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Robert Trestan

Young people have the power to stem the tide of anti-Semitism and other hateful incidents, said Robert Trestan, executive director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Boston Office. Mr. Trestan spoke to Class II students at the invitation of the Jewish Student Union. Prior to joining the ADL, Mr. Trestan served for more than a decade as director of civil rights at the Boston Housing Authority and previously worked as an assistant public defender in Naples, Florida. He received his J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law and his bachelor’s degree from Trent University.

“The most powerful thing you have is your voice. Speak out. If you do it collectively, you can make a huge difference.”

WHAT IS REAL?

Alumni who must find and declare the truth as their life’s work live in rigorous times. What is the impact on their work, and on their persons, when public voices dismissively declare that the truth is fake, or that an alternate reality is true? We asked alumni who mine for the truth in different domains: How hard it is to find the truth? How difficult is it to know what’s real?

And in an environment of widespread mistrust, what happens to the reality they bring forward?

How vulnerable is the truth?

How illusive is the truth?

What, we wanted to know, is the daring part of “daring to be true”—finding it, declaring it, keeping it alive, making sure it matters?