At HHREC High School Institute, Students Learn Lessons on Voting Rights History

Over 350 students and teachers from 31 area schools attended the 21stHolocaust and Human Rights Education Center {HHREC} High School Institute on March 15th at Iona University in New Rochelle.


This program was developed to further the mission of the HHREC by laying the foundation to encourage students to become upstanders, rather than bystanders. This year, the program featured a stirring keynote presentation on the struggle to achieve voting rights by Sheila Arnold, CEO and Lead Performer of History’s Alive! The students and teachers also participated in a Q&A with Sheila in character.


Following this moving performance, students attended workshops led by experienced facilitators to encourage open discussions, as teachers inspired their students to engage as activists or “Upstanders” in response to human rights violations. Deputy Westchester County Executive Ken Jenkins also appeared to issue a proclamation on “Westchester County Upstander Week”, a call to action designed to encourage student activism on human rights issues.


The event culminated with a talk and Q&A with HHREC Board Chairperson and GenerationsForward Speakers Bureau member Michael Gyory, who shared the story of his father’s cousin Agi Keleti, a 102-year-old Holocaust Survivor who went on to win 10 Olympic medals as a gymnast.