About the Equal Justice Society
The Equal Justice Society is transforming the nation’s consciousness on race through law, social science, and the arts. Led by President Eva Paterson, our legal strategy aims to broaden conceptions of present-day discrimination to include unconscious and structural bias by using social science, structural analysis, and real-life experience. Currently, EJS targets its advocacy efforts on school discipline, special education, and the school-to-prison pipeline, race-conscious remedies, and inequities in the criminal justice system. The Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit also engages the arts and artists in creating work and performances that allow wider audiences to understand social justice issues and struggles.
- Eva Paterson, President and Co-Founder
- Christina Alvernaz, Judge Constance Baker Motley Civil Rights Fellow
- Anna Basallaje, Chief Operating Officer
- Meher Kaur, Civil Rights Program Manager
- Lisa Holder, Of Counsel
- Ginger Johnson, Administrative Assistant
- Keith Kamisugi, Director of Communications
- Alexandra Santa Ana, Staff Attorney
- Mona Tawatao, Legal Director
EJS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- John Bonifaz – Co-Founder and Director, Free Speech For People
- Kelly Dermody, Managing Partner of San Francisco office, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
- Alfred Fraijo, Jr. – Partner, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
- Michael Harris (Chair) – Senior Attorney, Juvenile Justice, National Center for Youth Law
- Raymond C. Marshall – Partner, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
- Kelly McCreary – Actor (on leave of absence as of Aug. 31, 2021)
- Eva Paterson – EJS President
- Sheila Warren – Head of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology, World Economic Forum
- Charles Ogletree – Professor of Law, Harvard Law School (founding board member and former board chair)
- Anthony Solana, Jr. – President and Chairperson, For People of Color, Inc. (former board chair)
- Kate Kendell – Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights (former board chair)
- Priscilla Ocen – Professor of Law at Loyola Law School (former board chair)
- Maria Blanco, Vice President, Civic Engagement, California Community Foundation (founding board member)
- James J. Brosnahan – Senior Partner, Morrison Foerster LLP (founding board member)
- Barbara A. Caulfield, Kaye Scholer LLP (former board member, in memoriam)
- Dorothy M. Ehrlich, Deputy Executive Director, national American Civil Liberties Union
- Margaret M. Russell – Professor of Law, Santa Clara University School of Law (founding board member)
- Jayashri Srikantiah – Professor of Law and Director of Stanford Law School’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic
- Tobias Wolff – Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School
- Eric Yamamoto – Professor of Law, University of Hawai`i School of Law (founding board member)
Founding donors: Elizabeth Cabraser, Jack Londen, Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan, Ford Foundation-Alan Jenkins, Sara Ríos, Open Society Institute-Gara LaMarche, Catherine Samuels, John Kowal and Raquiba LaBrie;
Founding board members: Charles Ogletree, John Bonifaz, James J. Brosnahan, Kate Kendell, Tobias B. Wolff, Eric K. Yamamoto, Maria Blanco and Margaret Russell;
Founders: Eva Paterson, Abim Thomas, Susan Serrano, Carrie Avery, Sheila Thomas, Michelle Alexander, Joan Graff, Margaret Russell, Margalynne Armstrong, Shauna Marshall, Angela Harris, Stephanie Wildman, Cheryl Stevens, April Williams, Norm Spaulding, and H. Jesse Arnelle;
First staff members: Eva Paterson, Susan Serrano, Allegra Churchill, Swati Kapadia, Rico Oyola, Joe Lucero, Archana Sahgal, David Salniker, Keith Kamisugi and Elaine Elinson.
The Equal Justice Society is transforming the nation’s consciousness on race through law, social science, and the arts.
Specifically, EJS is working to fully restore the constitutional protections of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause by replacing the Intent Doctrine with a Disparate Impact standard that addresses contemporary forms of racism. We use a three-pronged approach to accomplish these goals, combining legal advocacy, outreach and coalition building, and education through effective messaging and communication strategies.
Our legal strategy aims to broaden conceptions of present-day discrimination to include unconscious and structural bias by using cognitive science, structural analysis, and real-life experience. Currently, EJS targets its advocacy efforts on the death penalty, local service and municipal disparities, and inequities in the criminal justice system.
We also engage the arts and artists in creating work and performances that allow wider audiences to understand social justice issues and struggles.