Black Lives Matter: A Statement to Our Partners and Colleagues With a List of Resources

A Statement to Our Partners and Colleagues

George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. OneJustice recognizes that the horrors of the most recent loss of Black lives due to police violence are not isolated incidents, but rather part of a disturbing pattern – a systemic problem that we must disrupt and transform. OneJustice was founded on the principle that everyone should have equal access to justice — and tragically, this has not been the case for Black communities since our country’s inception. Today, and every day, we stand with the individuals and institutions demanding justice, and who will not rest until justice is realized.

Black communities are being ravaged by two pandemics, with anti-Black violence that results in repeated murders and higher incarceration rates, and COVID-19 death rates that are disproportionately higher than other communities. We must join together in solidarity with those who face oppression and systemic injustices. We must step outside our comfort zones and speak up for everyone who needs our voices to demand what’s right.

We must act and together do the work to dismantle systemic racism, doing whatever it takes to address these injustices, and support the organizations and communities that are spearheading transformational change. OneJustice still has work to do, both internally and with our partners, and we are fully committed to doing that as an organization. We recognize that we need to do more, to learn, to grow, and to adapt in ways that allow us to respond with impact and intent. 

While our action plan is in development, among the concrete steps that we plan to take include:

  • Conducting an equity, diversity and inclusion audit of our organization and operations;
  • Developing and sharing resources to help our partners reach their equity, diversity and inclusion goals;
  • Supporting our staff by providing time to learn and act in support of the Black Lives Matter movement

Change is long overdue. We cannot rest until equal justice under law is a reality. Join us in our fight for justice for all. Our very humanity depends on it.

#BlackLivesMatter #demandjustice 

In solidarity and with hope,

Cindy L. Myers
Interim CEO, OneJustice

 

Action Items:

 

Education Tools:

 

Donate:

Welcoming Two New Advisory Board Members

Peggy Ni, Latham & Watkins LLP

What made you interested in becoming an Advisory Board member for OneJustice?

My interest in becoming involved in OneJustice stems from my first introduction to the organization.  A few years ago, I participated in the Justice Bus as part of a summer program event at the law firm I currently work at, and it was a really rewarding experience helping people with criminal conviction expungement.  I thought this project and the other OneJustice programs are important and effective ways to contribute to the community and ensure legal assistance is available to those who need it.

What is your professional role and how do you hope to use your perspective?

I am a lawyer at a law firm, and a member of the pro bono committee in my office.  I hope to use my workplace resources and legal network to help OneJustice continue its great programs and connect lawyers and law students to OneJustice opportunities.

What would you like to accomplish as an Advisory Board member?

My goals are to increase my law firm’s involvement in pro bono programs, including with OneJustice, and to help develop and promote OneJustice initiatives by drawing from my experience and insights working with other pro bono organizations.

Tell us about yourself – interesting facts or what do you like to do for fun?

I enjoy reading in my spare time. I’ve been making my way through Haruki Murakami’s books, and so far 1Q84 is my favorite.

 

Lauren Golnaz Nikkhah, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

 

What made you interested in becoming an Advisory Board member for OneJustice?

I initially learned about OneJustice in law school.  I was impressed with the high-quality projects and legal services OneJustice was involved in.  But, I really saw the organization’s immense value and contributions to the community when OneJustice’s network was immediately at the forefront of providing legal aid when the travel ban was issued.  From the outside looking in, it seemed that OneJustice was a well-oiled machine and did everything it could to provide help where it was needed.  Over the years, I saw more and more examples of how OneJustice worked to expand legal aid throughout California, and I knew that I wanted to become more involved with the organization.  I later learned that one of my law school mentors, Caitlin May, was on the Advisory Board.  She relayed how rewarding it was to serve as an Advisory Board Member, and I felt that this would be a wonderful way to contribute and be more involved.

What is your professional role and how do you hope to use your perspective?

I am an associate attorney at Morgan Lewis and work with employers on labor and employment matters.  In my practice, I strive to view things from all angles and points of views, understand the big and small pictures, and the short and long term implications of my potential advice and decisions.  I hope to bring these attributes to the table.

What would you like to accomplish as an Advisory Board member?

At this stage, I look forward to learning more about California’s civil legal aid system, the areas of legal needs of low-income Californians, and how those interact with OneJustice’s different initiatives.  I also look forward to utilizing my network of professional and personal contacts to garner more support for and involvement with OneJustice.

Tell us about yourself – interesting facts or what do you like to do for fun?

I love to travel, and I am fortunate to have had opportunities to do so since I was young.  I have been to 30 countries, and, when it’s safe and permitted, Japan, England, and Columbia are at the top of my list.

Innovation Resources for Organizations Adapting to the COVID-19 Outbreak

With “shelter in place” ordered throughout California, organizations of all kinds are in lab mode, having to think through and redesign what they offer and how they work, to accommodate the need for social distancing. This adaptive work can be especially challenging for legal service organizations, whose work streams and deliverables often require substantial face-to-face interaction. Below are resources (drawing from innovation best practices) for leaders considering how to redesign their projects.

 

Crisis Leadership

 

Redesign Guidance

 

Remote Working

 

Coping With Uncertainty

 

Click here for additional tools and resources specific to nonprofits. You can also email Roel Mangiliman, Director of Innovation and Learning: rmangiliman@one-justice.org.

 

Farewell From Julia Wilson

Julia Wilson at a OneJustice free legal clinic in Napa, California on Dec. 1, 2016

Monday, March 16, 2020


Dear OneJustice friends and supporters,

As you know, as of March 20, 2020, I’ll be stepping down as Chief Executive Officer of OneJustice after 15 amazing years. What an incredible joy it has been to work with you to guide the organization and the California legal aid sector! It has truly been my life’s calling, and I am so grateful to have shared this journey with you.

While we are excited about the developments at OneJustice, we pause to consider all of those around the world, and in our own communities, who are impacted by COVID-19. OneJustice is actively working with its legal aid community partners to assess the impact on the organizations that provide vital legal services throughout the state, and we stand ready to do what is needed to support them.

Over the past several months, our Transition Taskforce has been working closely with search firm Carlson Beck to set the stage for a new generation of leadership for the organization. OneJustice intends to find a CEO who will help craft a new and bold strategic plan, building upon its award-winning programs and innovative practices, and who will guide and lift OneJustice to new levels of impact in the years ahead.

As you have so often done in the past, please support OneJustice in this new endeavor. Circulate this job description to your networks and invite applications and nominations. More information about the position and how to apply can be found here.

It’s been a privilege to lead OneJustice, working with a dedicated and mission-driven staff, an incredible Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and Strategy Council. I cherish the relationships I have with deeply committed friends, nonprofit partners, and supporters. Thank you for sharing in our work to achieve justice for all in California. I take comfort in knowing that our paths will certainly continue to cross in the future.

Thank you for helping to make the last 15 years among the most rewarding of my life! Until we meet again…

With heartfelt gratitude,

Julia R. Wilson

President Trump releases FY 2021 Budget


February 21, 2020

Last week, the Trump administration released its federal budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2021, A Budget for America’s Future. The budget proposal asks for $18.2 million for the Legal Services Corporation (“LSC”), which covers the cost to shut it down. This call for the elimination and defunding of LSC marks the fourth time in as many years that the president has proposed a complete dismantling of the federal legal aid funding system.

This request comes at the same time LSC has submitted its own budget request for FY 2021. LSC has requested $652.6 million, an increase over last year’s request of $593 million, and has stated that they remain optimistic about congressional support. LSC funding has had a steady increase in congressional appropriations in recent years, despite the president’s repeated attempts to defund it. We reject the President’s proposal and instead call on Congress to fully fund LSC’s $652.6 million budget request.

LSC is the nation’s single largest funder of civil legal aid, funding 132 programs nationwide, including 11 programs that service California’s 58 counties and 100 Native American Reservations. In 2018, LSC Grantee organizations in California closed 77,500 cases and served 198,500 people, including 10,100 veterans and 52,000 seniors. This attempt at defunding would eliminate approximately 40% of California LSC Grantees funding and have a profound impact on the services provided to low-income Californians.

OneJustice is closely analyzing these budget documents and working on educational and advocacy efforts to ensure the protection of our country’s legal aid system! To get involved and stay informed, please sign up for our grassroots network, Californians for Legal Aid. Thank you!

OneJustice Condemns Trump Administration’s Expansion of Muslim Ban


February 3, 2020

San Francisco—In an expansion of its policies that target and discriminate on the basis of national origin, faith and immigration status, on Friday the Trump administration added travel and visa restrictions to Sudan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Myanmar, Eritrea, and Kyrgyzstan. Libya, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, North Korea, and Venezuela remain subject to the original Muslim Ban.

These policies cause irreparable harm to those impacted and further marginalize communities of color. We must fight to defend the rights of everyone in our communities by working to repeal these cruel and xenophobic practices.

OneJustice stands shoulder-to-shoulder with our immigration legal services and advocacy partners across California and the rest of the country for their tireless advocacy to protect our communities. We uplift their substantive comments and explanations of the impact of this expanded Muslim Ban:

For more legal resources, please access the One California provider network at: bit.ly/immigrationhelp.

For information about the expanded Muslim Ban and how you or your loved ones may be affected by it, check out this community advisory from Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (AAAJ) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

For this and other immigration policy updates and new volunteer and training opportunities across California, become a part of the Immigration Pro Bono Network.

For media questions, please contact  Zoha Raza of CAIR at 408-418-6902 or zraza@cair.com or Sabrina Chin or Milan Chang at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus at sabrinac@advancingjustice-alc.org or milanc@advancingjustice-alc.org.

SCOTUS allows Trump Administration to implement public charge rule while challenges are heard


Jan 31, 2020

San Francisco — Earlier this week in a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States lifted the Second Circuit Court of Appeals preliminary injunction, thus allowing the Trump Administration’s new public charge rule to go into effect. The Public Charge rule will go into effect on Feb. 24, 2020 while litigation is pending in the appellate courts. 

This public charge rule threatens the housing, health, and nutrition of low-income families — the overwhelming majority of which are of color — coast-to-coast.  This draconian rule change will cause countless families to have to make the unimaginable choice between the  help they and their children need today, or the legal status they need to keep their families together tomorrow.

Despite receiving a record-breaking 266,000 public comments — the majority of which opposed the rule change — the Department of Homeland Security finalized their public charge rule in August 2019. In response, multiple lawsuits from immigrant advocacy organizations and the State of New York are currently being litigated in the lower courts challenging the merits of the rule. OneJustice will closely follow the progress of these challenges and update you as we learn more. 

We salute our colleagues and friends at immigrant legal services and advocacy organizations across the country for their tireless advocacy in opposition to this rule change, and we uplift their substantive comments and explanations of the impact of the rule change here:

For more legal resources, please access the One California provider network at: bit.ly/immigrationhelp.

For information about the rule, please access National Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF).

For this and other immigration policy updates and new volunteer and training opportunities across California, become a part of the Immigration Pro Bono Network.

Executive Fellowship 10th Anniversary Celebration


January 31st, 2020

The 10-Year Anniversary Celebration of the OneJustice Executive Fellowship program was a huge success.  Alumni returned to reconnect, sharing stories about their Fellowship experiences and catching up on the changes in their lives and work. Executive Fellow Founders Claire Solot, Martin Tannenbaum, and Julia Wilson shared their memories and reflections on the program, its development and its impact.Through a series of lightning talks by Jan Masaoka (Executive Director, CalNonprofits), Toby Rothschild (Of Counsel, OneJustice) and Julia Wilson (CEO, OneJustice), Fellows looked to what’s on the horizon for the legal services sector and strategized on how our organizations can prepare for a potential recession, the taskforce recommendations through the Access Through Innovation of Legal Services, and, of course, the upcoming presidential election.

At the end of the evening Fellows also had an opportunity to honor Julia as she prepares to leave her role as CEO of OneJustice.

OneJustice is proud of the growth of the Executive Fellowship program and the work of its alumni.

Below are select photos from the evening. Check out this album to view all photos from the celebration.

Equipping your team with approaches for leading innovation with an equity mindset


January 16th 2020

Does your organization have a diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative that aspires to make organizational changes? Are you part of that initiative, or separately leading equity work in your own teams, but are not sure how to turn value-based learning and dialogue, into active strategy development and concrete action? Ever wish you or the team had more strategies and skills for moving your organization from affirming equity concepts to adopting practices and institutional shifts?

OneJustice is delighted to announce the second round of the Innovation track of the cohort based learning program the Organizational Change Accelerators, this year expressly focusing on diversity equity and inclusion outcomes. By partnering with organizational equity consultants and legal aid peers to provide coaching and perspectives, OneJustice will provide a cohort of legal aid teams with wraparound learning and training at the intersection of equity principles and innovation leadership.

What’s the relationship between innovation and diversity equity and inclusion?

We know that operationalizing racial justice and equity values requires not just insight and information but also changes to organizational culture, systems, processes, and practices. Whether you are leading an organization or part of a committee making decisions as a team, you need to have a careful implementation plan that appreciates the need for buy-in and a roll-out plan that is realistic and emotionally intelligent. To do this, stakeholders can benefit from learning methods of innovation and change management which come with dedicated frameworks, processes, and practices for leading action on big ideas.

This cohort experience is an exciting opportunity to learn with your colleagues (you’ll come with a team of two or more), leaders of other groups (the cohort is designed for four-eight other organizations), and OneJustice’s team and nonprofit partners. The experience includes:

  • An introduction to different assessments for individual and organizational readiness for diversity, equity, and inclusion work
  • Highly interactive deep learning workshops designed to support concepts and skills to lead equity related changes at your organization, from team building, planning, implementing, and evaluating
  • An in-depth Capstone Project to apply learnings toward a priority project at your organization
  • Coaching sessions to support implementation throughout the program

For more information about the Accelerators, check out this Powtoon:

You can download more information and the application at onejustice.org/oca.  If you would like to explore this opportunity further or have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at rmangiliman@one-justice.org!

Meet Meryl and Tatum!


January 7th, 2019

Happy New Year! We thought we would kick off the new year with a bang and introduce you to the two newest legal aid innovators on the OneJustice team!  Joining us at the end of last year are Meryl Friedman, Senior Program Manager and Tatum Burnett, Program Associate! Meryl is joining our Northern California Pro Bono Justice team and will be working on bringing about major innovations to our Justice Bus Model while Tatum is joining our Healthy Nonprofits team, supporting the team in everything from the Executive Fellowship to our new Organizational Change Accelerators. Please join us in welcoming Meryl and Tatum!

As we do with all new folks, we asked them to answer these four questions:

  •  What drew you to OneJustice’s vision, mission, and strategies?
  •  Tell us a bit about your position at OneJustice and what you hope to achieve?
  •  What was your path in coming to OneJustice?
  •  And please tell us something about yourself that not everyone might know.

Meryl Friedman, Senior Program Manager

I am inspired by OneJustice’s needs-based approach to impact. OneJustice is committed to not only providing services, access, and support for those seeking justice, it also adapts and innovates to deliver the most useful and thoughtful change. I am thrilled to be part of such a passionate and strategic team working tirelessly to close the justice gap.

As a Senior Program Manager, I will work with the Pro Bono Justice team to lead, iterate and expand our programs. I will work with clients, legal aid organizations, and pro bono partners through direct legal clinics, collaborations, and consulting services.

For the past few years, I worked as a nonprofit consultant in New York at Cause Strategy Partners. With a particular focus on nonprofit governance and operations, I led our board matching program, BoardLead, in Chicago and San Francisco. Often, nonprofits need more engaged and diverse board members who are aware of governance responsibilities. We tried to fill that gap. Before that role, I worked at the New Media Advocacy Project and the American Jewish World Service.

I received my Masters in Nonprofit Management from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service. I focused on Social Innovation, Impact and Investment to better understand how the nonprofit sector can harness change and human-centered design to strengthen methods and outcomes. My capstone project was a business plan to launch a campus-based tech tool to support survivors of sexual assault as they navigated justice and healing services. I received my Bachelor of Arts from Haverford College in Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies.

I love to walk my two dogs while listening to audiobooks. Before leaving NYC, I walked (nearly) every street in Manhattan below 140th street.

 

Tatum Burnett, Program Associate

I was drawn to OneJustice because of its dedication to support and empower California’s legal aid sector through innovative, holistic and justice oriented methods. I am especially passionate about OneJustice’s mission to increase legal access and to prioritize the protections, and rights of underserved and marginalized communities within California.

As a Program Associate with OneJustice’s Healthy Nonprofits Program, I will work on projects that embolden California’s legal aid nonprofits, such as the Executive Fellowship Program, the Organizational Change Accelerators, and the Capacity Building Academy. By contributing to these projects which aim to strengthen and support California’s most essential legal aid organizations, I hope we will make a positive difference in the causes they are working towards and the lives of those they serve.

Prior to joining the OneJustice team I developed my interest in the legal system and empowering disenfranchised communities by working with the Office of Victim’s Services within the New London Superior Court in Connecticut. I also had the opportunity to intern with a local criminal post-conviction law firm, working on capital and habeas corpus cases of indigent clients serving on death row or life without the possibility of parole. Additionally I have volunteered and worked with community organizations locally and abroad on matters regarding dependency and family law, youth mentorship, environmental activism and disability education. I earned my BA from Connecticut College in Government as well as Gender, Sexuality and Intersectionality Studies, where my studies focused on implicit biases within the legal system.

I love to hike with my dogs in Redwood Regional Park in Oakland, watch the same TV shows over and over again with my friends, bake berry galettes, and see live music.