Connecticut high schoolers learn to confront prejudice at the Capitol

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTNH) — Ten student delegates chosen from high schools across Connecticut traveled to the Capitol, joining a national conference on prejudice.

From November 15-18, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) hosted 132 high schoolers in the 18th annual Grosfeld Family National Youth Leadership Mission (NYLM) in Washington, D.C. The group included students from Hartford, East Hartford, Madison, Coventry, and Newington, all of whom had displayed extraordinary leadership qualities in addition to a notable interest in issues of diversity.

Through the four-day conference, the students studied contemporary and historic examples of extremism and prejudice. They studied at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, learning about the Holocaust and genocide, and worked to apply those larger lessons to their own lives. Sharing experiences and observations of bias and bigotry, they had in-depth discussions about how to apply what they had studied in an effort to fight intolerance.

ADL CEO Jonathon Greenblatt stresses the importance of providing these types of opportunities.

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.”

Students invited to participate in the NYLM met nationally renowned civil rights activists, as well as a Holocaust survivor. They attended the ADL’s 20th annual “In Concert Against Hate” at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. The student delegates learned to facilitate social change in their schools and communities by asserting themselves as allies with those who are discriminated against.

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