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ADL Youth Leadership Mission Delegates Return to Colorado

ADL YOUTH LEADERSHIP MISSION GIVES STUDENTS TOOLS TO CONFRONT BIGOTRY, HATE AND BIAS AT HOME

Denver, CO, November 19, 2015 … A diverse group of students from across the country, including ten competitively selected Gerald M. Quiat Delegates from Colorado, have just returned from a significant experience in applying lessons learned from the Holocaust to their own lives in order to lead the fight against bigotry and hate in their respective communities at the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) 18th annual Grosfeld Family National Youth Leadership Mission.

Colorado NYLM delegates with ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt
Colorado NYLM delegates with ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt

The mission, which took place from Sunday, November 15 to Wednesday, November 18 in Washington, D.C., involved 132 high school students from Atlanta, Connecticut, Denver, Florida, St. Louis, New Orleans, New York City, New England, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. The students were selected for their extraordinary leadership qualities and demonstration of interest in issues of diversity.

The ten participating students from Colorado were Hanggatu Abdullahi, Alprintis Bohannan, Takuilani Fifita, Catherine Henderson, Braedon James, Eva Loya, Gerardo Marmolejo-Daher, Julianna Rohn, Ellie Shiovitz and Ebelyn Tapia Garcia. The delegates attend Boulder High School, East High School, Gateway High School, George Washington High School, Grandview High School, and Vista PEAK.

“It is critically important to be able to equip young people with the ability to not only understand issues of bias, bigotry and racism, especially given the past year’s troubling events across the country, but to equip them to be able to directly respond,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, who addressed the group. “The goal of the youth leadership mission is as relevant as ever today, and over the years, students have become so incredibly inspired to effect change in their own schools and neighborhoods upon returning from the trip. The mission really gets them thinking about combatting hate in a really positive way.”

The centerpiece of the mission focused on a significant amount of time at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where students learned about the persecution of Jews and other minorities during World War II, and examined contemporary issues of extremism, bigotry and genocide. The students also engaged in in-depth discussions about lessons that can be applicable in their individual lives and how they can play a part in fighting prejudice.

During breakout sessions conducted by ADL’s A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute facilitators, students shared their personal experiences with bullying, hatred and discrimination, and discussed how the lessons of the Holocaust can be applied today.

Other notable presenters included:

  • Nesse Godin, a survivor of a Lithuanian ghetto, the Stuffhof concentration camp, four labor camps, and a death march.
  • Marione Ingram, a Holocaust survivor, civil rights activist and author
  • Eugenie Mukeshimana, a Rwandan Genocide survivor

The Gerald M. Quiat delegates also attended ADL’s 20th annual “In Concert Against Hate” on November 16 at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., where heroes in the fight against hate and intolerance were honored. The students also heard from the heroes that stood up against or were the victims of hate crimes.

The Colorado delegates’ trip to Washington, DC and participation in the Mission was made possible by a generous contribution of the family of Gerald M. Quiat, who passed away in 2013.  Mr. Quiat was actively involved in ADL at the local and national levels.  He was also Chair of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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