Gala Raises More than $350,000 for Justice & Diversity Center Programs

From left, Tim Elliott, Kiran Mand, Marie Ma, David Jedrzejek, D’Lonra Ellis, and Joshua Reiten

From left, Tim Elliott, Kiran Mand, Marie Ma, David Jedrzejek, D’Lonra Ellis, and Joshua Reiten

On September 18,  nearly 500 guests celebrated the legal community’s support of the Justice & Diversity Center’s (JDC) mission to advance fairness and equality by providing pro bono legal services to low-income people and educational programs that foster diversity in the legal profession.

Attendees enjoyed the event’s cocktails and networking format, and represented all segments of the legal community, including judges, in-house counsel, private and public sector attorneys, and generous San Francisco law firms.  JDC is especially thankful for the support of small and solo firms who sponsored the event, many for the first time.

From left, 2003 BASF President Jeff Bleich and 2014 BASF President Stephanie Skaff

From left, 2003 BASF President Jeff Bleich and 2014 BASF President Stephanie Skaff

During the brief spoken program, JDC and BASF President Stephanie Skaff, Farella Braun + Martel, introduced former Eviction Defense project client Idella Hill, who shared her personal experience receiving JDC’s pro bono legal representation, which made it possible to stay in her home.

BASF/JDC Interim Executive Director Yolanda Jackson, introduced Shaless Hogan, a senior at San Francisco’s Academy of Arts and Sciences High School and a participant in JDC’s School-To-College (STC) program since she was a freshman.  She talked of the transformative effects of the program on her life, helping her to achieve academic excellence and her plans to attend a four-year college after graduating.

This year’s honorary co-chairs were Christopher R. Ball, Bank of the West; Daniel Dean, Ribera Law Firm; Thomas V. Loran, III, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman; and Katherine S. Ritchey, Jones Day.  The Gala committee was chaired by Wilma Wallace, of Gap Inc., co-chaired by Kimberly Taylor of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., and was supported by the JDC and BASF boards of directors.

Eighty-eight law firms, companies and organizations sponsored the event, which raised more than $350,000 to support JDC’s pro bono legal services, School-To-College and Bay Area Minority Law School Scholarship programs.

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