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The Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of New York and the New York Law Journal partnered with the New York City Department of Education to sponsor the 12th annual essay contest for 10th, 11th and 12th grade students. Ten students won the opportunity to intern for a week with a Supreme Court justice and earned a $100 American Express gift card. The theme of this year’s contest was "Realizing the Dream: Equality for All" to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The winners were feted at the New York City Bar on Feb. 4. On hand for the event, from left, are Justice Robert Miller, Appellate Division, Second Department; Justice Barry Kamins, Brooklyn administrative judge for criminal matters; Justice Fern Fisher, deputy chief administrative judge for New York City courts; Shean Hinds, the grand prize winner from Harry S. Truman High School in the Bronx; and Justice Lawrence Knipel, Brooklyn administrative judge for civil matters.

Equality: the state or quality of being equal, a term often used but rarely fulfilled. Around the world and through the centuries, many have fought and died in the continuous struggle for their rights as human beings. America, "the land of opportunity," has been no exception to the countless countries in which citizens had to fight for their dream of equality. Throughout the trials and tribulations on America’s path to equality, the U.S. Supreme Court has both helped and hindered many people, but perhaps African Americans have been one group most strongly affected by the judicial branch.

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