination. The thoughtful ideas and motivation of these young people to take action against social injustice led to the creation of ADL’s Peer Training Program. The program now operates in schools across the U.S., impacting thousands of young people each year.
The Peer Training Program is a proactive prevention program that works to develop a team of Middle or Upper School students, under the direction and guidance of Peer Training Advisors, to lead anti-bias programming with their peers. Peer Trainers learn to understand and challenge bias and bullying; practice anti-bias facilitation skills; and take on a leadership role in their schools, positively influencing school culture by challenging bias and modeling respect, allyship and civility. Students who fully participate in the Peer Training Program will gain knowledge and skills to serve as leaders in their school and beyond.
“These programs provide a structure for the development of the necessary knowledge and skills to support all school stakeholders in becoming leaders in system level efforts to create respectful, inclusive school culture and communities,” said Dr. John Griffith, Head of School. “We will also explore how these programs can extend to Middle and Lower School and offer opportunities for cross-divisional mentorship.”
The program was made possible by an anonymous donation to the Ranney Fund, Ranney’s annual charitable giving program.
Jonathan Stubbs ‘26 said, “I found the peer leader training conducted by the Anti-Defamation League to be extremely moving and valuable, and I look forward to our next and final session on January 27. I feel that, so far, the program has done a wonderful job of explaining various forms of bias and discrimination, and has done an even better job of explaining how to identify and put a stop to these issues when they occur. I was particularly fascinated by a section of the training where we examined how societal discrimination can worsen and bubble over into threats and attacks. We discussed how to identify early warning signs of these problems, and how to put a stop to them before they escalate. I look forward to passing this knowledge on to my peers, and hope that Ranney and the Anti-Defamation League work together again in the future.”
Sophia Lennon ‘24 said, “The ADL training experience over the last two days has been both educational and inspiring! I really enjoyed the various interactive aspects of the course, as it was not just a straightforward lecture. Everyone wanted to openly and actively participate in all the activities we did and as a result, we learned a lot about each other and the messages that make up the program. I feel capable of applying the information we learned to our school community and hope that it will make a difference.”