Looking Towards the New Year with Gratitude for 2008

A note from our president, Eva Paterson:

Obama!!!! 2008 was quite a year, to put it mildly. We feel like characters in a fairy tale who lived in a peaceful kingdom that was taken over by monsters and mad men. And now they are finally packing up to leave us in peace!

The election of an African American to the presidency of the United States has given many racial justice activists cause to rethink our work. Are we in post racial America? What do we do now? And how can we best work together?

We at EJS have been reflecting about this since we started entertaining the notion that Obama could win. After a series of conversations, we determined that five areas will require our attention in the coming year:

  • Acknowledging and talking about the fact that we are not in post-racial America;
  • Persuading activists to pursue multi-issue agendas and encourage ourselves to determine common strategies with shared and overlapping priorities;
  • Talking about new ideas. The economic meltdown has proven Right-wing ideology about limited government and deregulation to be bankrupt. Progressives now have an opportunity to envision concepts such as government as a force for good and regulation as a protection against the incompetence and greed that is plaguing our economy;
  • Determining how we can support and guide President Obama as he implements new forward-thinking policies and practices; and
  • Recommending progressive attorneys and judges – and judges and attorneys of color – for appointment to the federal bench. If you have recommendations, please send them (with CV/bio and your reason for recommending) to us at judicialpotential@equaljusticesociety.net.


On behalf of our board and staff, I would also like to express our deep and profound appreciation to our donors, allies, friends and supporters who have continued to give — both financially and otherwise — despite the tough economic times.

We would like to especially recognize the following individuals for their generous support:

Denise Abrams
William Alderman
Kathleen Barry & Robert Burnett
Nancy Blachman & David Desjardins
David Borgen
Robin Brandes
Harry B. Bremond
James Brosnahan
Amon Burton
Barbara Caulfield
Kirk Citron & Matt Haligman
John Crew
Quinn Delaney & Wayne Jordan
Kelly Dermody
Simona Farrise
James M. Finberg
Barry & Sandy Goldstein
Richard Grosboll
Constance & Jonathan Heller
James C. Hormel
Michael & Frances Kieschnick
Celinda Lake
David McClain
Raymond C. Marshall
Dale Minami
Joel Motley
Trenton H. Norris
LaDene Otsuki
Steven C. Phillips & Susan Sandler
Andrew Pierce & Margalynne Armstrong
Pamela Y. Price
Nicholas Pritzker
James Rucker & Heidi Hess
David A. Sanchez
Guy & Jeanine Saperstein
Rebecca Westerfield
William Wick & Barbara Maco
Merilyn Wong
Steven Zieff & Elaine Leitner
Richard Zitrin

EJS depends on donations from generous individuals like you to continue our cutting-edge civil rights work across the United States. A donation in any amount would be appreciated.

Many thanks again from all of us here at the Equal Justice Society. We look forward to working with all of you in 2009!

— Eva Paterson

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