Street Law Clinic Exhibit Showcases Area High Schools

December 5, 2011 —

On December 1, the Georgetown Law Street Law Clinic and the D.C. Human Rights Commission teamed up for “Know Your Rights,” an exhibit of multimedia projects by students from 13 local high schools. During the month of November, students in Street Law taught classes in international human rights and the D.C. Human Rights Act to area high schoolers — who then interpreted what they learned in nearly 100 different ways.

The idea began with Adjunct Professor David Simmons (L’84), chief administrative law judge of the D.C. Commission of Human Rights, who contacted the Street Law program last summer to explore ways of celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948. And Street Law Director Rick Roe recalled how, after a high school mock trial last spring, Georgetown students and the high school participants created a rap song about the event. “They used the media they were familiar with and that they really liked as a means of expressing and talking about it, so [this idea] was a natural for us,” Roe said.  

The individual projects provided the experiential learning component that is as important to high school students as it is to law students. “One student said, ‘I’ve never worked this hard on a project before in my life,’” said Clinical Teaching fellow Sean Arthurs, who helped organize the event with second-year fellow Sarah Medway. Medway took the lead in developing the curriculum, organizing the projects and displaying the exhibit.  

Former Street Law staff member Charisma Howell (LL.M.’08) chaired a judging committee composed of members of the community. Prizes were awarded at the exhibit (see category winners below); a grand prize will be awarded at a dinner sponsored by the D.C. Human Rights Commission on December 8. “To see them go from having this large voluminous piece of law to being able to comprehend it, interpret it and express it in a way they see fit … I’m astounded by the turnout, the turnaround and the success,” Howell said.

Category Winners:

  • Editorial
  • Cartoon: Anour Djiwa - YouthBuild
  • Essay:
  • Jayla Caphart - Duke Ellington
  • Other:
  • Dymond Elliott - School Without Walls
  • Photo Essay:
  • Genuine Kinser, Larry West, Tynesha Young - Ballou
  • Poem:
  • Rashad Carroll, Jasmine Stagg - Spingarn
  • Poster Board:
  • Austen Hamilton - School Without Walls
  • Power Point:
  • Jocyelyn Gutierrez - Luke C. Moore
  • Song/Rap:
  • Shamir Fauntley, TyQuan Myrick - Thurgood Marshall Academy
  • Video:
  • Nijah Armstrong, Promis Crawford, Justice Harris, Wing Ho, Farid Shabazz, Quenice Simms, Nahom Zerai - Banneker

-- Ann W. Parks

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