Miami-Dade Students Seek Ways to Overcome Intolerance During ADL Mission to U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Date: November 19, 2012
A group of diverse teenagers from Miami-Dade County are primed to make a positive difference in their communities after a four-day mission, November 11th -14th, to our nation’s capital where they explored issues of prejudice and discrimination.
They were among 84 student delegates to the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) 15th annual Grosfeld Family National Youth Leadership Mission to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Students from across the country explored modern and historic examples of bigotry and genocide, and shared personal experiences with hatred and discrimination. The program strives to motivate students to become positive ambassadors for change in their schools and communities.
Ten Miami-Dade County students from the following schools attended this year’s mission: LaSalle, Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial High School, Miami Country Day School, Miami Killian Senior High School, Ransom Everglades Upper School, and RASG Hebrew Academy.
ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman, a Holocaust survivor, shared with the students his story of being saved from the Nazis by his Polish Catholic nanny, and reiterated the underlying message of the program; to have a newfound understanding of the power of words, and the consequences of what can happen when bias and prejudice remain unchecked.
Selected for their leadership qualities and demonstrated interest in issues of diversity, the students hailed from Albany, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, San Diego, Washington, D.C. and Miami-Dade County, Florida.
“We could not be more proud to welcome back our Miami-Dade delegation who has returned to Florida determined and inspired to take a leadership role to stop bullying, cyberbullying and stereotypes in their schools and communities,” stated Yael Hershfield, ADL Florida Interim Director.
The centerpiece of the mission is time spent at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where students learned about the persecution and atrocities of the Second World War, and examined contemporary issues of extremism, bigotry and genocide. The students had the opportunity to meet with Nesse Godin, a Holocaust survivor, who urged the group to proactively make a difference in their communities now, not to wait for incidents to occur.
Other presenters included Dr. Leon Bass, a retired high school principal and U.S. army veteran who helped liberate the Buchenwald concentration camp; Tony Becerra of the Freedom Writers Institute; and Michael Lieberman, ADL Washington Counsel/Director of the Civil Rights Policy Planning Center.
During breakout sessions conducted by ADL’s A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute facilitators, students shared personal experiences with bullying, hatred and discrimination, and discussed how the lessons of the Holocaust can be applied today and to their own lives. On Veteran’s Day, the delegates visited the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
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.