Grand Alliance

Robust coalitions work is critical if we are to return our country to a more noble and just path. At EJS, we call this work the “Grand Alliance,” modeled after the teachings of Bayard Rustin.

We are part of many coalitions, and help lead a few: California Civil Rights Coalition, National Implicit Bias Network, Good Ally Collaborative.

EJS is committed to articulating, and vigorously advocating, a broadly conceived vision of justice that explicitly acknowledges the interconnectedness between various issues, struggles and constituencies.

Towards this end, we have a proud tradition of reaching out to marginalized communities and advocating on behalf of social justice issues that have not always fallen under the civil rights umbrella.

In particular, EJS collaboratively works to support marriage equality, to advance immigrants’ rights, and to preserve and defend equal opportunity policies and programs, among other progressive causes.

Examples of Grand Alliance Activities:

Cross-Silo Organizing & Strategizing
· Coordinate bi-annual “Strategic Litigation Convenings” that bring together legal directors, scholars and advocates to strategically develop progressive, multi-issue advocacy platforms
· Collaboratively develop communications strategies to advance a progressive, multi-issue advocacy agenda

Equal Opportunity
· Coordinated national campaigns to defend attacks on affirmative action
· Facilitate ongoing dialogue about current equal opportunity research, and next steps for advocates of race conscious policies and programs
· Sponsor polling and messaging research geared towards launching a campaign to amend or repeal Proposition 209

Immigrants’ Rights
· Hosted “Building a Win-Win Immigration Platform & Creating Multiracial/ethnic Alliances” convening
· Coordinated a training for “Rapid Response” attorneys to respond to ICE raids in San Francisco
· Participate in coalition efforts to protect immigrants’ rights and advocate for progressive immigration reform

Marriage Equality
· Submitted an amicus brief in support of the California Supreme Court’s decision to affirm the right to marry for same sex couples
· Participated in campaign to defeat Proposition 8 in November, 2008
· Signed onto an amicus brief challenging the validity of Prop 8 as part of a coalition of organizations representing communities of color and facilitated LGBT/Black alliance in the wake of Prop 8’s passage

Judicial Nominations
· Participate in Californians for a Fair & Independent Judges (CFIJ) coalition to ensure responsible judicial nominations

Economic Stimulus
· Helped address tensions around racial justice issues within multi-issue coalition tracking stimulus funds

Ballot Initiatives
· Hosted multi-initiative fundraising and educational events for progressive state ballot initiatives
· Assisted initiative campaigns with outreach to young voters and communities of color

Developing New Leaders
· Facilitate “Scholar Advocates” program for current law students, in collaboration with the University of Hawaii and Berkeley Law School
· Helped found Emerging Advocates for Racial Justice (EARJ), a support and training group for newer advocates engaged in racial justice work

Ideas Matter
· Prompt cutting edge discussions about regulation; government as a force for good; race consciousness; etc.

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