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home : readerswrite : yourstory August 22, 2017

We are all leaders
by Sophia Morrissette

Camp can be a place to build life-long friendships, to learn a language, to refine sports skills or to experience being away from home and family for the first time. For me, my own education changed when I participated in a World Without Genocide camp with 30 students last summer. We heard from dozens of speakers during three 10-hour days.

You'd think after learning heart-wrenching stories we'd be dragging our feet home. The opposite was true. Even in the realization about cruelty human beings inflict on others, we were together in confronting these realities. Not isolated. Not immobilized by sadness or hopelessness, but united in determination.

Knowing that you are surrounded by youth who are passionate about making change is invigorating.

What I learned at the camp, which especially helps me, is that we are more than the people we elect. We the people represent our country and our world.

We all are leaders. We are capable of making a difference simply by offering a hug, as the Dallas community did for police after the sniper attack in 2016. We are capable of offering messages of hope, written in chalk on the sidewalks leading to my school, as families did after the election. We are able to smile at each other and remind each other that we're stronger together than apart.

Sophia Morrissette lives in Minneapolis.

FFI: worldwithoutgenocide.org

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