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.
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.