The Tennessee Bar Assocation Young Lawyers Division (TBA YLD) has announced the winners of the 2013 Tennessee Law Day Art and Essay Competitions.
Each May, in conjunction with the national Law Day celebration, the YLD hosts an art and essay contest for students in the state. The contests are designed to give young people the opportunity to express their ideas about living in a society that is governed by the rule of law, and achieve statewide recognition for their work.
The theme is set each year by the American Bar Association, which partners with state and local legal organizations that hold programs and events around the country to mark Law Day. The purpose of celebrating Law Day is two-fold: (1) to instill in students an appreciation for the law and foster a greater understanding of the American judicial system, and (2) provide an opportunity for attorneys to serve their local communities.
The theme of this year’s contest was: "Realizing the Dream: Equality for All,” which asked students to explore civil and human rights movements in America and the impact they have had in promoting the ideal of equality under the law. Students also were asked to consider what remains to be done to rectify injustice in society, including eliminating all forms of discrimination, putting an end to human trafficking and ending other violations of human rights. Read more about the competition theme.
Students receive cash prizes for their winning entries. Look for a display of winning entries at the TBA Convention in Nashville this June.
The YLD would like to thank Chattanooga lawyer Ellie Hill with Patrick, Beard, Schulman & Jacoway for serving as this year’s Public Service Commitee chair and coordinator of the state Law Day Art and Essay Contest.
Essay Competition Winners
Caroline Julie Rogers
Excerpts from First Place Essay
The Declaration of Independence boldly states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Even in the face of this assertion, the road to equality has been a long one and one that has not always been clear. A term like “equality,” though seemingly simple, is anything but. In 2013, Americans cannot fathom the idea of a woman being asked to move to a different seat on a bus merely because of the color of her skin. Nor can we envision a scenario in which certain children receive a superior education to others based solely on race. Today, the American people’s job is to define the term “equality” in ways that reflect the lessons of those who came before us. It is our job to remember the past and learn from it.
Follow the Civil Rights Road
By Caroline Julie Rogers
The first stop on the long road to racial equality occurred on Jan. 1, 1863, when the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Lincoln, … [but] full freedom was not given to African Americans until two years later when the 13th and 14th Amendments were ratified. Women would not enjoy the same rights as men until 1920… The next stop was in 1948 when President Truman desegregated the U.S. Armed Forces. This was a major step on the road to equality that led to the Civil Rights Movements of the 1950s and 60s. The dream was fulfilled…when the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were issued. [And] it was truly set into action…when Barack Obama became the first African American president of the United States.
American has taken huge steps on the road to freedom since 1863 for both racial and gender equality. However, today we see another group struggle on the same road. The LGBT community still fights for its equality…and sexual orientation is now making its way to the forefront of the civil rights debates. The journey is a long one, but it is not yet complete. Not until all human beings are considered equal will the dream be truly realized.