Thank you to all who attended the Torch of Liberty Dinner on Monday, September 23rd at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, during which Arthur M. Blank and Atlanta United were bestowed with the Torch of Liberty Award for their outstanding contributions in uniting the Atlanta community. The event also featured a special performance by world-renowned violinist, Robert McDuffie.


Anti-Defamation League Southeast Region annually presents the Stuart Lewengrub Torch of Liberty Award to individuals or a company making outstanding contributions to the welfare of our community. The award, which was renamed in honor of Stuart Lewengrub who served as the ADL Southeast Regional Director from 1965 until his passing in 1995, symbolizes ADL’s profound commitment to translating our democratic heritage into a way of life for all Americans.

Arthur M. Blank

ADL honors "Uncle Arthur"

Perhaps best known as co-founder of The Home Depot, Arthur Blank’s Family of Businesses portfolio currently includes the Atlanta Falcons; PGA TOUR Superstore; The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation; Mountain Sky Guest Ranch; Atlanta United; and AMB Group, the parent company of his for-profit businesses. Blank and the Falcons, in partnership with the city of Atlanta and state of Georgia, are the private funders of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium,  home to the Falcons and Atlanta United.

While diverse in nature, all of Blank’s businesses are run based on a common set of core values, which focus on developing customer relationships, treating associates with respect, and supporting communities.

Blank is also dedicated to giving back. Through his generosity, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has granted more than $360 million to support early childhood development, education, the arts, and parks and greenspace. The foundation also leads giving programs for each of the for-profit businesses in Blank’s portfolio.

Atlanta United

Unite and Conquer

Atlanta United joined Major League Soccer in 2017, breaking multiple league records on the way to the playoffs in its inaugural season. The club set the MLS record for season ticket sales as well as records for single-game, single-season average, and total home attendance.

Owned by Arthur M. Blank and led by club President Darren Eales, Atlanta United has created an inclusive fan base that is progressive and passionate. A fan base that becomes one voice. 

As a football club Atlanta United is more than just the team: they are the fans, they are the community, they are Atlanta, taken from the voices of the citizens.

Previous Torch of Liberty honorees include:

2018 Doug Shipman

2017 Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen

2016 Georgia Prospers

2015 Michael L. Slive

2014 The Atlanta Braves

2013 Jim Wagner

2012 Ben Johnson

2011 Stuart Snyder

2010 Michael D. Garrett

2009 Ada Lee & Pete Correll

2007 Mayor Shirley Franklin

2006 The Coca-Cola Company &

E. Neville and Pamela Isdell

2005 The Honorable Sam Nunn & Michelle Nunn

2004 Dan Amos

2003 Dennis E. Cooper

2002 Dr. Louis W. Sullivan

2001 Frank J. Belatti

2000 Terence F. Mcguirk

1999 H. Allen Franklin

1998 Tom E. Dupree

1997 John L. Clendenin

1996 Oz Nelson & Worldwide Employees of UPS

1995 Ronald Allen & Delta Air Lines

1994 John C. Portman, Jr.

1993 I. Pano Karatassos

1992 Bennett A. Brown

1991 Governor Zell Miller

1990 Anne Cox Chambers

1989 Roberto C. Goizueta

1988 Dan E. Sweat, Jr.

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