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Teens Produce 55,000 Coffee Cup Sleeves Promoting Diversity

Other Topics: Coffee Franchise Development

August 19, 2008

Denver, Colorado - Coffee drinkers throughout the Denver metro area will have the opportunity to think about what it means to value diversity, thanks to 20 Colorado high school students who participated in a program sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The teens designed insulating coffee cup sleeves printed with ADL's logo and a message explaining what "Valuing Diversity is…" The first delivery of the sleeves arrives at metro Denver coffee houses this week, in time to reach Democratic National Convention visitors to Denver. By the end of September, 2,000 cafes will offer the sleeves.

Money for printing the sleeves was donated by Robert B. Sturm, who also paid for the students to attend ADL's 2007 Robert B. Sturm Youth Leadership Mission to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. The museum's exhibits allow students the opportunity to explore current issues of hatred and bigotry, and learn about the social and political climate that led to the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. There the teens learned the importance of respecting different people – and what lack of respect can sometimes produce.

"The intention of the coffee sleeves was to reach people on a tangible level, so exploring diversity might become as routine as your morning coffee," said Douglas County High School senior Kalie McMonagle, a participant in the Sturm Mission and one of the sleeve's creators. Said Mr. Sturm: "I'm happy that on the mission the students learned important lessons, and came up with a powerful message and a creative way of sharing it with many thousands of people."

The coffee sleeves display the message:


* recognizing that we all have accents.
* interrupting demeaning names and hurtful jokes.
* believing civil rights are for everyone.
* starting a conversation with someone new.
* stepping outside of your cultural comfort zone."


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