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Press Release -  Dialogues on Freedom
Contact: Michael T. Elliott
Miriam Aroni Krinsky

Dialogues on Freedom -

Volunteer Lawyers and Judges to Conduct Dialogues with High School Students to Mark the One-year Anniversary of September 11

On September 12, 2002, in an effort to promote dialogue and discussion among our high school students about our country’s bedrock democratic principles and freedoms, over 150 volunteer judges and lawyers will conduct a series of simultaneous “Dialogues on Freedom” at over a dozen Los Angeles area high schools.  The Dialogues program, planned and sponsored by Los Angeles County Bar Association in collaboration with the Los Angeles Superior Court and the Los Angeles Unified School District, seeks to engage high school students in a guided discussion at the one-year mark of the tragic events of September 11th about the freedoms and responsibilities that make us uniquely American.  Using a hypothetical scenario, students in classes around the county will explore with volunteer lawyers, judges, and community leaders, Americans’ rights and their significance in light of September 11. At the conclusion of the Dialogues, all students will be asked to encapsulate in a single word or phrase what it means to them to be an American; those responses will be gathered together and posted on the L.A. County Bar Website.  The program is modeled after the Dialogue on Freedom initiative developed by the American Bar Association, in consultation with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
LACBA President Miriam Aroni Krinsky organized the Dialogues in the Schools Committee

a few months ago, noting that: “In the wake of September 11, there is a critical need for ongoing discussion and exchange of ideas with our youth – our future leaders and decision makers – about the principles of democracy and freedom, what it means to live in a country created on these ideals, and the imprint the shattering events of September 11 have left on our country’s heritage.”  The committee is co-chaired by the Honorable Laurie Zelon and Laura Farber, and has been working actively over the summer months to develop materials, identify participating schools, and recruit and train volunteers to participate in the Dialogues.  Judge Zelon, with the resounding support of Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge James Bascue, secured the participation of over fifty state judges in the program.  The LA County Bar has also encouraged other California Bar associations to conduct similar programs in their cities during the same time frame.

On September 24 there will be an afternoon post-dialogue town hall gathering at Loyola Marymount University, Westchester Campus, designed to bring together the ideas and concepts shared during these discussions.  At that gathering, Justice Anthony Kennedy will conduct a dialogue with a group of twenty high school students and thereafter offer his views on the importance of these ongoing discussions.

Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) is the largest local voluntary bar association in the nation with a membership of 25,000+ attorneys.  The County Bar is extensively engaged in advancing the administration of justice, and meeting the professional needs of the legal community.  For more information on LACBA, visit