An informational meeting on “The March of Remembrance and Hope,” a student leadership program and mission to Poland set for May 22-29, will begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8 in Demarest 117B.
Professor Michael Dobkowski will lead a group of 10 students making the nine-day trip, which will bring together 650 college and university students and their faculty mentors from across North America and the world. An integral part of the program involves Holocaust survivors who will travel with the group and interact with the students, as well as lectures by some of the leading scholars in the field.
The trip to Poland is preceded by a day-long seminar for all North American students. After arriving in Europe, they will visit monuments and memorials that commemorate the once-thriving Jewish cultural centers in Warsaw, Krakow and Lublin that were destroyed during World War II.
The group will walk through the death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek, where life ended for millions. Throughout their travels in Poland, they will be encouraged to freely discuss their feelings and impressions.
After returning home, students are encouraged to become involved in campus initiatives that share the goals of the March — building a foundation of mutual respect and understanding and celebrating the benefits of diversity and the capacity for reconciliation that exists in the human spirit.
To date there are more than 30 American colleges and universities sending students, and delegations from Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine, Israel and China. One of the goals is to expose students of different religious and ethnic backgrounds to the dangers of intolerance through the study of the Holocaust and to promote better relations among people of diverse cultures.
Dobkowski and seven students participated in this program in 2003, and called it “an extraordinary experience” for the students and him.
For details, check out the Web site, http://www.remembranceandhope.com.
Organizers are working on fund-raising to subsidize the cost; those with questions may e-mail Dobkowski or call ext. 3369.