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Students Invited to Enter 'I Have a Dream' Contest

A Martin Luther King statue stands tall.  Photo credit: Getty Images
A Martin Luther King statue stands tall. Photo credit: Getty Images
by Bay City News

The U.S. District Court for Northern California is inviting South Bay students to enter a civics contest based on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. The theme of the contest is "50 Years after the March on Washington: What the American Dream Means to Me." In one part of the contest, high school students in Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties are invited to submit a 750-word essay on how the civil rights movement and the 1963 march on the nation's capital have influenced their hopes and dreams for the future.

A second part of the contest is open to third graders, who are asked to make posters on the theme. The winners will be announced at a program at the San Jose courthouse of the U.S. District Court on April 22 and will be given cash prizes and medals. They will also be invited to attend the opening day of a conference of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Monterey on July 14, and the winning essays and posters will be on display during the four-day conference. Rules, entry forms and other information for the contest are available online at http://www.ce9.uscourts.gov/civicscontest/. Entries are due by April 1. The competitions are open to students from public, private and parochial schools. King, standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, gave his speech calling for racial equality at the civil-rights March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on Aug. 28, 1963. An estimated 250,000 people joined in the march.

The contest is co-sponsored by the U.S. District Court and the 9th Circuit Courts and Community Committee. They announced the contest on Friday. The San Francisco-based District Court handles federal civil and criminal trials in coastal Northern California from Monterey County to the Oregon border. The court's San Jose branch is assigned to cases from the four counties whose students are invited to participate in the contest. The 9th Circuit hears appeals of cases in federal courts in nine western states. Its conference in Monterey will be attended by judges and lawyers from those states. The first, second and third prizes in the high school essay contest will be savings bonds of $500, $250, and $100 plus a medal. Three runners-up will each receive a $50 bond. The third-grade winners will receive medals.

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