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    National 2010 Youth Contest
    Naoma Nagahawatte


    Dear Friends and Colleagues:

    Across America, young people are thinking and talking about
    equality. From the environmental justice movement to the
    trial of the Jena 6 – young people continue to come out in
    force, speaking their minds and making their voices heard on
    the issues they believe in. The National Campaign to Restore
    Civil Rights (NCRCR) is interested in hearing what today’s
    youth have to say about the question, “What does equality
    mean to you?” To that end, NCRCR seeks your assistance in
    reaching out to young people to let them know about our
    exciting essay and visual media contest.

    In 1951, thirteen parents filed a class action lawsuit on
    behalf of their children, calling for their school district
    in Topeka, Kansas to reverse its policy of racial
    segregation. This landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education
    of Topeka (1954), established that "in the field of public
    education the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no
    place," making it illegal to segregate students on the basis
    of race. Brown v. Board was a milestone, helping to lay the
    groundwork for major victories in court, on the streets, and
    in the halls of Congress. Within a decade, Congress passed
    the Civil Rights Act of 1964, banning discrimination in
    employment practices and public accommodations and soon
    afterward passed laws restoring and protecting voting rights
    and prohibiting racial discrimination in housing.

    The concept of legal equality - the principle under which
    each person or group is subject to the same laws – remains a
    cornerstone of American life. Through legal and legislative
    battles over race, gender, orientation, the environment,
    health, education, age, housing, immigration, and disability
    issues, the struggle for equality continues. NCRCR invites
    young people between the ages of 14 and 18, to answer the
    question, “What does equality mean to you?” Participants can
    enter the contest in one of two ways – by sending an essay
    of no more than 750 words or submitting a visual media
    entry, such as an original photograph, drawing, or cartoon.
    Enclosed with this letter please find the contest guidelines
    and information on how students can send in their entries.
    Submissions for this contest are due by Monday, April 12, 2010.

    We appreciate your support and assistance in distributing
    information about this contest to students.

    Many thanks,

    Naoma Nagahawatte
    The National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights
    __

    The National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights (NCRCR) is a
    non-partisan movement working to ensure that our courts
    protect and preserve equal justice, fairness, and
    opportunity. We achieve these goals through raising
    awareness, outreach, and building alliances. Recognizing how
    little information about the status of civil rights in the
    courts is reaching people across the country, NCRCR is
    focusing on public education and outreach, finding ways to
    get the message out about the impact of court rulings on our
    neighborhoods, our schools, our opportunities and our rights.