Congratualtions to Danielle Campion who has been selected to participate in the ADL Grosfeld Family National Youth Leadership Mission to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum November 11-13, 2011. The program will bring together a diverse group of 100 high school juniors from eight regions – Chicago, Florida, Los Angeles, New England, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC.
For more than 90 years, the Anti-Defamation League has been devoted to fighting anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, and to fostering understanding among diverse communities. Constantly striving to develop creative approaches to these goals, the ADL's Greater Chicago/Upper Midwest Regional Office organized the first Youth Leadership Mission to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. in 1996.
Utilizing the Museum's dramatic portrayal of the events of the Holocaust, this Mission to our nation's capital offers a substantive and effective vehicle for applying the lessons of the Holocaust to modern-day issues of bigotry. In 1998, the Chicago Office expanded the program to include other ADL regions from across the nation. The 2007 conference marked the 10th anniversary of the program, which has now touched the lives of more than 1000 young adults.
Delegations consist of a culturally and religiously diverse group of high school juniors and adult chaperones selected to participate because of their leadership potential, demonstrated interest in Holocaust education as well as diversity, and ability to share the messages of the Mission with others.
During the conference in Washington, D.C., delegates participate in ADL’s A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute activities, which are designed to provide an overview of the nature of bigotry and prejudice and to develop a supportive group environment both within and between the various delegations. A centerpiece of the Mission is the tour of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Upon completing the tour, participants gather for extensive debriefing sessions and have the opportunity to meet with Holocaust survivors who share their stories of strength and survival.
Participants also meet with other community leaders, ranging from government officials to civil rights legends to trailblazing educators, who offer modern day examples of standing against bigotry. The Mission culminates with a moving closing ceremony focusing on the role that youth can play in breaking the cycle of hate. Through these and other exercises, participants acknowledge their responsibility to educate themselves and others, and are reminded that they each possess the power -- through their actions and behavior -- to make a difference in the lives of others.
As part of this program, delegates make a commitment to share their experiences and their new-found knowledge with their families, classmates and other community members. Additionally, each year the students have the opportunity to submit a written reflection on the impact the program has had on their lives, which is then compiled into the ADL Grosfeld Family National Youth Leadership Mission Anthology and distributed across the country.