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Alaska wins Law Day award

The American Bar Association has awarded Alaska's photo-text exhibit, 'The US in JUSTICE is . . . Everyone!,' an Outstanding Law Day Activity Award for 2002. The awards recognize exemplary community education projects on the importance of the rule of law in America.

Sponsored by the Alaska Court System and Alaska Bar Association, the exhibit 'put a face on justice in Alaska,' said the ABA. The exhibit featured 37 portraits of diverse Alaskans and their personal statements about what equal justice means to them. It was replicated and sent to over 40 locations statewide, and approximately 40,000 Alaskans had the opportunity to view it at schools, courthouses, and other public venues. According to the ABA's Law Day website, 'the project succeeded in raising public awareness about our legal system and the work of judges, attorneys, legal organizations, and others in a quest for fairness and equality. The 'rule of law' is no longer abstract when a dedicated person gives it a face and a voice.'

'The US in JUSTICE is...Everyone!' exhibit served as a visual backdrop for Law Day 2002 activities across Alaska and promoted the 2002 Law Day theme 'Celebrate Your Freedom: Assuring Equal Justice for All.' Barbara Hood, who coordinated the project, said the exhibit was specifically designed to address this year's theme. Participants were included in the exhibit based on their contributions in the areas of focus identified by the American Bar Association:

(1) extending legal assistance to those in need;
(2) making courts more efficient and user-friendly; and
(3) making American justice equal regardless of color, gender, disability, or economic status. As a result, the exhibit met its goals of helping educate Alaskans about the many people who work for equal justice and fostering meaningful dialogue about what equal justice means and how it can be achieved in a diverse society.

Major communities in Alaska, as well as many smaller villages, displayed the exhibit on Law Day and throughout the month of May 2002. Courthouses in major cities and regional centers such as Anchorage, Barrow, Bethel, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan, Kotzebue, Nome, Sitka and Palmer mounted it prominently in public lobbies or hallways, and several have kept it on display throughout the year. Some courts invited the public to opening receptions on Law Day, which included music, dancing and speakers representing diverse segments of their communities. At least four major high schools and two major community centers also hosted the exhibit, which also received coverage in the Anchorage Daily News.

The first time Law Day partnership between the Alaska Court System and the Alaska Bar Association proved very successful and will be continued. ACS committed staff time, partial funding, and in-kind support to the exhibit itself. The AkBA helped evaluate the exhibit, prominently displayed it at its annual convention, and provided extensive coverage in the Bar Rag. Members of the planning committees, who represented many diverse organizations and institutions, also provided invaluable assistance, and several participated in the exhibit. The Alaska Humanities Forum was a critical partner in the project because of its important financial contribution. Finally, strong relationships were formed with 37 individual and group participants in the exhibit, all of whom appreciated the positive public attention to their efforts.

Posters from the exhibit have also been widely displayed individually. For example, Anchorage Therapeutic Courts are using their individual poster to publicize their innovative work, and the Fairbanks courthouse has put posters featuring regional court staff on permanent display. Some participants have used their posters in grant applications or board presentations. New opportunities for displaying the exhibit are arising regularly, and it remains available for future outreach purposes.

'The winning entries for Law Day 2002 showed creativity in putting together strong community teams and reaching out to various segments of the public to convey the importance of the rule of law,' said the ABA. 'In addition, the programs showed great promise in continuing activities throughout the year and adding activities for the next Law Day.'

"The Alaska Bar Association is proud to have been a part of this project and is delighted at the recognition," says Executive Director Deborah O'Regan.

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Those who made it happen

The Alaska Court System and Alaska Bar Association thank the following individuals and organizations for their participation in "The US in JUSTICE is . . . Everyone!" photo-text exhibit:


1. Chief Justice Dana Fabe, Alaska Supreme Court
2. Harold Curran, Cathy Aukongak, Carol Yeatman, and Nora Sund, Alaska Legal Services Corporation
3. Denise R. Morris & Joe Garoutte, Alaska Native Justice Center
4. Susan Churchill and Manju Bhargava, Bridge Builders
5. Robin Bronen, Mara Kimmel, Robin Wittrock, Sara Acharya, Ana Fernandez and Giuseppe Grillea, Immigration & Refugee Services Program
6. Thelma Buchholdt
7. Rex & Stephanie Butler
8. Sallye Werner, CASA Program
9.Magistrate Sue Charles, Alaska Court System
10.Excelia Hendrickson, Sharena Duff, Alisha Fahey, Marianna Rowland, Mong Vang, Krystal Henry, Edward Poinier, Jeffery Buchark, Karena Taylor, and Ashley Burke, Clark 21st Century Community Learning Center After-School Program
11.Tony Lombardo, Covenant House
12.Julia Coster, Cynthia Drinkwater, and Ed Sniffen, Office of the Attorney General
13.Gladys Langdon, Division of Family and Youth Services
14.Dave Fleurant & Tom Fernette, Disability Law Center
15.Betty Hernandez, Judi Miller & Katherine Alteneder, Family Law Self-Help Center, Alaska Court System
16.Eric K. Williams, Jr., Justin Rhoades, Maddie Troiano & Alivia M. Feliciano, Government Hill Elementary Peer Mediators
17.Andy Harrington, Alaska Legal Services Corporation
18.Adrian L. Ingram, Captain, USAF, JAG Office, Elmendorf
19.Judge Michael I. Jeffery, Alaska Court System Barrow
20.Mike A. Jackson, Kake Circle Peacemaking
21.Essaia White, Kenai Peninsula Youth Court
22.Laurie Sodstrom, Christina Lewis, Jessie Chapman, Alejandro Chauvarna, Hannah Poet,Tracey Anderson, and Casey Klask, Ketchikan Youth Court
23.Tammy Lamont, Alaska Court System, Emmonak
24.Chief of Police Walt Monegan, Anchorage Police Department
25.Elizabeth Smith, North Star Youth Court
26.Galen Paine, Alaska Civil Liberties Union
27.Christine McLeod Pate, Alaska Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault
28.Bryan Timbers, Alaska Pro Bono Program
29.Vance Sanders, Arthur H. Peterson & Janine Reep, Alaska Legal Services Corporation Board
30.Judge Eric Smith, Alaska Court System, Palmer
31.Diane LoRusso & Jovelyn deLuna, Standing Together Against Rape
32.Donald L. Surgeon, Public Defender Agency
33.Judges Stephanie Rhoades, James Wanamaker & Stephanie Joannides, Anchorage Therapeutic Courts
34.Diane Payne, Tribal Law & Policy Institute
35.Shannon Johnson, Traditional Council of Togiak
36.Trang Duong and Rona Mason, Immigration & Refugee Services Program
37.Donna Garner, Victims for Justice.

And, The Alaska Court System and Alaska Bar Association would also like to thank the following people for their generous support for 'The US in JUSTICE is EVERYONE!' exhibit:

Marita Bunch, John Hagey & Wendy Leach, North Star Youth Court
Elva Cerda, Government Hill Elementary, Anchorage
Jim Cucurull, Design-P/T, Anchorage
Robert Dillon, Editor, Tundra Drums, Bethel
Judge Richard Erlich, Kotzebue
Ginny Espenshade, Kenai Peninsula Youth Court
Kathy Fritz, Photographer, Sitka
Gretchen Klein, Ketchikan Youth Court
Kristine O'Neill, ACS Administrative Staff, Anchorage
Patrick O'Neill, Clark Middle School, Anchorage
Mary Treiber, ACS Rural Court Training Assistant, Ketchikan

And the following Alaska Court System administrative staff:
Sylvester Perry
Robert Crager
Nara Douglas
Tina Metrokin
Diana Runyan
Rose Byes
Kristine O'Neill
Becky Lorentz
Leanne Flickinger
Douglas Schwartz
David Bohna
Pablo Estrada

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