EJS 10th Anniversary Celebration at Yoshi’s Honors Founders, Sets Stage for New Efforts to Reclaim 14th Amendment

The Equal Justice Society celebrated its 10th anniversary on Dec. 7 with a gala fundraiser at Yoshi’s San Francisco featuring a concert by the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra with Faye Carol, Kenny Washington and Jeannine Anderson where they performed new songs from “Soul of a Movement: Meditations on Martin Luther King, Jr.”

See photos of the event by Bob Hsiang and listen to some of the music performed that evening.

Co-founded and led today by Eva Paterson, the Equal Justice Society has grown into an established player in the national civil rights community, with a specific law and policy agenda that seeks to reinvigorate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

The gala recognized the individuals and organizations that helped start the Equal Justice Society a decade ago:

Founding donors: Elizabeth Cabraser, Jack Londen, Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan, Ford Foundation-Alan Jenkins, Sara Ríos, Open Society Institute-Gara LaMarche, Catherine Samuels, John Kowal and Raquiba LaBrie;

Founding board members: Charles Ogletree, John Bonifaz, James J. Brosnahan, Kate Kendell, Tobias B. Wolff, Eric K. Yamamoto, Maria Blanco and Margaret Russell;

Founders: Eva Paterson, Abim Thomas, Susan Serrano, Carrie Avery, Sheila Thomas, Michelle Alexander, Joan Graff, Margaret Russell, Margalynne Armstrong, Shauna Marshall, Angela Harris, Stephanie Wildman, Cheryl Stevens, April Williams and Norm Spaulding; and

First staff members: Eva Paterson, Susan Serrano, Allegra Churchill, Swati Kapadia, Rico Oyola, Joe Lucero, Archana Sahgal, David Salniker, Keith Kamisugi and Elaine Elinson.

During the summer of 2000, a group of lawyers, professors and other advocates interested in equality and justice met in San Francisco to discuss the formation of an organization that would effectively fight to advance the rights of the under-represented. The new group would take on reactionary jurisprudence and ensure that legal scholarship was used in the service of social justice.

Ten years later, EJS has racked up a sizable list of accomplishments.

EJS helped defeat a series of ballot initiatives designed to outlaw affirmative action and data collection on race and leads a coalition of advocates doing cutting edge affirmative and defensive advocacy in California, an important testing ground for racial justice initiatives in the future.

EJS has also exposed hundreds of lawyers and public policy officials to the social science of unconscious bias, and convened litigators and social scientists to brainstorm new approaches to social equity. It has developed a training curriculum for educators, now being used by dozens of school districts across the country, to address implicit bias in the classroom. EJS has substantively engaged in battles against bigotry against immigrants and LGBT people.

The organization is now ready to start litigating cases that will reclaim the 14th Amendment as a tool for making racial justice a reality.

Thank you to Lisa Wong & Associates for your event management services!


  • Arnold & Porter LLP
  • Minami Tamaki LLP
  • Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Neyhart, Anderson, Flynn & Grosboll
  • Richard Grosboll
  • James Finberg & Melanie Piech
  • Colette Holt & Steven Pitts
  • Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP
  • Thomas A. Saenz
  • NARAL Pro-Choice California
  • Gwen McKinney
  • Doron Weinberg
  • David Salniker & Teri Waller
  • Rev. Diana McDaniel & the Friends of Port Chicago
  • Price And Associates
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Cedric Brown & Ray Pifferrer
  • Nan Hunter
  • Boxer & Gerson, LLP

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