EJS 20th Anniversary – Reflecting on 2010 and Our 10th Anniversary

Seven of the Equal Justice Society’s co-founders gathered on stage in 2010 at Yoshi’s San Francisco celebrating our 10th anniversary: (from left to right) Shauna Marshall, Margaret Russell, Margalynne Armstrong, Joan Graff, Stephanie Wildman, Cheryl Stevens, and EJS President Eva Paterson.

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 2010, which was our 10th anniversary.

The Equal Justice Society celebrated its 10th anniversary with a gala fundraiser in December 2010 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.” We also hosted a 10th anniversary celebration at the Newseum in Washington, DC, featuring a performance by Frédéric Yonnet, Urban Jazz Harmonicist.

Also in 2010, EJS convened an exploratory committee for a potential repeal of California Proposition 209 on the 2012 ballot. While we concluded then that a repeal was not viable for the 2012 elections, we never imagined that 10 years later, we would help lead the placement of a 209 repeal question on the ballot as Proposition 16!

Among our many other activities and initiatives in 2010:

  • EJS and partners co-authored and submitted an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit case, Farrakhan v. Gregoire, which will determine whether Washington State’s felon disenfranchisement law violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
  • EJS and allies filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of a Seventh Circuit decision in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation regarding whether oral complaints should be protected under the anti-retaliation provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • EJS Motley Fellow Brando Starkey authored two law review articles accepted for publication: Inconsistent Originalism & the Need for Equal Protection Re-Invigoration; and Criminal Procedure, Jury Discrimination & the Pre-Davis Intent Doctrine: The Seeds of a Weak Equal Protection Clause.
  • EJS and allies filed amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Staub V. Proctor Hospital, urging the Court to recognize employer liability for the unlawful bias of a supervisor.
  • EJS and the National Coalition to Restore Civil Rights co-hosted a national strategy convening on progressive communications in Washington, DC, focusing on affirmative action, immigration, marriage equality and judicial nominations. The Leadership Conference, Alliance for Justice, The Opportunity Agenda, American Constitution Society, NAACP-LDF and MALDEF were among the organizations participating.
  • EJS joined amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs in Ninth Circuit appeal of the decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger finding California Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.
  • EJS participated in ACLU’s anti-death penalty coalition through work such as supporting the Racial Justice Act (SB 1331) introduced in the California Senate.

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