Illinois Holocaust Museum sponsors Student Leadership Day

On Dec. 3, 164 students from 23 public and parochial schools participated in the High School Student Leadership Day hosted by the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie.

Keynote speaker John Prendergast, who has worked for peace in Africa for nearly 30 years, shared his experiences and lessons learned.

Student participants explored the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and created a slogan and hashtag to raise awareness about human rights issues. These hashtags, such as #myvoicemychoice, #lifestartsnow and #keepthepeace, were made live by the museum's Twitter page with the hope that students and schools will be empowered to use social media for social good.

Through humor and storytelling, Prendergast shared his "10 building blocks for making a difference," among them: "build hope; value innovation; remember your faith; take care of you - remember it is a marathon not a sprint; find the human face of the issue; harness the power of a celebrity to attract greater attention to your cause; recognize the power of a social movement; and embrace your Don Quixote - you've got to dream."

Prendergast is co-founder of the Enough Project, an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity. With George Clooney, he co-founded the Satellite Sentinel Project, which aims to prevent conflict and human rights abuses through satellite imagery.

With NBA stars, he launched the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program, and he conceived the Raise Hope for Congo Campaign, highlighting the issue of conflict minerals.

John Prendergast, a human-rights activist in Africa, was the keynote speaker at Illinois Holocaust Museum High School Student Leadership Day. Courtesy Illinois Holocaust Museum
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