In 2021, for the second time, the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation sponsored the Global Youth Ambassador Program (GYAP), which is aimed specifically at high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Twenty-five high school students participated in the month-long summer program, called “Atlanta – Germany: Peer Exchange Program”. Ongoing international travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic had forced GYAP to implement the program online and virtually. Part of the program consisted of daily German lessons from a language school in Berlin. In addition to this teaching of basic German language skills in digital language classes, however, the program was equally concerned with improving cultural understanding of Germany so that American students could see the similarities and differences between American and German cultures. For this purpose, the Foundation was able to attract three special and very different speakers, each of them gave insight into the German reality from their own perspective and experience, and were available to answer the students’ questions afterwards, before they then discussed the topic among themselves.
Our Board of Trustees Chairwoman Sawsan Chebli spoke on the topic:
Civic Engagement as an Integral Part of an Integration That Works.
The Artist, activist, and founder of “Politaoke” as well as “Artists Without a Cause” Diane Acre spoke on the topic:
German’s attempted erasure of the word race & the US’s fear-mongering of critical race theory: Fighting for equity when language is weaponized.
Marc Holland-Cunz and Niloufar Shabanpour, from the project “withwingsandroots, which is also supported by the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation, spoke on the topic:
Transatlantic comparisons of racial injustice in Germany, South Africa, and the United States.