Celebrities attended a gala on May 8 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to support the Anti-Defamation League. They raised over $1 million to help serve the organization’s mission of fighting bigotry, prejudice, and anti-Semitism.
Award-winning producer Mark Burnett and actress Roma Downey were two of the celebrities honored this year with the Anti-Defamation League’s Entertainment Industry Award.
Downey, who grew up in Northern Ireland, discussed how her personal experiences related to ADL’s mission.
“The people of Derry, driven by the same impulse that fuels the ADL, were not content to live in terror and hate. They made up their minds and committed their actions to making our country a safer and better place,” Downey said, Variety reports. “They chose to sit down together with a willingness to listen to each other. We could see how in the past there had been division and hurt created by not simply taking the time to sit down together and understand the concerns. We share a focus in our common humanity as citizens of the world, irrespective of race, ethnicity, and religion.”
The celebrities believe that the Anti-Defamation League has worked for the common good for more than 100 years, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The star-studded event featured Hans Zimmer, MGM CEO Gary Barber, Shirley MacLaine, Fox’s Jim Gianopulos, Survivor host Jeff Probst, and TV host Ty Pennington.
Jeffrey Katzenberg said that Downey and Burnett can “building bridges of understanding around the globe” before giving the stage to Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director, as a leader in the fight against anti-Semitism, bigotry and discrimination.
The evening also included songs by musicians. The Tenors closed out the night with powerful performances of Because We Believe and Instrument of Peace. The songs were accompanied by David Foster.