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One America - National Youth Leadership Mission to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

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One America

Program: National Youth Leadership Mission to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Chicago, IL
Contact(s): Richard S. Hirschhaut, ADL Greater Chicago/Upper Midwest Regional Director or Julie Flapan, A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Project Director: (312) 782-5080
Purpose: To teach young people how to fight bigotry and discrimination

Background Program Operations Outcomes


The National Youth Leadership Mission was launched in Chicago in 1996 by the Anti-Defamation League's A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Institute to offer students from diverse backgrounds substantive and effective tools with which to apply lessons of the Holocaust to modern-day issues of bigotry and racism. (A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Institute has been highlighted by the President's Initiative on Race as a Promising Practice). The mission has expanded to include 100 racially, ethnically and religiously diverse high school students and teachers from six cities - San Francisco, New Orleans, St. Louis, New York, Denver, and Chicago.

Program Operations

The National Youth Leadership Mission is a 3-day program that begins with an orientation and diversity workshops, where students engage in cross-cultural dialogues to further understand the roots of prejudice. They also learn about the responsibility that individuals have in fighting against bigotry and discrimination. Students then spend a full day at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. They also visit the U.S. Congress, meeting with congressional members to learn the principles of U.S. democracy and civic participation. In addition, the students meet with representatives from civil rights and human relations organizations to learn about coalition building and how to fight discrimination.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

Many of the students have been inspired to take a stand against bigotry through coalition building, which advances a stronger sense of personal and social responsibility. Some illustrations of students inspired by the program are: past participants engaged in public rallies against hate, several attended the opera Amistad to enhance their cultural understanding, and they served as A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Peer Trainers, where they facilitated diversity workshops and race dialogues with their peers and families. Visit ADL's Website at www.adl.org for more information.

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