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Student Leadership Day for 9th-11th Graders

Below is information about our 2021 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. 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:


Tuesday, November 30, 11:30am – 3:00pm CT – Nomination are still being accepted

ONSITE PROGRAM at Illinois Holocaust Museum, 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie IL 60077

Wednesday, December 1, 8:30am – 2:30pm CT – This program has reached capacity

Keynote Speaker

Mark Segal

Mark Segal was a participant at the Stonewall rebellion, founder of Gay Youth, and an organizer of the first Gay Pride in 1970.  He is best known for his campaign to end LGBT invisibility on TV News and Programming by disrupting live TV shows including The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite and the Today Show with Barbara Walters. He currently serves on the Joint Diversity Council of Comcast NBCUniversal to continue to educate the network on LGBT issues.

Segal is also the founder of the Philadelphia Gay News and past president of both The National LGBT Press Association and The National Gay Newspaper Guild. His memoir “And Then I Danced: traveling the road to LGBT equality,” was named best book by The National LGBT Journalist Association.

He partnered with the Obama administration to create and build the nation’s first official “LGBT Friendly” Senior Affordable housing apartment building, a $19.8 million project that opened in 2013.

Last year, Segal’s personal papers and artifacts from the last 50 years were added to the collection of The Smithsonian Institute of American History in Washington, DC.

How to Nominate a Student

Extended Deadline: Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 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 are supported with generous grants from: Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; Bank of America, The Bill Bass Foundation; Dr. Scholl Foundation; Leah Gutman Education Fund; Max and Sunny Howard Memorial Foundation, Niles Township Government; PNC; Regions Bank, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation; State Farm, Steans Family Foundation, Women’s Leadership Committee of the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

Additional endowment support is provided by: 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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