EJS’s Sweet 16 Gala

In commemoration of its 16th anniversary, the Equal Justice Society asked a selection of founders, board members, past staff, and allies to share their reflections on the founding and achievements of EJS. Special thanks to Northstarr Media Group for producing this video for us!

Click here for photos from the event!



EJS honored Professor Charles Ogletree, Jr. (in absentia), artist-activist Favianna Rodriguez, and Silicon Valley technology pioneer Roy L. Clay, Sr. The event was emceed by Lateefah Simon and featured a performance by Faye Carol and spoken word by Chinaka Hodge.

Thursday, September 15, 2016
6:00 p.m.
The Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108

Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. is the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School. Professor Ogletree is a co-founder of the Equal Justice Society and served as EJS’s first board chair. (*Professor Ogletree is receiving another award the same evening in New York City and sends his appreciation and regrets that he is unable to be with us.)

Favianna Rodriguez is a transnational interdisciplinary artist and cultural organizer. Her art and collaborative projects deal with migration, global politics, economic injustice, patriarchy, and interdependence. Favianna also directs CultureStrike, a national arts organization that engages artists, writers and performers in migrant rights, and is co-founder of Presente.org, a national online organizing network dedicated to the political empowerment of Latino communities.

Roy L. Clay, Sr. was a key figure in the development of Silicon Valley. Mr. Clay was inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Council’s Hall of Fame in 2003. Mr. Clay was a key figure in the development of Hewlett-Packard’s computer divisions. He led the team that engineered HP’s entrance into the computer market with the development of the 2116A computer in 1966. Today, Mr. Clay is CEO of ROD-L Electronics, the world leader in electrical safety testing equipment, which he founded in 1977. Mr. Clay became the first African American to serve as Councilman and as Vice Mayor of the City of Palo Alto in the 1970s.

Faye Carol is one of the premiere vocalists of her time. This Bay Area living legend is a recipient of countless awards and honors, most recently being honored with the Bay Area Jazz Hero Award and inducted into the Oakland Blues Walk of Fame. Ms. Carol was an integral part of Oakland’s innovative funk scene in the 1960s and later went on to form her own trio. She has performed with legendary artists such as Charles Brown, Albert King, Ray Charles, Pharaoh Sanders, Billy Higgins, and Bobby Hutcherson.

Lateefah Simon is the new President of the Akonadi Foundation. She was previously Program Director for the Rosenberg Foundation, and before that, Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.She has received numerous awards for her work, including the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and the Jefferson Award for extraordinary public service. In 2016, she was appointed by the Governor of California to the California State University’s Board of Trustees.

Chinaka Hodge is a poet, educator playwright and screenwriter. Originally from Oakland, California, she graduated from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, was a 2012 Artist in Residence at The Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin, Calif., and was a Sundance Feature Film lab Fellow for her script, 700th&Int’l. Chinaka has served as Program Director and Associate Artistic Director at Youth Speaks/The Living Word Project, the nation’s leading literary arts nonprofit.


Our appreciation to the following individuals and companies:

  • Jennifer Rowe, The Fairmont San Francisco
  • Leftwich Event Specialists
  • Kevin Johnson, Northstarr Media Group – EJS 16th anniversary video
  • Sam Renaissance – Roots Run Deep artwork
  • Jennifer Keith, Sheridon Keith Design – Program booklets and sponsor boards
  • Michael Tate, auctioneer  – Fund-a-need
  • Lateefah Simon – Event emcee
  • Michael Harris – Introduction of honoree Favianna Rodriguez
  • Ray Marshall – Introduction of and award acceptance on behalf of honoree Prof. Charles Ogletree, Jr.
  • Prof. Jayashri Srikantiah – Introduction of honoree Roy Clay, Sr.
  • Faye Carol – Musical performance, vocals
  • Joe Warner – Musical performance, keyboards
  • Chinaka Hodge – Spoken word
  • Travis Kuhl, Kuhl Frames + Art – Award plaques
  • Jason Jao – Photography
  • Volunteers: Angelica Zabanal, Itir Yakar, Alynia Phillips, Kyle Kate Dudley, Layla Razavi, Danielle Fong, Arianna Caplan, Sherrika Green, Kim Ouillette