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Ohio State Bar Foundation Announces New Grant Recipients

Columbus, OH (Jan. 23, 2015) –The Ohio State Bar Foundation recently granted $335,552.20 to eight worthy law-related organizations throughout the state of Ohio. Each project enables OSBF to fulfill its mission of promoting public understanding of the rule of law or improving the justice system. 
Asian Services In Action (ASIA) received a grant in the amount of $50,000 to create its third Community Legal Education Project (CLEP). This program seeks to translate 13 of the Ohio State Bar Association’s LawFacts pamphlets into four Asian languages. ASIA expects to disseminate this information to 5,000-10,000 individuals around the state in both print and electronic format. In addition, ASIA will also conduct community presentations to 350-450 immigrants and Asian Americans on critical legal issues they face every day. 
The Gahanna Middle School South Parent Association received a grant for $5,000 to create a “law library” for it students. The “library” will be a collection of books for use in the social studies classrooms. The goal of this grant is to expand the students’ knowledge of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and other founding documents. 
Home Based Arts USA received a grant in the amount of $42,000 to develop the sequel to its first children’s book, Haki and the Rule of Law. The second book, Haki Meets Common Ground, will teach 4th graders about mediation and effective compromise. OSBF Life Fellow and 2012 OSBF Distinguished Community Service Award Recipient Merle Wilberding will be authoring the book in collaboration with Susan Elliot, an associate professor and director at the Zimmerman Law Library. Once the book is developed, Home Based Arts will print and disseminate 40,000 copies to 4th graders around Ohio. 
The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education received a grant for $46,912 to fund four of its programs: Ohio Mock Trial Competition in the amount of $18,350, Youth for Justice in the amount of $3,492, We the People in the amount of $14,430 and Moot Court for $10,640.
  • The Ohio Mock Trial Competition is one of the five largest Mock Trial programs in the country. Students from around the state argue cases in front of volunteer judges and attorneys. The winning teams move on from regionals to the state championship. 
  • Youth for Justice (YJF) is a student-led, service-leadership program that teaches middle school students to work cooperatively to identify, research, propose and implement solutions to problems in their community – especially those leading to violence by and against youth.  The goal for YFJ this year is to create opportunities for students to incorporate technology into their research, plan of action, and project presentation. 
  • We the People is an instructional program on the history and the principles of American constitutional democracy for elementary, middle and high school students. Simulated congressional hearings within the curriculum allow students to demonstrate their knowledge of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
  • Moot Court provides high school students with the opportunity to learn about the appellate judicial process by writing appellate briefs, crafting legal arguments and participating in simulated oral arguments.
The Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN), in collaboration with the Ohio State Legal Services Association (OSLSA), received a grant in the amount of $19,250 to promote legal knowledge among advocates and survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking. ODVN and OSLSA will do this in two ways: 1) by providing five basic and five advanced legal workshops regionally in Ohio for at least 100 non-attorney advocates from domestic violence, sexual violence, police and court-based and culturally specific victim assistance programs; and 2) by developing an online version of the basic and advanced workshops which can be taken online in future years by advocates around Ohio.
The Ohio State Bar Association received a grant of up to $50,000 to distribute its LawFacts pamphlet series to law-related organizations, non-profits and libraries throughout the state. The LawFacts pamphlet series provides general information for consumers about the most commonly encountered legal issues. 
Toledo Area Ministries was awarded a grant on behalf of AO: Advocating Opportunity in the amount of $55,991 for AO’s multi-faceted project that will educate victims of human trafficking about their rights. The project will also aim to create a trauma-informed, comprehensive legal assistance framework for victims of human trafficking in Ohio. In addition, AO will develop a best practices handbook and training sessions for legal professionals to help them meet needs of human trafficking victims. In 2014, AO was awarded the Ohio State Bar Foundation’s Outstanding Organization Award.
The University of Akron Foundation was awarded a grant on behalf of the University of Akron College of Law in the amount of $66,399.20 for its Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE) Training Project. A CQE will allow persons living in the community who have a previous felony or misdemeanor conviction to apply to the court to lift the collateral sanction that bars them from being considered for employment in a particular field. The University of Akron College of Law, in collaboration with Cleveland-based Towards Employment, will train service providers across the state to assist CQE applicants with successfully completing the CQE application. Once trained, the service providers will continue to provide CQE services to qualified applicants. This project will also educate employers about the benefits of the CQE so those applicants who are granted a CQE will be able to find employment. 
About the Ohio State Bar Foundation
The Ohio State Bar Foundation is a 501(c) (3) public charity that works to advance the law and build a better justice system. Through our grants and programs, we educate and perform outreach to the public to make the law fair for all Ohioans. For more information about the Ohio State Bar Foundation, please visit WWW.OSBF.NET.

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