Cleveland 20th Anniversary Benefit

Unlearning Hate: Lessons for our Racial Divide

Tuesday, May 7, 2019  |  Maltz Performing Arts Center

Facing History and Ourselves Cleveland is celebrating 20 years of supporting young people to confront bigotry and antisemitism. Join us Tuesday, May 7, for a moving evening about the power of identity and personal transformation. Marc Skvirsky, Facing History’s Vice President and Chief Program Officer, will lead a conversation with R. Derek Black, a former white nationalist, and Allison Gornik, whose intervention was critical to his transformation, about what it means to walk away from a life of hate and into an inclusive and diverse community.

The evening will begin with a private reception-style dinner where we will honor 20 years of Facing History leadership in Cleveland. Let’s raise a glass to those who laid the groundwork to bring Facing History to over 450 schools and 250,000 students in greater Cleveland every year. Afterwards, join us us for the dessert reception with an opportunity to meet Allison Gornik and Derek Black. It will be an evening to remember.

Date, Time & Location

Tuesday, May 7, 2019
6:00 - 7:00 PM—VIP Dinner Reception
7:15 - 8:15 PM—Main Program
8:30 - 9:15 PM—VIP Dessert Reception with Speakers

Maltz Performing Arts Center
1855 Ansel Road
Cleveland, OH 44106

Ticket Options

VIP Tickets and Host Opportunities Admission to VIP receptions, featuring a meet and greet with Derek Black and Allison Gornik, and priority seating at main program.

General Admission Tickets

Can't attend? Support our work with a donation.

Featured Speakers

Derek Black’s father founded Stormfront, the first and largest white supremacist community on the Internet, and his godfather, David Duke, was once a leader of the KKK. By age nineteen, Black was regarded as the white nationalist movement’s “leading light.” In the midst of the furor over his presence on a liberal arts campus, Black accepted an invitation to attend weekly Shabbat dinners in the dorms. After years of often contentious conversations, Black disavowed the white nationalist movement, acknowledging the harm that it caused, and publicly renounced it in 2013. He has been actively speaking out against white supremacy ever since. His story is the subject of the new book Rising Out of Hatred by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eli Saslow.

Allison Gornik is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Michigan State University. At New College of Florida Allison met Derek Black and learned about his familial and personal activism on behalf of white nationalism. Through many private and often painful conversations, Derek eventually renounced white nationalism. Allison’s role in this story is a primary focus of Eli Saslow’s new book Rising Out of Hatred.


Benefit Hosts

We would like to thank the following hosts for their generous support of the Cleveland 20th Anniversary Benefit:

Bronze Benefactor

Carolyn and Chuck Arnold
Howard Freedman and Rita Montlack
Anne Conway Juster and Joseph Juster
Shelly and Mark Saltzman


Susan G. Block and Rabbi Richard Block
Holly and Bill Brooks
Joyce Glickman
Nordson Corporation
Lisa and Doug Vahey
Trudy and Steven Wiesenberger


Amy and Ken Rogat
Koyen and Baiju Shah
Ulmer & Berne LLP


Bob and Cindy Bruml  |  Amy K. and Eric Carlson  |  Debbi Glosserman and Bill Jacobs
James A Goldsmith and Nancy Shaw Goldsmith  |  Just In Time Staffing
Garet and Matt Libbey  |  Jonida and Matt Morelli  |  Karen and John Nestor
Karen Nichols  |  Heather Ross-Lowenstein and Irwin Lowenstein
Marcy Levy Shankman and Brett Shankman  |  Marjorie Simon  |  Saint Ignatius High School
Cynthia Tancer and Louis Giesler  |  Ingrid Tolentino and Jeff Potter
Marcia Wexberg and Kenneth Singer  |  Gail and David Stein

Our Work in the Cleveland Area

Throughout Northeast Ohio, our network of over 4,000 middle and high school educators reaches more than 275,000 students in over 472 public, independent, and religious schools. We offer educators academically rigorous resources and workshops on topics that include culturally responsive teaching, teaching current events, identity safe classrooms, immigration, and more in order to eliminate racism, antisemitism, bullying, and bigotry.

Learn more about our work in Cleveland

Cleveland Advisory Board

Anne Conway Juster,* Chair

Carolyn Arnold
Amy K. Carlson
James A. Goldsmith
Gregory A. Gumbs
Eduardo Kim
Garet Libbey
Jay Masurekar
Jonida Preka Morelli
Karen Nichols
Shelly Saltzman
Koyen Shah
Marcy Levy Shankman
Marjorie Simon**
Cynthia Tancer
Ingrid Tolentino
Lisa Vahey
Mary Ann Vogel
Marcia Wexberg
Trudy Wiesenberger
Khalilah Worley
Susan G. Block,** Emeritus
Holly Brooks, Emeritus
Howard Freedman, Emeritus
Joyce Glickman, Emeritus
Amy Rogat, Emeritus
Loung Ung, Emeritus
Sally Wertheim, Emeritus

* Board of Directors
** Leadership Council

Contact Us

For more information about this event or to purchase tables or tickets please contact Jessica Bonanno at [email protected] or at 216-321-9220 x224.

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