R. Derek Black, Former White Nationalist
Derek Black was an avowed white nationalist. His father founded Stormfront, a massive online hate group and his godfather was David Duke, leader of the KKK. He was considered the "leading light" of the white nationalist movement until he went to college and amidst ostracism from the other students, he accepted an invitation to Shabbat dinner that profoundly changed his life. Mr. Black is the subject of the book Rising Out of Hatred by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Eli Saslow. His story offers hope that through the power of love and connection, people can change.
Jeanne and Gideon Bernstein, Parents of Blaze Bernstein
Orange County residents Jeanne and Gideon Bernstein are the parents of Blaze Bernstein, a 19-year-old Ivy League college student who was murdered in an alleged hate crime because he was gay. These courageous parents have turned their tragedy into a nationwide movement dedicated to making the world a better place by confronting hate with kindness. #BlazeItForward inspires others to use his memory as a catalyst to inspire philanthropy, do good deeds and improve the human condition.