by George J Elbaum
This was the third consecutive year that I spoke at Charles Wright Academy’s (CWA) Global Teen Summit, which in 2012 included 50 high school students and their teachers from China, Colombia, Poland, the United Arab Emirates, all staying with CWA host families during their visit. The annual Global Teen Summit is a 10-day program designed to promote peace and social justice by exposing the visiting students to and developing their understanding of the concepts of universal human rights and justice, fair trade and sustainable life styles, and by demonstrating how the choices that each of us makes every day can impact the world. The core of the Summit is a series of speakers whose personal experiences reflect directly on these subjects, and their presentations are followed by group discussions on these very concepts. My presentation was the first time that most of these students heard directly from a Holocaust speaker, and their subsequent comments and personal expressions of thanks were very gratifying – the very reason that, in spite of some emotional discomfort during my talks, afterwards I’m always glad I did it. The Summit’s founder, organizer, and strong guiding force is Nick Coddington, whose amazingly intense and varied background is exceeded only by his enthusiasm in instilling the Summit’s concepts in his students. (This presentation was arranged by the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center.) NOTE: need photo of entire UAE group, please!