Save the Date – Oct. 19 Conference on 1619 and California

I am excited to announce that the Equal Justice Society will be hosting a day-long conference on Saturday, October 19, 2019, at the Marriott Hotel in Downtown Oakland.

This one-day conference, “Gold Chains: The Hidden History of Slavery in California,” dives deep into historical moments since 1619 with an additional focus on the history of slavery in California and its impact on indigenous and African peoples subjected to captivity and/or genocide.

The conference is part of our year-long Remembering 1619 observance, reflecting on the history of slavery since 1619 and its lasting impact on our country. Some of those activities included:

The Impact of American Slavery on American Jurisprudence on Activism on February 21 in San Francisco;

Juneteenth Celebration in partnership with Northwestern University on June 19 in Los Angeles; and

Artistic Presentation by Marcus Shelby, Joanna Haigood and the Zaccho Dance Company, Steven Anthony Jones, Joe Warner, Cheo Tyehimba-Taylor, David Goldberg, and Faye Carol at SF Jazz on August 20.

Our one-day conference in October will allow us to dive even deeper into many of the historical actions that have occurred since 1619 and will provide additional focus on the history of slavery in California and its impact on indigenous and African peoples subjected to captivity and/or genocide.

The conference is also tied into a collaboration between ACLU of Northern California, Equal Justice Society, KQED, Laura Atkins, and the California Historical Society called “Gold Chains: The Hidden History of Slavery in California.”

The conference aims to lift up the voices of courageous African American and Native American individuals who challenged their brutal treatment and demanded their civil rights, inspiring us with their ingenuity, resilience, and tenacity. We seek to expose the role of the courts, laws, and the tacit acceptance of white supremacy in sanctioning race-based violence and discrimination that continues into the present day.

Through an unflinching examination of our collective past, we invite California to become truly aware and authentically enlightened.

This conference will be educational, emotional, and hopefully inspirational! WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU THERE! In the next few weeks, we will be sending out a finalized schedule with instructions on how to register but we are excited about all the great topics that will be covered and eager to learn from all the presenters and audience members who will contribute to the conversation.

Mark your calendars for SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2019, or add the event on Facebook. It will surely be an informative and memorable conference for all.

~ Christopher Bridges, Equal Justice Society

Thank You for Remembering 1619 with Us!

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From Eva Paterson:

“We all thought it was spectacular. The singing of Faye Carol brought us to tears (and to our feet); the music of the Marcus Shelby Orchestra was potent; the dancers were pure joy; the readings by Steven Anthony Jones shook us; and the visuals were completely captivating. Half the time I didn’t know where to direct my eyes there were so many amazing things happening at once,” a friend of mine who was there on Tuesday wrote to me.

On August 20, we gathered together to remember the 400 years since Antoney and Isabella arrived at Jamestown and the suffering and triumph, sorrows and joy of Black people during those four centuries.

Our incredible team of artists and creatives took us on a journey of 400 years that evoked pain and pride, but it mainly provided us with a more profound understanding of the connection between what started on this continent in 1619 and present day manifestations of racism and white supremacy. Those who suffered in the past spoke through the performances and urged all in attendance to work hard to make things more fair.

Deepest gratitude to our creative team: Marcus Shelby and The Marcus Shelby Quintet; Zaccho Dance Theatre’s Joanna Haigood, Lydia Clinton, Clarissa Dyas, Delvis Friñon, Frankie Lee Peterson III, and Jarrel Phillips; actor Steven Anthony Jones; The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol; pianist Joe Warner; directorial consultant and dramaturg Kim Euell; set designer Wayne Campbell; and filmmakers Cheo Tyehimba Taylor and David Goldberg. I was proud to be a part of this team as executive producer.

Thank you to SFJAZZ for providing us with a beautiful venue, to Normie Pineda and the team at Leftwich Event Services for helping us pull this event off, and to videographer Kevin Johnson, photographer Bob Hsiang, and all the volunteers who helped us that evening.

I especially want to thank my friends and colleagues who are the EJS team–Anna Basallaje, Keith Kamisugi, Ginger Johnson, Chris Bridges, Mona Tawatao, Meher Dhaliwal, and Yoana Tchoukleva along with the members of the Board of Directors of EJS.

Finally, we could not have had such a successful event without the generous contributions of our fabulous sponsors and the support from our host committee. They are listed below and I hope you will take a little time to reach each and every name on the list. Each one played a critical part of bringing our event to life.

~ Eva Paterson on behalf of the Board and Staff of the Equal Justice Society


The “Remembering 1619” event was made possible through the generous support of our sponsors:

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
The Henry L. Hecht Family Fund
Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation
Emily Scott
Susan Pritzker
ACLU of Northern California
California Teachers Association
The California Wellness Foundation
Neyhart, Anderson, Flynn & Grosboll
Perkins Coie LLP
Kelly McCreary & Pete Chatmon
Quinn Delaney & Wayne Jordan
Leftwich Event Specialists, Inc.
Sheppard Mullin
George & Deborah Woods
Adler & Colvin
Minami Tamaki LLP
Arlene Mayerson
Jude and Julia Damasco
Thomas Layton & Gyöngy Laky, In memory of Henry Hampton
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Peter Benvenutti & Lise Pearlman
Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass, LLP
Altshuler Berzon LLP
James Finberg & Melanie Piech
David Oppenheimer & Marcy Kates
Barry & Sandy Goldstein
Cheryl & Charles Ward
John Crew
Connie Cagampang Heller & Jonathan Heller
Steve Zieff & Elaine Leitner
Robert Hirsch and Shauna Marshall
Lucinda and Chris Covert-Vail
Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, LLP
Kaiser Permanente
Hon. John M. True & Hon. Claudia Wilken
Paula & Chuck Collins
Michael Harris
Vanessa Holton
American Constitution Society
The Impact Fund
Willie & Robert Demmons
Lei-Chala Wilson
Hector Preciado & Trina Villanueva
Joyce Hicks & Eric Behrens
NARAL Pro-Choice California
Joseph M. Sellers
Legal Aid at Work
Sara Campos
Dorothy M. Ehrlich
William & Arlene Kennedy
Cheryl Stevens
Rev. Diana McDaniel
Monika Kalra Varma and Anurag Varma
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
Pamela S. Duffy
Debbie Lee & Bill Tamayo
California ChangeLawyers
Richard Drury

With special appreciation to the members of our Host Committee:

David Berger
Renel Brooks-Moon
Sara Campos
Aldore Collier
Paula and Charles Collins
Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan
Willie and Robert Demmons
Elaine Elinson and Rene CiriaCruz
Amy Everitt
Rosemary E. Fei
Karen Bell Francois
Sergio Garcia
Alicia Garza
Gary Greenfield and Reesa Tansey
Robert Harris
Henry L. Hecht
Hon. Thelton Henderson
Dolores Huerta
Kate Kendell
Celinda Lake
Shauna Marshall and Robert Hirsch
Kelly McCreary and Pete Chatmon
Rev. Diana McDaniel
Valerie McGinty
Dale Minami
Jane and Howard Moore
Pam Moore
Dr. Curtis J. Perry
Hector Preciado and Trina Villanueva
Leslie Proll
Drucilla Ramey and Marvin Stender
Barbara Rodgers
Emily Scott
Lateefah Simon
Abdi Soltani
Gloria Steinem
Cheryl Stevens
Debbie Lee and Bill Tamayo