The 16th annual and first virtual Gala of the Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) on September 16 was a night to remember. This year’s Gala continued the tradition of celebrating JDC’s impact and sharing inspiration through client and student stories.
A feast for the senses, featuring art, music, and culinary delights, the event raised close to $300,000 to support JDC’s Legal Services Program, Homeless Advocacy Project, and Diversity Pipeline Programs including the Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship program.
As guests entered the virtual Gala, they were welcomed by the musical stylings of Attractive Nuisance, featuring musicians from five different law firms. Originally formed as Greenberg Traurig’s house band, Attractive Nuisance includes Matt Ball (bass), K&L Gates, William Gorrod (guitar), Baker Botts; Michael Hogue (vox), Greenberg Traurig; Bruce Steinert (guitar), Perkins Coie; and Chris Kriese (drums), Zillow. From Green Day to Billie Eilish, the band played rock covers and retro hits that made it clear: it’s time to celebrate!
As President Stuart Plunkett highlighted in his remarks, JDC has “continued to prove its value to the San Francisco community” during this year of unprecedented challenges and uncertainty. Over the past year, JDC, with the help of more than 1,200 volunteers, provided over 46,000 hours of legal services to the community. Executive Director Yolanda Jackson acknowledged the increased demand for services, adding that “the concepts of justice and diversity have taken on a new significance in 2020 and are more critical now than ever.”
This year’s program spotlight speakers, Wendy Hernandez and Timothy James, highlighted two of JDC’s programs, the Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship program and the Federal Pro Bono Project, bringing to life the importance of JDC’s work and services at this moment.
Following the main program, guests were able to choose among a variety of virtual experiences featuring Chef Mitchell Rosenthal, Mixologist Rebecca Pinnell, art legend Crayone, as well as roundtable discussions with local legal leaders. DJ D Sharp, the official DJ of the Golden State Warriors, closed out the evening.
You can access recordings of the program, including the inspiring program spotlight speakers, virtual experiences, and roundtable discussions on our website at www.sfbar.org/gala.