New Jersey State Bar Association - The voluntary Bar Association of New Jersey, serving members since 1899.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 02/27/08
CONTACT:Barbara S. Straczynski
Director of Communications
732-937-7538

Students Asked to Discuss Racial Disparity in the Application of Justice in Black History Month Contest

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The NJSBA Minorities in the Profession Section, Diversity Committee and Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Rights Section, honored the top three winners in the annual Black History Month Contest during a February 25 reception at the New Jersey Law Center.

High school students were asked to review recent events in Jena, Louisiana and discuss existing disparities in the application of justice to racial and ethnic minorities versus the majority population. They were also required to consider whether race is currently a factor considered in enforcing the law.

Andrew Scarpelli of Kinnelon High School was awarded first place for his essay entitled, An American Tragedy, in which he states “…in a nation that is so brilliantly designed, where liberty and justice is insured for all, there are still racial barriers and disparities that exist.” Erica Harrison, also of Kinnelon High School took second place for her essay entitled, Unresolved: Racial Injustice. Third place went to Debbie Kim of Jackson Liberty High School for her essay entitled, Racism Still Exists.

This year’s keynote address was given by Cornell Brooks, Executive Director of The Institute for Social Justice. The reception also featured works by featured artist Thomas Patrick McGee. The Black History Month Committee included Lori E. Caughman, Tracy M. Thompson, Denelle J. Waynick and Deidre L. Webster Cobb.

The New Jersey State Bar Association, incorporated in 1899, is dedicated to the continuing education of lawyers and the public, to reforming and improving the legal system and to aiding in the administration of justice. Visit the Association’s website at www.njsba.com.

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