ADL Youth Leadership Mission to Give Students Tools to Confront Bigotry, Hate and Bias at Home

Washington, D.C., November 16, 2015 … A diverse group of students from across the country will embark on a significant experience to apply lessons learned from the Holocaust to their own lives and 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.

The mission, which will take place from Sunday, November 15 to Wednesday, November 18 in Washington, D.C., will involve 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.

“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 will be addressing 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 will focus on a significant amount of time at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where students will learn about the persecution of Jews and other minorities during World War II, and examine contemporary issues of extremism, bigotry and genocide. The students will also engage 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 will share their personal experiences with bullying, hatred and discrimination, and discuss how the lessons of the Holocaust can be applied today.

Other notable presenters will include:

  • 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 students will attend ADL’s 21st annual “In Concert Against Hate” on November 16 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., where heroes in the fight against hate and intolerance will be honored. The student delegates will also hear from the heroes that stood up against or were the victims of hate crimes.

Founded in 1996 by ADL's Greater Chicago/Upper Midwest Regional Office, the Youth Leadership Mission became a national program in 1998, building on the success of previous programs in preparing students as role models against bigotry, prejudice and hate. It is generously sponsored by The Grosfeld Family Foundation.