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Gerald M. Quiat Delegates Attend Anti-Defamation League National Youth Leadership Mission; Colorado Students Equipped With An “Action Plan” to Confront Hate

  • October 31, 2014


L-R: ADL Regional Board Member and National Commission Member Melinda Quiat, ADL Education Project Director Tara Raju, Sydney Tinker Quynn, Sophia Grossman, Adrianna Soto-Confer, Jessica Bae, ADL National Director Abraham Foxman, ADL National Chair Barry Curtiss-Lusher, Eric Sallinger, Andrew Pfefer, Allison Willey, Beth Siyoum, Naahile Abdo, Alexis Sorenson and ADL Facilitator and chaperone Malcolm Laster

Denver, CO, October 31, 2014 … A diverse group of ten students from Colorado was selected to be Gerald M. Quiat Delegates to the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Grosfeld Family National Youth Leadership Mission.  They recently joined other eleventh grade students from across the country in a significant experience learning to apply lessons learned from the Holocaust to their own lives and lead the fight against bigotry and hate in their respective communities.

The mission, which took place from Sunday, October 26, to Wednesday, October 29 in Washington, D.C. involved 110 youths from metro areas across the country including Albany, New York City, New England, Florida, Washington D.C., Chicago, New Orleans, Denver, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego. The high school students were selected for their extraordinary leadership qualities and demonstration of interest in issues of diversity.

The ten participating students from Colorado were Naahile Abdo, Jessica Bae, Sophia Grossman, Andrew Pfefer, Sydney Tinker Quynn, Eric Sallinger, Beth Siyoum, Alexis Sorenson, Adrianna Soto-Confer, and Allison Willey.  The delegates attend Gateway High School, Boulder High School, Mullen High School, Grandview High School, Rangeview High School and Adams City High School.

The delegates’ trip to Washington, DC and participation in the Mission was made possible by a generous contribution of the family of Gerald M. Quiat, who passed away in 2013.  Mr. Quiat was actively involved in ADL at the local and national levels.  He was also Chair of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Quiat family, Colorado students have been privy to a life-changing experience,” said Scott L. Levin, Mountain States ADL Regional Director. “The lessons they learned about the Holocaust will help them create tangible goals and enable them to combat hate in their school communities.”

The delegates were joined on the mission by Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor. Mr. Foxman addressed the group and shared his personal story of being saved from the Nazis by his Polish Catholic nanny.

The centerpiece of the mission was a trip to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where students the delegates learned about the persecution and atrocities of the Second World War, and examined contemporary issues of extremism, bigotry and genocide.  The students also engaged in in-depth discussions about lessons that are 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 shared their personal experiences with bullying, hatred and discrimination, and discussed how the lessons of the Holocaust can be applied today.

Other notable presenters included:

  • Dr. Leon Bass, a U.S. Army soldier during World War II who was detailed to Buchenwald Concentration Camp to assist in relief, and was among the first American soldiers to be seen by survivors of the camp.
  • Nesse Godin, a survivor of a Lithuanian ghetto, the Stuffhof concentration camp, four labor camps, and a death march.
  • Jacqueline Murekatete, a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide and an internationally recognized genocide prevention and human rights activist.

The Gerald M. Quiat Delegates also attended ADL’s 20th annual “In Concert Against Hate” on October 27 at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, at which heroes in the fight against hate and intolerance were honored and spoke about how they stood up against or were the victims of hate crimes.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.  Follow us on Twitter: @ADL_News