On Sept. 23, ADL in Concert Against Hate sponsors, Atlanta leaders, and select representatives from Atlanta United fan groups gathered at the Center for Civil and Human Rights for the Torch of Liberty awards dinner in honor of Arthur Blank and Atlanta United.
It was an inspiring, spirited evening with the crowd joyously shouting, “Atlanta United” and “Uncle Arthur” as Catie Griggs and Arthur Blank were each presented with their award by Lauren Estrin and Eric Fisher, ADL Southeast growth chairs, and Barbara Balser, former ADL national chair and ADL Southeast lifetime director, respectively.
The evening’s program also included remarks by: Jill Savitt, CEO of the Center for Civil and Human Rights; Charles (CJ) Johnson and Liz Price, concert co-chairs; Allison Padilla-Goodman, ADL Southeast regional director, and Phil Rubin, ADL Southeast board chair; Debbie Neese and Jibran Shermohammed, concert committee co-chairs; as well as a performance by world-renowned violinist, Robert McDuffie.
Padilla-Goodman said it was “an exciting moment to be coming together in a unified statement against hate. There are so many things that inspire optimism and hope, and so much work to still be done.”
Of Blank and Atlanta United, Rubin said, they “highlight our city’s strong diversity, passion for coming together, and an electric narrative of winning, not just on the field but winning against a war on hatred and division.”
Balser said, “So much has changed in the last nearly two decades, and sadly, some of it is not for the best as Allison and Phil rightly pointed out earlier. But Arthur has always been here, leading Atlanta and the community, championing causes dear to his heart. … His generosity, his genius, his deep care for his community knows no bounds.”