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The Power of Youth: Activism in Action

February 8, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


The Power of Youth: Activism in Action
February 8, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at The Palladium (253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701)

The Florida Holocaust Museum is pleased to present a community conversation with Elizabeth Dearborn Hughes and Claire Sarnowski, youth activists who are making change happen in the world. The panel discussion will be moderated by trailblazer Gayle Sierens, Retired Co-Anchor, WFLA News Channel 8.

All attendees will receive a complimentary guest pass to visit The Florida Holocaust Museum. This pass, distributed at the program, will admit attendees to view the Museum’s latest exhibition Let Me Be Myself: The Life Story of Anne Frank, which includes a Virtual Reality experience (by appointment only) that allows the visitor to travel back in time to the Frank’s hiding place, the “Secret Annex.”

Elizabeth Dearborn Hughes, CEO and co-founder of the Akilah Institute, the only college for women in Rwanda, and Davis College, a global network of universities offering affordable and market relevant education.

Claire Sarnowski, as a high school freshman in Oregon, contacted her state senator to sponsor a bill for mandatory curriculum standards to teach students about the Holocaust and the concept of genocide. The bill became law in June 2019.

This program is free to attend. Please RSVP online at

Presenting Sponsor: Bank of America

Additional Support From: St. Petersburg College and Culture Builds Florida


About the speakers:

Elizabeth Dearborn Hughes, 2020 Loebenberg Humanitarian Award honoree, a Tampa Bay native, is the CEO and Co-founder of The Akilah Institute for Women, a college with campuses in Rwanda and Burundi that connect young women to economic opportunity. Elizabeth learned of the Rwanda genocide while a student at Berkeley Prep in Tampa and upon her 2006 college graduation, she moved to Rwanda. In 2010, Elizabeth and her husband Dave founded The Akilah Institute in Rwanda to provide education and career development to promising young female leaders.

Claire Sarnowski, 2020 Legacy Award honoree, met Holocaust Survivor Alter Wiener as a fourth-grade student in the Oregon Public Schools. Alter spoke to her class about surviving five different concentration camps and losing most of his family. Following his presentation, Claire forged a special friendship with Alter, learning of his lifelong dream to implement mandatory curriculum standards for teaching students about the Holocaust and other genocides. Claire, as a high school freshman, reached out to her state senator who sponsored the bill. Because of Claire’s advocacy and persistence, the bill became law in June 2019 requiring that all Oregon students receive Holocaust education.


February 8, 2020
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category:


Florida Holocaust Museum
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The Palladium Theatre
253 5th Ave N
St. Petersburg, FL 33701 United States
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