As we celebrate Juneteenth today, it is critical to reflect on the legacy of inequality and to redouble our commitments to inclusive democracy. We ask for your continued support to power our racial justice and civil rights expansion efforts! Donate online to move us closer to the victories we need in 2023 to eliminate threats to democracy and to tear down barriers to equal opportunity.
This Juneteenth we especially thank you, our beloved community, for your past support of the Equal Justice Society and share a few recent accomplishments.
Victory for Black students with disabilities in Sacramento. Last month, we settled a lawsuit against the Sacramento City Unified School District on behalf of the Black Parallel School Board and several students to end discriminatory segregation of students with disabilities and Black students with disabilities into highly restrictive classrooms and schools, and other harmful practices. We achieved this with our partners Disability Rights California, National Center for Youth Law, and Western Center on Law & Poverty. Watch an NBC affiliate story featuring EJS Legal Director Mona Tawatao
Fighting for Black students with disabilities in Antelope Valley. We filed a lawsuit against a school district in Antelope Valley (80 miles north of Los Angeles) to stop the systematic neglect and criminalization by a locally sanctioned system of discipline that denies them their right to an education. We filed this with Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County on behalf of several families and Cancel the Contract-Antelope Valley.
Advancing our nationwide mass tort action on behalf of Black women cancer survivors suing manufacturers of carcinogenic hair straighteners. The court appointed EJS co-counsel/Lieff Cabraser Partner Kelly Dermody to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee alongside powerhouse attorneys Ben Crump and Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann. EJS and Lieff Cabraser are launching a monthly Health Equity Newsletter to provide updates on the litigation and to shine a spotlight on the black women’s health crisis. Subscribe to the newsletter.
Demanding SCOTUS Reform. EJS is a founding member of United for Democracy, a new coalition that launched on June 12 with a public campaign to shatter the extremist stranglehold on America’s judiciary that benefits elites and corporations, invalidates policies favored by most Americans, and attacks our core freedoms. Here is why we must take back the court.
Leading California’s reparations movement. On June 29, my service as a member of the California Reparations Task Force will end with the presentation to the Governor and legislature of a final report containing a comprehensive proposed bill for repairing the harm to descendants of enslaved people. These recommendations include compensation, apology, and systemic changes aimed at redressing the historical atrocities inflicted upon the enslaved and their descendants. EJS will continue to be a leader in developing strategies for the next phase of reparations, which will include coalition building, public education, and campaign development to advocate for the passage of the proposed bill. Join us for the final meeting on June 29.
Donate today to help us transform the nation’s consciousness on race!
In gratitude to our beloved community,
Lisa Holder, President
Equal Justice Society