rights attorney Eva Jefferson Paterson is co-founder and President of
the Equal Justice Society, a national strategy group focused on
reclaiming the 14th Amendment and its Constitutional safeguards against discrimination.
previously served 13 years as Executive Director of the Lawyers'
Committee for Civil Rights. At the Lawyers' Committee, she was part of a
broad coalition that filed the groundbreaking anti-discrimination suit
against race and gender discrimination by the San Francisco Fire
Department. That lawsuit successfully desegregated the department,
winning new opportunities for women and firefighters of color.
is co-chair of the California Civil Rights Coalition (CCRC), which she
co-founded and previously chaired for 18 years. One of the priorities
for the Coalition is devising a progressive slate of ballot initiatives
for the November 2012 election. As co-chair of CCRC she was a leading
spokesperson in the campaigns against Proposition 187 (anti-immigrant)
and Proposition 209 (anti-affirmative action) and numerous other
statewide campaigns against the death penalty, juvenile incarceration
and discrimination against lesbians and gay men. She also served as Vice
President of the ACLU National Board for eight years, and chaired the
boards of Equal Rights Advocates and the San Francisco Bar Association
has received numerous awards, including the Fay Stender Award from the
California Women Lawyers, Woman of the Year from the Black Leadership
Forum, the Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award from the ACLU of Northern
California, and the Alumni Award of Merit from Northwestern University.
a 20-year-old student leader at a time of turmoil, Eva Jefferson
Paterson was catapulted into the national spotlight when she debated
then-Vice President Spiro Agnew on live television. Dubbed the "peaceful
warrior" for fostering non-violent protest in the aftermath of the 1970
shooting of student demonstrators at Kent State University, she was
named one of Mademoiselle's "Ten Young Women of the Year," featured on the covers of Ebony and Jet, and called to testify before Congress.
is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she received her B.A.
in political science and was elected the first African American student
body president, and U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law.
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