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Houston Bar Association
Through its extensive Law Day programming, the Houston Bar Association (HBA) impacted over 53,000 people. A number of inaugural events were introduced this year including Special Needs Day, where 45 special needs students from 6 middle and high schools participated in a reenactment of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS case. These students were taught the importance of the ruling, about equality under law, and created posters to commemorate their experience. The HBA created Law Day education packets for every Harris County district and county court for distribution to court personnel. These packets not only provided facts about Law Day, but offered the staff resources for assisting litigants. In addition to their new initiatives, the Houston Bar Association also conducted evergreen Law Day programs such as: LegalLine, where attorneys answered inquiries from 263 callers; Dialogues of Freedom discussions, this year focusing on human trafficking; poster, photography and essay contests; as well as Law Day readings which resulted in nearly 8,500 students from over 100 elementary schools participating.
Law Day 2013 Dream Team (12 partner organizations)
The collaboration of 12 influential Georgia organizations enabled wide-spread Law Day participation throughout the state. Youth Talk, in partnership with Atlanta Public Schools, was a peer lead discussion hosted by the 2013 Dream Team members that focused on getting the next generation involved in civil and human rights issues. More than 100 high school students participated on-site in Atlanta and over 30 additional students engaged in the conversation via video from Tifton, Georgia, a town nearly 200 miles away. In an effort to impact adults within the community beyond just students, the Dream Team hosted a public conversation among civil and human rights leaders from older and younger generations to dialogue on the issues of equality. Topics ranged from immigration and human trafficking to basic human rights. The Dream Team included: Atlanta Bar Association, Atlanta Public Schools, Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, Gate City Bar Association, Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Georgia Association for Women Lawyers, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, Georgia Hispanic Bar Association, National Center for Civil & Human Rights, South Asian Bar Association of Georgia, State Bar or Georgia, and Stonewall Bar Association.
Connecticut Judicial Branch
To continue the long standing partnership with local bar associations, the Connecticut Judicial Branch joined bar members in classroom activities. 30 Superior Court judges addressed more than 1,600 students from 28 high schools about the importance of the rule of law and how that impacts their freedom, equality, and everyday life. Additionally 20 elementary school students from around the state were engaged in dramatic readings at the Connecticut Appellate Court, of important documents in United States history. These documents included excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Fourteen and Nineteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. In keeping with the Law Day theme on equality for all, the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut was recognized by the Court for their efforts in promoting diversity, dispelling stereotypes, and educating the public about Islam and the Muslim faith. Students from Connecticut’s Muslim based schools participated in the ceremony for the Coalition.