New York Benefit Dinner

Thank you to the over 550 guests who joined us on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, to celebrate and support Facing History’s work to inspire a world of upstanders!

Throughout the evening, we were inspired by stories of people who have grappled with difficult questions of identity and belonging in history and in their own lives to become Upstanders today.

“I always thought of history as a series of facts and stories, Facing History taught me that history is about people making choices. Now, every Wednesday, I start class by asking this question: What have you done in the past seven days to improve the human condition?”

-Alhassan Susso, Facing History Educator

“Facing History helped me to lay the foundation for my personal conviction. It taught me that if I don’t want history to repeat itself, I have to ask, ‘What do I owe my neighbor? What is my obligation to myself and others?’”

-Melanie Arroyave, Facing History Alumna

Together, we are building a world with more people like Melanie—people who use empathy and critical thinking to guide their choices and who are active and engaged participants in our democracy today.

The New York Benefit Dinner provides vital support for Facing History’s work to use lessons of history to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate. Today this work is more important than ever before.

If you have already made a donation, thank you! In the coming year, your generosity will help us provide thousands of New York area educators with Facing History programs and services. If you haven’t yet made a gift, please click here to make your donation now!

Date, Time & Location

Stay tuned for information on the 2020 New York Benefit Dinner!

2019 Featured Speaker


Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and theatrical producer. A leading voice for the human rights of immigrants, he founded the non-profit media and culture organization Define American, named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company. His best-selling memoir, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, was published by HarperCollins in 2018. Most recently, he co-produced Heidi Schreck’s acclaimed play What the Constitution Means to Me, which opened on Broadway in spring 2019.

2019 Sponsors

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


Facing History and Ourselves provides unique sponsorship opportunities and benefits for businesses, foundations, and individuals interested in supporting the New York Benefit Dinner. Please contact Nikki Hertzberg at 646-998-5840 x233 for more information.

Our Work in New York

Each year, our network of 15,000 middle and high school educators in the tri-state area reaches more than one million students in over 2,200 schools. We provide educators with powerful curricula, innovative professional development, and coaching on a range of topics including racism, antisemitism, bullying, immigration, and identity. As students explore difficult moments in history, literature, and current events, they reflect on the choices they confront in their own lives. 

Learn More at the New York Office Page

New York Advisory Board

Lori R. Fife, Chair*

Jennifer Aubrey**
Daisy Auger-Dominguez
Pascale E. Berner**
Zoe Bernstein
Rob Beyer
Cecilia Chan**
Lee A. Daniels
Fleur Fairman
Mark Federman
Michael S. Feldberg**
Mark S. Fife*
Caren Osten Gerszberg
Bjorn Haines
Joseph Jackson
Julie Abrams Leff*
Tamara Levenson
Rachel Levin
Evan C. Meyers**
Mark Najarian
Jane C. Och**
Richard Perry*
Julia Pershan
Heidi Rieger
Lisa Shamus
Michael Shuman
David R. Trower
Kate Waisman
Shai Waisman

* Board of Directors
** Leadership Council

Contact Us

For more information please contact Nikki Hertzberg at [email protected] or 646-998-5840 x233.

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