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Student Leadership Day for 9th-11th Graders

Below is information about our 2023 9th-11th Grade Student Leadership Day.

Our intensive Student Leadership Day programming engages students in 9th-11th grades with captivating, world-class Upstander speakers, interactive programs, and the opportunity to create an action plan to take back to their school. Student Leadership Day inspires the change-makers to build leadership skills, explore their roles as citizens, and develop a deeper understanding of the Holocaust, genocide, and other human rights issues. Students return to their communities with the tools and drive to promote acceptance and understanding.

We invite you to nominate up to ten of your 9th – 11th grade students to participate in this powerful day. The goal of Student Leadership Day is to increase awareness about the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights, and to help participants think about lessons we can learn from the past. Participating students will develop and carry out an action plan to address a social justice issue in their school, community, or the wider world. This year’s program will particularly highlight the Museum’s special exhibition “I’ll Have What She’s Having”: The Jewish Deli. Please note, we are offering the program in two formats: virtual (on Zoom) and onsite at the Museum.

Dates & Times

Choose from two dates and formats:

ONSITE PROGRAM at Illinois Holocaust Museum, 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie IL 60077 – (ON-SITE IS AT CAPACITY. PLEASE NOMINATE FOR VIRTUAL)

Wednesday, December 6, 9:00am – 2:30pm CT


Thursday, December 7, 11:30am – 3:00pm CT

Keynote Speaker

Dion Dawson, CEO and Chief Dreamer, Dion’s Chicago Dream

Dion Dawson is a food-based social entrepreneur, philanthropic leader, and founder focused on health equity through an innovative and logistical lens. Dion’s penchant for challenging the solvency of food insecurity through the stabilization of the supply chain has reinvigorated the traditional food distribution model. With data-driven operations, consistent quality, and a deep commitment to a resident-informed process that meets residents and recipients where they are, he prioritizes the end-user experience.

Dion founded Dion’s Chicago Dream, a nonprofit organization that combats food insecurity through logistics & last-mile delivery. His system provides a week’s worth of fresh produce to the doorsteps of food insecure recipients and has surpassed more than 600,000lbs of fresh produce provided annually, numerous community jobs created and one powerful movement.

Dion is an award-winning military journalist, public relations & communications expert, philanthropist, and son of Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. His philanthropic achievements include being named an Echoing Green Fellow, 2023 Aspen Institute Food Leaders Fellow, 2023 University of Chicago Civic Leadership Academy Fellow, 2023 Chicago Bulls Martin Luther King Legacy Award recipient, and 2021 American Express NGen Fellow. His writings have been featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Crain’s Chicago and a host of other publications.

How to Nominate a Student

Deadline: Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at 5:00pm CT

Please nominate up to 10 students in grades 9-11 to participate in Student Leadership Day. You should include a clear explanation of why you feel the nominated students should participate in the day. Schools are encouraged to nominate non-traditional student leaders who may particularly benefit from this opportunity.

Please note:

  • A maximum of 10 students per school are permitted. Please consult with your colleagues before submitting your nomination letter.
  • A teacher or administrator must participate in the virtual program along with their students. (Limit 2 teachers/chaperones per school.)

You will be notified of your nomination status via email within 48 hours of the close of the nomination period. Additional details and links will be provided at that time.

Participating schools will be invited to apply for a “seed money” grant to help fund materials needed to carry out their action plan. Application guidelines will be provided to participating schools in early December.

Nomination Guidelines

  • Students in grades 9-11 in accredited schools or homeschools are eligible to participate.
  • Students should have a sincere interest in enhancing their knowledge of the Holocaust, genocide, and/or human rights issues.
  • Students should have shown an interest in leadership at school or in their communities, or have shown an interest in creating social awareness. Schools are particularly encouraged to nominate students who are not yet leaders in their schools, but who have the potential to be. Suggested nomination criteria available by request.
  • Students should be willing to actively participate in discussion and activities, meet new people and become student ambassadors for the Illinois Holocaust Museum in their schools and broader communities.
  • Students must participate in the entire program, until 2:30pm (onsite) or 3:00pm (virtual).
  • A teacher or administrator must participate in the virtual program along with their students. (Limit 2 teachers/chaperones per school.)

Presenting Sponsor of Student Leadership Days:

Education Services: Anonymous; Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; Bank of America Foundation; David P. Brody Charitable Trust; Chicago Bears Football Club; Dr. Scholl Foundation; Kim Duchossois; Full Circle Foundation; Max and Sunny Howard Memorial Foundation; Jones Day Foundation; McGraw Foundation; PNC; Charles and M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Inc.; Women’s Board of the Illinois Holocaust Museum; Young Professional Board of the Illinois Holocaust Museum

Endowment: Congregation B’nai Sholom; The Mayor Richard M. and Maggie C. Daley Education Fund; The Harvey L. Miller Family Foundation Program Endowment Fund; Moselle Mintz Schwartz Education Fund; Barney & Anita Sidler Educational Endowment; Teachers Educational Endowment Fund

Photo credits: Danyel Duncan

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