The first such forum on race, religion and tolerance was held in Israel in January, bringing together Israeli and Arab college students, and the second took place last month in Boston after the American premiere of Mrs. Cohen’s one-act play, “Anne and Emmett.”
The performance consists of a fictional conversation between Anne Frank and Emmett Till, teenagers who were murdered, one because she was Jewish, and the other because he was black.
Mrs. Cohen says given the current national political scene, the upcoming forum is both timely and necessary.
“We want to heighten awareness and focus attention on tolerance and reconciliation,” she said. “We as Americans can become the world’s teacher on pluralism, diversity, tolerance and inclusion.”
That was Chris Matthews delivering the recent commencement address to graduates of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, saying, “I’m not dumb enough to try” to predict who will win the 2008 presidential election.
However, the host of MSNBC’s “Hardball” spoke highly of all three leading presidential contenders, calling Sen. Hillary RodhamClinton “one of the gutsiest politicians I have ever seen.”
“Life is different than school,” Mr. Matthews concluded. “Here’s my big advice, and it comes from experience. It comes down to a single word — a single action word — ‘ask.’ A-S-K, exclamation point.
“If you want something, you’ve got to go out and ask for it,” he explained. “It’s about getting where you want to get … It’s sort of like dating. Isn’t it? You ‘hook up’ now, right? Nobody dates anymore.”