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Shrewsbury Students Together Opposing Prejudice – S.T.O.P.

Sep 20, 2010 – Shrewsbury, MA,  – Sheila Goldberg and Susan Murphy can’t believe that it’s been twenty one years since the anti Semitic and racial slurs written on a bathroom wall in a Sudbury middle school changed their lives.  In an attempt to bring the community together after this event,  the women decided to organize a movement that would educate 7th and 8th graders on the commonalities of all religious backgrounds in order to teach them the skills to combat prejudicial behavior for all.  The result of those efforts became the S.T.O.P program, which stands for Students Together Opposing Prejudice.  The program consists of a seven week curriculum that is rotated among different houses of worship, so that the participants can get a feel for the religious diversity that makes up the community.  The sessions include fun games, skits, videos and small group discussions that enlighten each participant so that they are able to celebrate every person’s uniqueness.

The program, which has been operating continuously in Sudbury since that fateful incident in 1991, is celebrating its second year in Shrewsbury. Last year, Sheila and Susan were approached by a family in Shrewsbury who wanted to learn more about the program and desired to replicate it.  “Our dream has been to bring this program to other communities, and thanks to concerned citizens in Shrewsbury, our dream is becoming reality,” says Sheila.

“We’d like to send out a general invitation to all Shrewsbury residents who are interested in spreading the message of tolerance, to join us,” says program spokesperson Farida Alam Huda.  Many of the local houses of worship have already agreed to sponsor the group and the sessions begin on January 13th.  “This is the first of many communities we hope to reach with this program and I encourage anyone who would like to bring this to their town, to contact us,” encourages Susan.  For more information contact Sheila, Susan or Farida.

Sheila Goldberg and Susan Murphy can be reached at segoldb@verizon.net

Farida Alam Huda can be reach at Alam_Huda@yahoo.com

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