Anti-Defamation League Makes an Impact at SXSW

Anti-Defamation League Makes an Impact at SXSW

By Yael Brown

Every March, Austin hosts South By Southwest, attended by half a million interactive, film and music industry professionals from around the world. During the week of SXSW Interactive and SXSW EDU, Anti-Defamation League participated in several events. 

 From left to right, Cecily Gold (Senior Manager of Community Experience at Bumble), Brittan Heller (ADL’s Director of the Center for Technology and Society), and Renee Lafair (ADL Austin Regional Director). Courtesy of ADL Austin

From left to right, Cecily Gold (Senior Manager of Community Experience at Bumble), Brittan Heller (ADL’s Director of the Center for Technology and Society), and Renee Lafair (ADL Austin Regional Director). Courtesy of ADL Austin

Brittan Heller, ADL’s director of the Center for Technology and Society, spoke on the European Union Pavilion Panel about hate speech and its international impacts. Heller also led a meetup on virtual reality, augmented reality and extended reality. 

“[The meetup was] for individuals trying to make positive social impacts using virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and extended reality (XR) technology,” said Heller. 

She also participated in discussions with science fiction writers “to provide new perspectives on tech-related social issues and with educators wanting to tip the balance on cyber-harassment.” 

“It was encouraging to see people questioning and rethinking conventional approaches to serious challenges,” she said.

ADL Regional Director, Renee Lafair, also co-hosted a meetup with Bumble. Together, Lafair and the Bumble team discussed cyber-hate and how individuals and companies can react responsibly to prevent online hate and harassment.

 ADL’s SXSW EDU event “Combat Bias, Interrupt Privilege, Include All." Courtesy of ADL Austin

ADL’s SXSW EDU event “Combat Bias, Interrupt Privilege, Include All." Courtesy of ADL Austin

 Dr. Rachelle Warren (Education Director of ADL Dallas) and Jillian Bontke (Education Director of ADL Austin) at SXSW EDU. Courtesy of ADL Austin.

Dr. Rachelle Warren (Education Director of ADL Dallas) and Jillian Bontke (Education Director of ADL Austin) at SXSW EDU. Courtesy of ADL Austin.

ADL Austin’s Education Director, Jillian Bontke, teamed up with ADL Dallas’ Education Director, Rachelle Warren, for a SXSW EDU workshop titled “Combat Bias, Interrupt Privilege, Include All.” More than 60 educators attended the workshop.

For more information about ADL Austin and the organization's involvement in the community, contact (512) 249-7960 or austin@adl.org.

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