EJS 20th Anniversary

On September 17, 2020, the Equal Justice Society hosted a wildly successful 20th anniversary gala online with nearly 200 participants via a YouTube livestream with 1,000 playbacks.

We received such wonderful feedback after the event:

“WOW … this was my first virtual gala and my next one has a lot of work to outdo this one. It was really great! So many parts were really special … Pam from her newsroom, the “see who’s watching”, the beautiful and moving film featuring Marcus and band, the “history lessons” and those amazing moving painted portraits, those beautiful girls, murals (we recently drove all over downtown taking pix), Q&A, etc. etc!! ” ~ Cheryl

“Maja and I loved the event – music, art, dance, history … Here are the emails I received from our invitees that came immediately after the broadcast. A million congratulations.” ~ Charles

“Awesome! Inspiring! What a display of talent and dedication across the board! So happy to have this beautiful experience!!! More Power to EJS!!!” ~ John and Tola

“Uplifting and moving at the same time. Mahesh and I both appreciate you sharing this event with us.” ~ Kiran

STARRING / Our fantastic co-hosts Kelly McCreary (EJS Board Member, Actor and Producer) and Renel Brooks-Moon (SF Giants Public Address Announcer and veteran Bay Area broadcaster) kicked off the event, followed by special remarks from Pam Moore (KRON4 News) and then an uplifting blessing by Rev. Diana McDaniel.

FILM / We then premiered the film “Harriet Tubman: Through the Eyes of Children,” with performances by the Marcus Shelby Quintet featuring Tiffany Austin, with music composed by Marcus Shelby, directed by Kevin D. Johnson, Jr., produced by Cheo Tyehimba Taylor and Kevin D. Johnson, Jr., and executive producer Eva Paterson.

MUSIC / The music from the film is available for purchase at https://marcusshelby.bandcamp.com.

PANEL / Following the film, we had a Q&A with Marcus, EJS Board Chair Michael Harris, Legal Director Mona Tawatao, and National Implicit Bias Network Director Chris Bridges.

BEHIND THE SCENES / We were fortunate to have Normie Pineda and Leftwich Event Specialists return as our event managers and the online presentation went without a single problem thanks to the talented Kathy Rose of K-Rose Productions and Sam Manera of Everything AV.  EJS Judge Motley Fellow Christina Alvernaz and Intern Jimmie Dabbs served as our online forum facilitators.

Our EJS20 graphics and print invitations were created by Rose de Heer Design made possible by support from Tipping Point Community.

Finally, all of this would not have been possible without the extraordinary vision and leadership of the incomparable Eva Paterson who has guided EJS through our two decades and helped develop our organization into a potent force for good!

Gratitude and appreciation to Ginger JohnsonMeher DhaliwalKeith Kamisugi on our core event team and to everyone on our staff for their tireless work.

We love you all and thank you again for helping us make our 20th anniversary celebration possible.

~  Anna Basallaje, EJS Chief Operating Officer

Special Thank You to Our Sponsors and Host Committee!

Our deepest appreciation to our Sponsors and Host Committee members who really made our 20th anniversary celebration a fundraising victory!


Elizabeth Cabraser

Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan
Henry L. Hecht Family Fund
Emily Scott
Arthur and Charlotte Zitrin Foundation

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation

The California Wellness Foundation
Jack W. Londen
ACLU of Northern California

James Finberg and Melanie Piech
Tom Given
Leftwich Event Specialists Inc.
Marjorie Randolph
California Teachers Association
Kaiser Permanente

Neyhart, Anderson, Flynn & Grosboll
Sara Sanderson and Eric Weaver
Thomas Layton and Gyöngy Laky
Rudy Exelrod Zieff & Lowe LLP
Elaine Leitner and Steve Zieff
Perkins Coie Foundation
Maja Wessels and Charles Covington
Everything AV
The Mason Family Fund-Psalm 107:8
Marsha Garces Williams
Minami Tamaki LLP
Cheryl and Charles Ward

Beneficial State Bank
New Directions in Diversity
Joan Graff
Arthur and Mary Jo Shartsis
Arlene Mayerson
Public Advocates
Pirates Press Records
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
Ian Haney Lopez and Deborah Drickersen Cortez
John Crew
William and Arlene Kennedy
Catherine and Thomas Ikesaki
Rebecca Westerfield
Sharon Bell and Karen Bell Francois
Eli F. Payton


  • Abdi Soltani
  • Aimee Allison
  • Andy Wong
  • Barbara Maco and Bill Wick
  • Bill Hing
  • Caren Van Slyke
  • Carrie Avery
  • Cheryl Stevens
  • Constance Moore
  • Daniel Tellalian
  • David Berger
  • Debbie Lee and Bill Tamayo
  • Dolores Huerta
  • Dr. Shirley Weber
  • Elaine Elinson and Rene CiriaCruz
  • Elizabeth Cabraser
  • Emily Scott
  • Gloria Steinem
  • Guillermo Mayer
  • Henry L. Hecht
  • James Harrison
  • James J. Brosnahan
  • Jane and Howard Moore
  • Jennifer Bell and William C. McNeill III
  • Joey Williams
  • John William Templeton
  • Judge Thelton Henderson
  • Lyda Phillips
  • Maja Wessels and Charles Covington
  • Monique E. Liburd
  • Parshan Khosravi
  • Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan
  • Renel Brooks-Moon
  • Rev. Diana McDaniel
  • Rosemary E. Fei
  • Shauna Marshall and Robert Z. Hirsch
  • Susan Baronoff
  • Tamara Morgan
  • The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)
  • Tiffaney Boyd
  • Tony Iton
  • Vincent Pan
  • Virginia Dzurinko
  • Yolanda Jackson

If you weren’t able to join us last night, you can still help us celebrate our 20th anniversary with a contribution of any amount to support our efforts! Thank you!

Preview Video Featuring Marcus Shelby with Vocals by Tiffany Austin

In this special preview video produced by Kevin Johnson, Marcus Shelby shares his two-decade artistic partnership with EJS and performs a few of the musical pieces with Tiffany Austin that were showcased at our EJS20 gala on September 17.

EJS20 designs by Rose de Heer Design made possible by support from Tipping Point Community.