Black History Month Rising

Latest NewsStories
February 2, 2022

On the dawn of Black History Month, the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) is reflecting on our legacy of providing Black-centered legal services.

EBCLC has always aimed for Black liberation. This has been evident since our founding in 1988 when a group of Berkeley law students heard Ronald Reagan’s dog whistle and acted to disrupt its harm. We believed then, and still believe today, that systems have to be reimagined in order for African Americans to thrive. In 2005, recognizing the acute damage of the War on Drugs in Black communities, we were proud to partner with Congresswoman Barbara Lee to launch one of California’s first criminal record expungement services which would become known as “Clean Slate.” In 2016, we advocated to end municipal fines and fees because of voluminous data on how it seized African American wealth and, in doing so, launched a nationwide examination on how cities- from Oakland, CA to Ferguson, MO- prey on their Black neighborhoods. Today, in 2022, we push for the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, with the intention to redress decades of gentrification and displacement of Berkeley’s African American community. We are also leveraging our power to address anti-blackness in law schools. We know that we are a part of a legal profession that is too often more invested in maintaining the status quo of Black suffering instead of disrupting it. We recognize that these victories are in furtherance of racial equity. Solutions that center and directly uplift Black people, will benefit everyone.

We are an organization that has proudly been Black women-led for most of our 34 years of existence. In 2022, Tiffany Thomas became EBCLC’s first African American Board Chair, and we are actively recruiting more African American attorneys to join our team. We are at work on ourselves, and on our networks.

This Black History Month, we hope you will join us in deliberating on EBCLC’s history and its future. We are grateful to our Black clients, who ensure our organization stays true to its origins. We are grateful to our African American staff, law students, Board members, and partners who have sustained us. This work would not be possible without all of the communities who have shown allyship to EBCLC throughout our decades. We thank you!

We wish you a happy and reflective, Black History Month.

Read More Articles

news
April 17, 2024

2024 SOCIAL WORK STUDENT REFLECTION: OLIVIA TOM

My role as a Social Work Intern in the Housing Services program provided me with an intimate perspective into the housing barriers and challenges faced by individuals and families living in the Bay Area. Having limited knowledge of the topic, EBCLC provided me with the historical and legal knowledge to contextualize my work and the tools and language to work with clients experiencing housing instability..........

Read Now
news
April 17, 2024

2024 IMMIGRATION STUDENT REFLECTION: GARRETH MCCRUDDEN

During my time in clinic, I have worked primarily with unaccompanied children seeking asylum or Special Immigration Juvenile Status (SIJS) in the United States.  To that end, I helped each client determine the type of immigration relief most suitable to their needs and then assisted them in preparing and filing the relevant petitions with California state court or the United States government.........

Read Now
news
April 17, 2024

2024 HEALTH & WELFARE STUDENT REFLECTION: JOCELYN GOMEZ

I constantly found myself wanting to model and emulate the kindness and empathy with which they approached their work and clients. They all had strong, trusting relationships with their clients and often would go above and beyond to make sure their clients’ needs were holistically met whenever they could. They were also incredible teachers! Not only did they help me learn the complex nuances of public benefits law in such a short timeframe, but they also provided multiple opportunities for me to take the lead in cases while providing critical feedback that only helped me grow as an advocate........

Read Now
See All Stories
See All Stories
See All Stories