Kathy Rowan, 704.338.7219 or [email protected]

Sarah Mabus, 704.347.3844 or [email protected]

Marcia Merrill, 704.364.0084 or [email protected]


Student Ambassadors Chosen to Travel “In the Footsteps of Elie Wiesel”


Young Hero of Hope Award Winner Announced

Applications for High School Students to Enter Art and Writing Contests

Available at; Deadline 3/05/07



Charlotte, N.C., Jan. 24, 2007 –The Echo Foundation announces the student winners of “In The Footsteps of Elie Wiesel.”  This educational leadership and travel program is one component of Voices Against Indifference, an annual comprehensive education and community-based initiative.

The 2007 program, A Decade Inspired by Elie Wiesel, sponsored by The Leon Levine Foundation: Sandra and Leon Levine, culminates in Nobel Laureate for Peace Elie Wiesel’s visit to engage in dialogues, forums and lectures within the Charlotte community, March 27 – 28, 2007.

(Editor note: The Echo Foundation Education and Event Fact Sheet follows this release.)

Those who were chosen to follow “In the Footsteps of Elie Wiesel” by a panel of judges are high school students who will serve for the year-long Elie Wiesel Project.  These Student Ambassadors are charged with the task of promoting positive social action in the greater Charlotte community.  They will have dedicated time with Professor Wiesel during his visit to Charlotte in March and are responsible for initiating and communicating projects and messages to benefit humanity.

The 12 Student Ambassadors were chosen from 56 applicants, representing 15 schools across the Charlotte region.  The winners are comprised of eight females and four males, representing six schools.  They are Preston Gray and Blake Templeton, both sophomores at Butler High School; Gabriela Reed, a freshman at East Mecklenburg High School; Casey Horgan, a junior and Catherine Auerbach, a sophomore at Myers Park High School; Adara Blake, Scott Fisher II and Margaret Love, sophomores, and Evelyn Denham, a junior at North Mecklenburg High School; Natasha Frosina, a junior, and Kristine Sowers, a sophomore at Providence Day School; and Harold Robins, a junior at Providence High School.

(Editor note: Student photo links are on page 3 of this release.)

This coming July, these Student Ambassadors will explore some of the challenges, opportunities and environments that have shaped the life and work of Elie Wiesel.  The students will trace his path from his birthplace, Sighet, Romania, to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland where much of his family perished, and to Paris, where he was given refuge and began his studies after the war.

The group will also visit Berlin to experience the Holocaust memorial and museum.  They will study the model of reparation and relationship healing with the Jewish people that stands today as an extraordinary example of understanding, cooperation and friendship.

Young Hero of Hope Award Winner

Benjamin Smolen, a Myers Park High School graduate currently studying musicology at Princeton University, will be recognized with the Young Hero of Hope Award for his leadership and commitment to action for humanity.  This award, which calls attention to emerging humanitarians, will be presented to Smolen at the Elie Wiesel Student Dialogue at Myers Park High School on March 27.

Student Art & Photography and Essay & Poetry Writing Contests

To demonstrate how one person can make a difference, The Echo Foundation offers both an Art & Photography contest and an Essay & Poetry Writing Contest for high school students. Given a challenge statement based on “Night,” Elie Wiesel’s definitive account of the Holocaust, students respond creatively expressing their view of social justice.  Since Elie Wiesel writes in French, Echo offers the Writing Contest in both French and English.  For entry forms and details about cash prizes visit  Entries must be received by Tuesday, March 5, 2007, at 5:00 p.m. in the Echo offices or postmarked by that date.

About The Echo Foundation

The Echo Foundation was founded in 1997 to carry on the message Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel brought to Charlotte that year – a call to action for human dignity, justice and moral courage.  The Echo Foundation brings speakers and programs to Charlotte that illustrate how one person can make a difference for humanity through its Voices Against Indifference Initiative.  Previous speakers include five internationally renowned Nobel Laureates in science and medicine, Doctors without Borders founder Bernard Kouchner, Harvard Afro-American Studies Department Chairman Henry Louis Gates Jr., Columbia Earth Institute Director Jeffrey Sachs, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, human rights advocate Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, and Chinese dissident Harry Wu.

For additional information about The Echo Foundation and upcoming programs, visit or call 704.347.3844.


Photo Links to 12 Student Ambassadors chosen to travel “In the Footsteps of Elie Wiesel”:\pr\prestongray.jpg\pr\blaketempleton.jpg\pr\gabrielareed.jpg\pr\caseyhorgan.jpg\pr\catherineauerbach.jpg\pr\adarablake.jpg\pr\scottfisherii.jpg\pr\margaretlove.jpg\pr\evelyndenham.jpg\pr\natashafrosina.jpg\pr\kristinesowers.jpg\pr\haroldrobins.jpg


(Next two pages:  The Echo Foundation Education and Event Fact Sheet)



Education Components: 

  • Elie Wiesel Student Dialogue, Tues., March 27, 9:00 – 11:15 a.m., Myers Park High School: 1,000+ students and teachers from 27+ regional public, private and home schools will have the opportunity to present their questions to Elie Wiesel.  A news conference with Wiesel will be held in the Art Gallery immediately following the dialogue.
  • Young Hero of Hope Award, Tues., March 27, 9:00 a.m., Myers Park High School: Benjamin Smolen, a Myers Park High School graduate currently studying musicology at Princeton, will be recognized with the Young Hero of Hope Award for his leadership and commitment to action for humanity.
  • Curriculum Materials: Educational guides focusing on the life and work of Elie Wiesel including his biography, bibliography, filmography, relevant web links and essays written by and about him and the Holocaust, World War II, music and tradition, available free of charge online
  • Student Art & Writing Contests, Mon., March 5, Deadline: Students grades 9-12 are invited to submit art, photography, poetry and prose (in French and English) related to “Night,” Elie Wiesel’s definitive account of the Holocaust. Application materials and prize details available online at
  • Humanity’s Day, Thurs., Feb. 8, 1:00 – 3:30 p.m., Myers Park High School: Students and teachers from 27+ regional schools will attend an interactive educational session to prepare for the Elie Wiesel Student Dialogue.
  • “In the Footsteps of Elie Wiesel”: A leadership and travel program that offers high school students the opportunity to experience formative locations in Elie Wiesel’s life in Romania, Poland, France and Germany.  Students will have special time with Wiesel while he is in Charlotte, and will be charged with implementing a project designed to benefit the Charlotte community prior to their travel in July 2007.
  • Scholars’ Breakfast, Wed., March 28, 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.: Elie Wiesel will discuss issues of global importance with 40 students and professors from five Charlotte area colleges and universities.
  • High School Holocaust Museums: Area high school students and faculty will meet with Holocaust survivors, rescuers and liberators as they study World War II and the Holocaust.  Students will be challenged to create a Holocaust Museum in their own school.
  • Documentary Film: A documentary film chronicling “A Decade Inspired by Elie Wiesel” will be created by The Echo Foundation to serve as a permanent teaching tool on Elie Wiesel’s message against indifference.


Community Components:
  • Documentary Film Series, Tuesdays, March 6, 13, 20, 7:00 p.m., Public Library Main Branch, Francis Auditorium: The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County will hold a film series featuring “The Courage to Care” and other titles accompanied by discussions on justice, peace and human dignity.  Free and open to the public.
  • Inter-Faith Forum for Hope, Tues., March 27, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.: A round-table discussion with Elie Wiesel and 25 leaders from the Charlotte faith and business communities. Participants will explore ways to lead and inspire the community to take positive action for humankind.
  • Patrons’ Reception, Tues., March 27, 5:00 p.m., Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Belk Lobby: 500 people will attend reception honoring Elie Wiesel. Tickets for the Patrons’ reception and preferred seating at the community lecture may be purchased through the Echo Foundation, 704.347.3844.  Individual tickets are $250; Anniversary Ticket packages are $3,000 and include 10 tickets and program recognition.

o        Award Against Indifference Presentation, March 27, 5:00 p.m., Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Belk Lobby:  Honoring those in our community who work to create a better world, the Echo Award Against Indifference will be presented to community activist Sally Dalton Robinson by Harvey Gantt, former Mayor of Charlotte, and Stan Brookshire, Chairman of Presbyterian Healthcare.

  • Community Lecture, Tues., March 27, 6:30 p.m., Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Belk Theater: Elie Wiesel will speak “Against Indifference” to an audience of 2000+ people, encouraging us to explore our own humanity and to take personal responsibility for the human condition.  Tickets for the lecture ($35 for a limited number of student seats, $65 for adults) may be purchased by going to or through the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Box Office, located in Founders Hall at 130 North Tryon Street, 704.372.1000.
  • Charlotte Children’s Choir, Tues., March 27, 6:30 p.m., Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Belk Theater: The Charlotte Children’s Choir and Cantors from Charlotte synagogues will collaborate to form a chorus, which celebrates the visit of Elie Wiesel by sharing the music that is significant in his life and essential to the Jewish people.  The chorus will perform prior to the Community Lecture.



For more information, contact:

Kathy Rowan, 704.591.8945 or  [email protected]

Heather Fried, 704.347.3844 or [email protected]

Marcia Merrill, 704.364.0084 or [email protected]

The Echo Foundation


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