We are writing to ask you to reconsider the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as a partner in social justice work.
Many organizations in our communities find themselves in spaces with the ADL, using its anti-bias education materials, or counting on the ADL to support our political goals. In light of a growing understanding of the ADL’s harmful practices, many progressive groups are rethinking those relationships.
Even though the ADL is integrated into community work on a range of issues, it has a history and ongoing pattern of attacking social justice movements led by communities of color, queer people, immigrants, Muslims, Arabs, and other marginalized groups, while aligning itself with police, right-wing leaders, and perpetrators of state violence. More disturbing, it has often conducted those attacks under the banner of “civil rights.” This largely unpublicized history has come increasingly to light as activists work to make sense of the ADL’s role in condemning the Movement for Black Lives, Palestinian rights organizing, and Congressional Representative Ilhan Omar, among others.
We are deeply concerned that the ADL’s credibility in some social justice movements and communities is precisely what allows it to undermine the rights of marginalized communities, shielding it from criticism and accountability while boosting its legitimacy and resources. Even when it may seem that our work is benefiting from access to some resources or participation from the ADL, given the destructive role that it too often plays in undermining struggles for justice, we believe that we cannot collaborate with the ADL without betraying our movements.
This primer lays out some of the ADL’s practices. We hope this can open conversations about this important issue.
American Friends Service Committee
American Muslims for Palestine
Arab American Studies Association
Arab Resource & Organizing Center
Asian American Advocacy Fund
Association of Raza Educators LA
Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Black and Pink, Inc.
Black LGBTQ+ Migrant Project
Causa Justa: Just Cause
Center for Constitutional Rights
Center for Political Education
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Coalición de Derechos Humanos
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Democratic Socialists of America
Detention Watch Network
DRUM – Desis Rising Up & Moving
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement
Haiti Action Committee
Highlander Research and Education Center
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Jewish Voice for Peace
Jews Against Anti-Muslim Racism
Jews for Racial & Economic Justice
Methodist Federation for Social Action
Movement for Black Lives
Movement Law Lab
Muslim American Society
National Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression
National Students for Justice in Palestine
National Lawyers Guild
New York Collective of Radical Educators
No Dakota Access Pipeline Global Solidarity Campaign
Palestinian Youth Movement
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid
Rising Tide North America
School of the Americas Watch
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
South Asian Americans Leading Together
Southerners on New Ground
Stop LAPD Spying Coalition
Teachers 4 Social Justice
The Red Nation
United We Dream
US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
US Palestinian Community Network
Veterans for Peace
War Resisters League
…and further signatories.
Press inquiries: DropTheADL (at) gmail.com