Play Video

Episode 2 “Turning Points: Moments of Upstanding” featuring Werner Coppel and Debra Messing

“It’s hard to imagine an upstander story that is more foundational to our work at the center than what Werner (Coppel) did courageously and heroicly and the fact that he chose how he wanted to respond to this (Holocaust denial).”

-Jackie Congedo

“We need more folks like Debra and others to sort of step up and use their platforms and their voices. But, boy, we’ve got to get to a place where it doesn’t take, you know, just unconscionable or outrageous events that to spark us into that type of activism.”

-Kevin Aldridge

Welcome to our latest episode of the Upstander Ripple Effect, where we’re diving into “Turning Points: Moments of Upstanding.” From commemorating Juneteenth to addressing the aftermath of an antisemitism controversy at Pride this year, local upstanders are making a pivotal difference.

Join hosts Jackie Congedo and Kevin Aldridge as they take you into the archives at the Holocaust & Humanity Center, unveiling artifacts from a notable upstander in Cincinnati’s Holocaust survivor community whose moment of upstanding started a movement. We’re also thrilled to have Debra Messing as our special guest, who shared her powerful insights on combating antisemitism during her recent visit to Cincinnati to celebrate this year’s Upstander Award winners.

In this episode, we’ll spotlight remarkable individuals like a local advocate who has long championed afterschool activities for kids, recognized as an Upstander Award winner for his proactive efforts. And you’ll meet two Kentucky women who, despite political differences, were honored as Upstander Award winners for bridging divides. We’ll tell you about the letter from a World War II liberator they shared on their most recent episode that will leave you reflecting on the ripple effect of education.

 Are you ready to explore these transformative “Turning Points” of upstanding? Download the latest episode now and join us in igniting positive change.





Share your thoughts on this episode with us:

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: /CincyHHC/


Instagram: /holocaustandhumanity/

TikTok: /@holocaustandhumanity

Episode Resources

Learn more about The Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center 

This episode made possible with generous support from the Cynthia & Harold Guttman Family. Learn more about the Guttman Family Center for Storytelling here

Visit our YouTube channel to catch all our stories, including
Debra Messing
Werner Coppel

Take the character strengths survey for free Assess Your Character Strengths | Personality Assessment (

HHC statement on Israel and antisemitism 

Book a speaker for your school or group through the Coppel Speaker’s Bureau

Read Co-host Kevin Aldridge’s most recent columns 

Find out more about all the winners of this year’s upstander awards 
including Beth Silvers and Sarah Stewart Holland of Pantsuit Politics
and Lamont Ragan

Read more about Debra Messing

Find out about the organization Debra co-founded

Read more about some of Debra’s advocacy work

News stories mentioned

Pride Board resignations

Madisonville shooting



Related Episodes