DC Office of Human Rights Newsletter | Volume VII | December 2018
Teaching DC Youth the Importance of the
Human Rights Act Through Mock Trials
On November 14th, in partnership with DC Public Schools, the DC Department of Corrections and the DC Commission on Human Rights, over 250 students from 10 local high schools and the DC Jail participated in the Georgetown Street Law   Human Rights Capstone . Over the course of the fall semester, students at the DC Jail and at local high schools were taught legal reasoning, advocacy skills and the DC Human Rights Act by members of the Commission and Georgetown law students. The high school and DC Jail students used this newfound knowledge to become lawyers and witnesses and competed against each other in the culminating event; a mini mock trial in front of real judges. After hearing both sides of the argument the judge made a ruling on the matter and named a top performer from each side, who will be in attendance at the 2018 Commission on Human Rights Awards Gala on Tuesday, December 11th. These mock trials serve the important role of familiarizing students with the practice of law, as well as teaching them about the Human Rights Act DC has in place to protect vulnerable populations.

Special Thank You to the 2018 Participants:
Anacostia Senior High School
Benjamin Banneker Senior High School
Calvin Coolidge Senior High School
Cardozo Educational Campus
DC Jail Central Detention Facility
DC Jail Young Men Emerging Unit at Central Treatment Facility
Duke Ellington School of the Arts
Dunbar Senior High School
Eastern Senior High School
International High School at Langley Park
School Without Walls
Woodrow Wilson Senior High School
Trait of the Month: Religion
This protected trait makes it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their belief system(s). This may or may not include spirituality. For more information or to file a complaint, visit our website; ohr.dc.gov . Happy Holidays!
This Month's Spotlight
Join us for the 2018 Commission on Human Rights Awards Gala on December 11th from 5pm to 8pm at Sidley Austin LLP (1501 K St, NW WDC 20005) . Each year the Commission hosts an awards gala to commemorate the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which is celebrating it's 70th Anniversary this month. The gala also honors the recipient of the Cornelius R. "Neil" Alexander Humanitarian Award. Refreshments will be served during the reception from 5pm to 5:45pm and the program will begin promptly at 6pm. RSVP below to secure your spot.
150th Anniversary of the 14th Amendment
This year, the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution turned 150 years old. This amendment, ratified on July 9, 1868, was a landmark addition to the Constitution that guarantees equal protection under the law, denies any state the right to deprive people of their liberty without due process, and makes it so that anyone born or naturalized in the United States is a U.S. citizen. The years immediately following the Civil War and Emancipation Proclamation saw the brutal treatment of Black Americans through the Black Codes in the South. The 14th Amendment was put into place to remedy those abuses. Additionally, the 14th Amendment has had a lasting impact on landmark Supreme Court cases, including Roe v. Wade (1973), Brown v. Board of Education (1954), Bush v. Gore (2000), and many, many others. Happy 150th Birthday 14th Amendment.

Director's Note
Dear Neighbors and Partners,
As we begin to move into the new year, let us reflect on 2018, a year filled with challenges and triumphs and tragedy and perseverance. It was a year where we celebrated many milestones in civil and human rights, such as the 150th anniversary of the 14th Amendment and the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Meanwhile, there has also been a rise in hate speech and hate crimes around the country due to intolerant rhetoric cloaked in politics.

Now, more than ever, it is important to be each others' keepers, to be sanctuaries for one another's suffering and wins. Let us go out of our way in 2019 to find common ground, to be empathetic towards one another, and to treat people with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year from OHR,
Monica Palacio, Director
DC Office of Human Rights | 202.727.4559 | ohr.dc.gov