Memphis Benefit Dinner

Thank you to everyone who joined us on Monday, October 28, 2019, to celebrate and support our work—empowering students to use knowledge and compassion to overcome racism, antisemitism, and bigotry—in Memphis and around the world.  

We enjoyed hearing from Facing History teachers, students, and alumni about the impact Facing History has on their lives. In the words of Facing History student Durias Dyer:

“When you come to Facing History, no matter what kind of person you are, where you come from, it changes you because of all the interactions you have with new and different people. Everyone has a different story. So I try to understand where they're coming from first, and in doing so, I hope I change what assumptions they may have about me, too.”

Durias is changing the world—inspiring and challenging others to use knowledge and compassion to confront biases and combat racism, antisemitism, and other prejudices. Your support makes moments like these possible. 

This dinner is a significant source of support for our programs in Memphis and across the Southeast. If you have already made a donation, thank you! If you haven’t yet made a gift, please click here to make your gift now

When & Where

Stay tuned for information on the 2020 Memphis Benefit Dinner!

2019 Keynote Speaker: Eli Saslow

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage for The Washington Post, Eli Saslow, who has been called “one of the great young journalists in America,” reveals the human stories behind the most divisive issues of our time. Saslow won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting for a yearlong series of stories about food stamps and hunger in the U.S. and was also a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing. Recently, Saslow told millions of Americans a story we need to hear: how the one-time heir to America’s white nationalist movement came to question the ideology he helped spread.

Derek Black might be termed “white nationalist royalty”. His father, Don Black, launched Stormfront, the first major white supremacist website; his mother was once married to former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, who was Derek’s godfather and mentor. But when Derek chose to attend a small liberal arts college, his ideological foundations began to crack. Saslow’s book Rising Out of Hatred charts the rise of white nationalism through the experiences of one person who eventually abandoned everything he was taught to believe. Built on extensive interviews with Derek, his father, and many others, Rising Out of Hatred traces Derek’s painful but ultimately profound evolution and explores the enormous ramifications of his decision to publicly denounce white nationalism in an open letter to the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2013.

Listen to Eli speak about the rise of antisemitism and white nationalism in the United States:

2019 Sponsors

We would like to thank the following corporate sponsors for their generous support of the 2019 Memphis Benefit Dinner:

Silver Benefactor

Bronze Benefactor



Baptist Memorial Health Care  |  Butler Snow  |  Evolve Bank & Trust
International Paper  |  Key Public Strategies  |  Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
Paragon National Bank  |  Whitmor, Inc.

Facing History and Ourselves is happy to speak with businesses, foundations, and individuals interested in sponsoring the Memphis Benefit Dinner. Please contact Regan Adolph for more information on corporate sponsorship opportunities.

Our Work in Memphis

From Memphis to Chattanooga to Louisville, Facing History and Ourselves’ Southeast Region reaches over 390,000 students in public, independent, charter, and religious schools each year. Through Facing History, students become more engaged in academic work and learn to recognize and combat racism, antisemitism, and prejudice in their schools and communities. From the Holocaust, Reconstruction, and the Civil Rights Movement, to current events like Charlottesville and immigration, Facing History and Ourselves helps teachers make complex and difficult subjects relevant and accessible for the next generation. 

Learn More at the Memphis Office Page

Memphis Advisory Board

Reggie Crenshaw*, Chair

Joey Beckford
Paul Berz*
Phyllis Berz**
Kayla Brooks
John Daniel
Tina Fockler*, **
Amy Grow
Ann Hawkins
Mason Hawkins
Dorothy Johnson
Carol Johnson-Dean**
Elaine Kaufman
Marty Kelman**
Daniel Kiel
Meggan Kiel
Don Levy
Joanna Lipman
Leigh Mansberg
Joyce Margulies
Jacqueline O'Bryant
Erin Ostrow**
Adrienne Pakis-Gillon
Iddo Patt
Will Perry
Doug Schrank
Glenn Sessoms**
Linda Ellen Sklar
Kandace Stewart
Joan Terry
Melody Usdan
Molly Wexler
Monica Wharton
Janice Berlin, Emeritus
Susan Mallory, Emeritus
Rachel Shankman, Emeritus

* Board of Directors
** Leadership Council

Contact Us

For more information, contact Regan Adolph at [email protected] or call 901.452.1776, ext. 222.

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