EJS 20th Anniversary – Reflecting on 2002 and Founding Donors Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan

EJS founding donors Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan

2020 is the 20th anniversary of the Equal Justice Society. Every week leading up to our 20th anniversary celebration on September 17, we will highlight one year in our history. This week we remember 2002 and Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan who generously provided significant startup funding for EJS.

In two short years after our founding in 2000, the Equal Justice Society was rapidly being taken seriously as a participant in the fight for civil rights. “New force emerges on left in civil rights tug of war,” wrote Claire Cooper of the Sacramento Bee. The late Judge Constance Baker Motley, the first African American woman on the federal bench, said “Now I can rest” after learning about our organization at a meeting of Black federal judges.

In 2002, EJS:

  • organized a regional forum, Opening the Courthouse Doors, regarding legal developments restricting judicial access to groups traditionally prevented from full participation;
  • organized a conference at Harvard University, “The Assault of Federalism on Civil Rights: Developing New Strategies to Civil Rights Protection in a Conservative Era”;
  • established a law student chapter at University of San Francisco; and
  • supported the organization of a “Care Not Cash” debate regarding a homelessness ballot initiative affecting the distribution of services & funds.

When we founded EJS, Quinn and Wayne committed to fund us for three years. That provided us with financial security and gave us the confidence to move forward. They have continued to generously support EJS consistently through the years.

Quinn and Wayne founded the Akonadi Foundation in 2000 at the same time as EJS. The foundation would go on to support racial justice movement building to eliminate structural racism and build a racially just world through millions of dollars in grants to several thousand organizations. Quinn served as the foundation’s president through 2016 and now serves as its chair.

Without Quinn and Wayne, the Equal Justice Society would not have been able to accomplish many aspects of our broad and ambitious agenda. They are both treasured supporters, donors, and dear friends. We even timed our Remembering 1619 event last year to coincide with Wayne’s birthday. We celebrate their ongoing support and friendship as we celebrate our 20th anniversary!

We welcome sponsorships to our 20th anniversary celebration on September 17, 2020, at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. The evening will include a performance by Marcus Shelby inspired by the courage of Harriet Tubman and by the 20-year history of EJS. Please contact Ginger Johnson at gjohnson@equaljusticesociety.org for more information. Thank you!