Event on May 15 Marks 10th Anniversary of California Marriage Equality

Equal Justice Society

May 15, 2018, marks the tenth anniversary of the California Supreme Court’s historic ruling in In re Marriage Cases, 43 Cal.4th 757 (2008), recognizing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples and strict judicial scrutiny for laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation.

You’re invited to a special conversation about the far-reaching impacts of this historic decision. This event is co-sponsored by Morrison & Foerster LLP and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Kate Kendell, the Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and former EJS board chair, will moderate the discussion, with the following distinguished speakers:

Justice Goodwin Liu, California Supreme Court

Shannon Minter, NCLR Legal Director

David Codell, former NCLR Constitutional Litigation Director

Professor Courtney Joslin, UC Davis School of Law.

In re Marriage Cases:
May 15, 12:00-1:30

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‘Birthright: A War’ Documentary Presents Real-life ‘Handmaid’s Tale’

Birthright: A War Story screens April 26 in Piedmont and April 28 in Oakland

Birthright: A War Story examines what has happened to women’s reproductive rights in America since the historic Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 legalized abortion. Director Civia Tamarkin traces the strategy the anti-abortion movement has used to make reproductive choice unavailable, even if it is still legal: For over 40 years it has played the long game, working state by state to pass laws that chip away at women’s reproductive healthcare options. The war story that Birthright traces is a war of attrition.

Tamarkin presents haunting, personal stories of women trapped in the confines of these new laws interwoven with expert voices of activists and historians. We learn how women are being jailed, physically violated and even put at risk of dying as a radical movement tightens its grip across America. One couple, Robb and Danielle Deaver, share the horrors they endured as a direct result of Nebraska’s law banning abortions after 20 weeks, predicated on questionable science and similar to laws in 25 other states.

In California, where access to reproductive care is relatively secure, many may not realize how successful the anti-abortion forces have been in rewriting state law, and using courts and religious doctrine, to govern women’s reproductive rights.

Birthright: A War Story also highlights that for women with financial means, abortion is likely to remain accessible and safe.  But for low-income women of all ethnicities, especially those on Medicaid and in a growing number of states, access to abortion and contraception has already become scarce and dangerous; they are caught up in a draconian web of laws and corporate policies surrounding reproductive medical care of all kinds.

These developments are now a public health crisis which is increasing maternal mortality, turning pregnant women into criminals, and challenging the constitutional protections of every woman in America. This is the real-life “Handmaid’s Tale”.

Free screenings of Birthright: A War Story

Thursday, April 26, 2018
Ellen Driscoll Playhouse
325 Highland Ave
Piedmont, Calif.
6:30  Reception
7:00  Film
8:45  Discussion

Saturday, April 28, 2018**
The New Parkway Theater
474 24th St., Oakland, Calif.
Food for purchase
3:00  Film and Discussion

** Check at www.thenewparkway.com — Warriors playoff schedule may force a change of date or time.

Further information at: diversityfilmseries.org, and at the film’s website: www.birthrightfilm.com.  Questions?  Email anita@diversityfilmseries.org.

Rosenberg Foundation Provides Grant for Grand Alliance Efforts

UPDATE: We now have the position announcement listed.

The Rosenberg Foundation (rosenbergfound.org) has awarded the Equal Justice Society with a discretionary grant of $15,000 to support EJS’s “Grand Alliance” efforts, specifically the coalition management of the Good Ally Collaborative.

The Good Ally Collaborative (goodally.us) is a network of attorneys and activists that grew out of the “How to Be a Good Ally Strategic Engagement Conference” held on January 6, 2017, in San Francisco.

The conference brought together more than 1,000 participants in response to the post-election climate of rising hate, intimidation, and discrimination. The conference was organized by a team led by Kelly Dermody and Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, and Yolanda Jackson and the Bar Association of San Francisco.

The team at EJS is serving as coordinators of the Good Ally Collaborative, transitioning the Good Ally conference attendees into a 600-member coalition designed to connect skills and resources with needs, intersect with existing movements, and develop solutions to unmet challenges.

EJS’s work with the Good Ally Collaborative is part of its “Grand Alliance” approach, which reflects the organization’s vision of justice that explicitly acknowledges the interconnectedness between various issues, struggles and constituencies.

Since EJS’s founding in 2000, the organization has developed a proud tradition of reaching out to marginalized communities and advocating on behalf of social justice issues that have not always fallen under the racial justice umbrella.

The California Civil Rights Coalition (calcivilrights.org) is also a Grand Alliance effort co-chaired by EJS President Eva Paterson and MALDEF President Thomas A. Saenz. CCRC was founded in 1985 to as a statewide community of civil rights organizations, activists, educators, lawyers, and advocates representing a wide range of issues, working together to create a just and healthy California.

EJS will use the Rosenberg Foundation grant to engage a part-time coalition management contractor. This person will serve as the primary Good Ally Collaborative coordinator, and also develop strategies on how to intersect the Collaborative and the California Civil Rights Coalition.

The Rosenberg Foundation grant is intended to provide short-term support. EJS is seeking matching contributions from institutional or individual donors interested in supporting long-term efforts to sustain and grow the Good Ally Collaborative. Interested donors can contact EJS Director of Development Anna Basallaje at abasallaje@equaljusticesociety.org or 415-288-8700.

Visit http://GoodAlly.us to learn more about the Good Ally Collaborative, or contact Keith Kamisugi at kkamisugi@equaljusticesociety.org.

Updates: New Steering Committee Co-Chairs, Project Manager and Statewide Coordinator

We are happy to report there is much going on with the California Coalition for Civil Rights:

  • The CaCCR Steering Committee and others have been working hard to take CaCCR to the next level. In particular, we wish to acknowledge Jamie Studley, Malcolm Yeung, Ellen Buchman, Tom Layton and Tim Silard for their support.
  • The CaCCR Steering Committee has elected new Co-Chairs! Amy Everitt, State Director of NARAL Pro-Choice California (http://bit.ly/6tFbMU), will serve one year, and Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel of MALDEF (http://bit.ly/6zJzrd), will serve two.
  • Expansion of Steering Committee and CaCCR Membership: The Steering Committee will soon be expanded to 15 members. A committee has been tasked with recruitment and is looking to increase in size by five members. CaCCR is also looking to expand its general membership particularly in other geographic areas of the state such as the Central Valley, San Diego/Imperial County, Inland Empire and the Sacramento, North Coast and Los Angeles areas.
  • Equal Justice Society as Project Manager: EJS has been contracted as project manager to help build the capacity of CaCCR. This contract was made possible by the Rosenberg Foundation, Public Interest Projects, Gerbode Foundation and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. CaCCR has contracted Mike Allison to facilitate discussions on governance and building infrastructure.
  • CaCCR Project Coordinator: EJS has hired Claudia Peña to serve as a full-time CaCCR Project Coordinator.
  • CaCCR Letter to UC President Mark Yudoff: CaCCR sent a letter to UC Regents and President Mark Yudoff criticizing the new freshman admission policy. Research conducted by the UC itself showed the policy would very likely have a negative impact on the admission of students of color yet the latest summary from UCOP attempted to diminish this fact. Working in collaboration with Henry Der and Vincent Pan, the letter was sent to Yudoff and copied to the ethnic legislative caucuses with 41 signatories!
  • Next Full CaCCR Membership Meeting: To be announced, but coming soon.