On Tyranny: Defend Institutions

Dear EJS Supporters,

Several weeks ago before we were all sheltering in place, EJS received a $5,000 gift from Tom Given, my friend from my days at Northwestern. He once lent me his Pontiac Trans Am to drive with my friend Jim Fiddler AKA Weasel Piss to Wisconsin to go sky diving but that is another story for when we are on the other side of this and can sit down and have a drink—but I digress. Tom said he had read the book that Rachel Maddow often speaks of On Tyranny and decided to support NPR and EJS. The author of the book, Timothy Snyder, the Levin Professor of History at Yale, starts Chapter Two “Defending Institutions” by stating,

“It is institutions that help us to preserve decency. They need our help as well. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you make them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions do not protect themselves. They fall one after the other unless each is defended from the beginning. So choose an institution you care about—a court, a newspaper, a law, a labor union—and take its side.”

EJS has been fighting the tyranny of the present administration by focusing on its enabling of racism and white supremacy. We are forging ahead with our existing efforts and tracking those issues that have the potential of eroding the rights of the most vulnerable in our community. We would really appreciate your support of our work.

The last several weeks have been challenging on so many levels. We trust that you and yours are managing well considering the various disruptions we are currently facing. Above all, we hope you are safe and healthy.

In this fast changing and ever evolving environment, we must stay vigilant in the face of opportunistic efforts to undermine civil rights laws during the corona virus pandemic. This is why we are prioritizing the passage of ACA 5, a historic opportunity to bring back affirmative action in public hiring, contracting and education to California, allowing us to ensure those most impacted by Covid-19 are given the resources they need to thrive by overturning Proposition 209 which was passed in 1996.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to pushback against attempts to relax or chip away at hard fought rights achieved by women, people of color, people with disabilities, and those protecting our environment. We continue our work on fighting the school to prison pipeline.

This is our 20th anniversary. We hope we are able to be one with the other on September 17th at Herbst Theater. Our longtime friend and colleague Marcus Shelby is composing an original work tying together the work of Harriet Tubman with the work of EJS. Here is a timeline of the work we have done https://equaljusticesociety.org/20th/.

Please help us stay in the fight by donating today.

In community and solidarity,

Eva Paterson on behalf of my colleagues on the staff and Board of the Equal Justice Society.