The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County recognized a Southampton High School Senior as its Upstander of the Month of April for his work as a human rights activist, which began when he was in 10th grade.
During his sophomore year, Charlie Margaritis learned of gross human rights violations during the ongoing war in Uganda. In that conflict, tens of thousands of children were abducted, enslaved or murdered. He could not remain a bystander. He chose another path – to become an Upstander. He educated his peers about the conflict and reached out to “Invisible Children” in San Diego. He decided to organize a school-wide assembly at which the representative of “Invisible Children” spoke about the crisis in Uganda. A Southampton High School Chapter of Invisible Children grew out of the assembly, spearheaded by Charlie who remains its President. He also founded and is President of Key Club International at his school.
Charlie has widened the scope of his activism to try not only to help the children of Uganda, but to stop the war altogether. He lobbied Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to keep military advisors in Central Africa. He joined MoveDC last November in Washington, DC to raise awareness about Uganda and to support the President’s ground-breaking legislation identifying Joseph Kony as a war criminal. In addition, last summer, Charlie attended a peace and leadership conference titled “Fourth Estate.”
“Charlie’s activism is an example to us all of how we can effect change from wherever we currently stand,” said Dr. Sarah Cushman, Director of Youth Programs. #
Each month the Center accepts nominations from teachers, civic leaders, family and friends of a Long Island youth that has implemented the Center’s mission by advocating respect for all people. To nominate a student for “Upstander of the Month” or learn more, email Dr. Cushman at email@example.com.