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Anti-Defamation League gives award to all Washington University graduates

By Matt Sepic, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – The Anti-Defamation League in St. Louis is giving its Torch of Liberty Award to the entire graduating class at Washington University.

During a class trip to Chicago last October, six black students were turned away from the Original Mother's Bar for wearing baggy pants. When they exchanged clothes with Caucasian classmates, the white students were let in.

The Anti-Defamation League's Karen Aroesty said the African-American students received overwhelming support from the university community.

"When they had discussion groups on campus, when students were sending e-mails back and forth all over the country, they were being allies." Aroesty said. "And frankly from our perspective, it wasn't necessary for every single member of the class to be in Chicago at Mother's Bar to become an ally."

The owners of the bar made a public apology as part of a settlement.

All 1,200 students will receive a medallion from the Anti-Defamation League at tonight's senior class dinner.


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