van Löben Sels/RembeRock Foundation recently awarded a general support renewal grant of $10,000 to the Equal Justice Society to support our continued work on legal strategies and initiatives to roll back the intent standard and change the way race is used to limit opportunities for people of color.
van Löben Sels/RembeRock Foundation is a private foundation based in San Francisco whose mission is to promote social justice in Northern California by means of legal services and advocacy. The Foundation views the law as a bridge to justice that can be used to right social wrongs, effect social change, and contribute to reducing human suffering.
“We are so grateful to van Löben Sels/RembeRock Foundation for its continued support of the Equal Justice Society and our work,” said Eva Paterson, President of the Equal Justice Society. “We’re especially thankful for the Foundation’s approach in providing general support grants, which we feel is the ideal way for funders and nonprofits like ours to partner together on advancing change.”
The intent standard, as established in the 1976 United States Supreme Court decision Washington v. Davis, requires plaintiffs to prove an almost impossible burden: a decision-maker’s conscious intent to discriminate. The intent doctrine ignores much of what we know about the science about the dynamics of modern-day discrimination and therefore deprives marginalized groups access to our courts and redress for discrimination.
Since our founding, EJS has tracked cases in which the intent standard is implicated, participated in amicus briefs related to intent, highlighted the ways in which the intent standard fails to consider modern social science, worked with social scientists to connect concepts of implicit bias and structural racism to the law, and participated as co-counsel in various discrimination cases. We continue to work to educate and assist litigators and judges on these issues. We have also taken on direct litigation in cases that present opportunities to challenge the intent standard.
The grant from van Löben Sels/RembeRock Foundation will greatly aid our efforts to roll back the intent standard and help align our country’s jurisprudence to better address modern-day discrimination.