2015 Community Leadership Awards
The 2015 awardees Janice Mirikitani, Eveline Shen and the East Bay Community Law Center exemplified TSFF’s goal of ensuring equity and opportunity for all Bay Area residents. They were honored at the 2015 Bay Area Bold event, at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Our 2015 Awardees:
East Bay Community Law Center
Janice Mirikitani – Awarded the Helen Crocker Russell Art Award for her ability and tireless drive to foster innovation and individual artistic growth within the Bay Area community. A beacon of outreach and artistry, Mirikitani has changed the public voice of San Francisco. For decades, Mirikitani has brought the arts to the true social margins: from encouraging the voices of transgender sex workers in the 60s to easing the plight of today’s black women who are left homeless after escaping partner violence. She is the City’s second Poet Laureate, has authored four books of poetry, and is the editor of nine landmark anthologies that provide platforms for writers of color, women, youth, and children. Mirikitani has served as a commissioner on the San Francisco Arts Commission since 1996. She is the recipient of over 40 awards and honors, including the Governor and First Lady’s Conference on Women and Families Minerva Award, San Francisco State University’s Distinguished Alumnae Award, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Ebbie Award, the prestigious American Book Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature, and the University of California at San Francisco Chancellor’s Medal of Honor. She is the Founding President of the GLIDE Foundation, where she has achieved worldwide recognition for reaching San Francisco’s poor and marginalized, and for helping them break the cycle of poverty and dependence.
Eveline Shen – Awarded the Robert C. Kirkwood Service Award for her commitment, excellence, and inspired community service leadership. Shen is Executive Director of Oakland’s Forward Together, an organization that aims to ensure that women, youth, and families have the power and resources to reach their full potential. Through research, analysis, and shared dialogue, Forward Together develops a range of tools and media that support reproductive justice, organizing, and movement-building work. Since 1999, Shen has brought Forward Together into the spotlight, where it has become widely recognized for its innovative role in the reproductive justice movement – working for grassroots communities; providing thought leadership; developing effective tools and resources for evaluation, training, and documentation; and organizing for long-term systemic change. Shen serves on the board of the Movement Strategy Center and is a member of the Bay Area Social Justice Funders Network advisory committee. She has also served as Principal Investigator for two National Institutes of Health grants that explore the intersection between environmental justice and reproductive justice. Women’s eNews named Shen one of their 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. She was a 2009 Gerbode Fellow and holds a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley in Community Health Education.
East Bay Community Law Center – Awarded The San Francisco Foundation Award for demonstrating impact in and exemplary commitment to creating greater equity and opportunity in the Bay Area. The East Bay Law Center (EBCLC) strives to increase access to justice, to expand clinical opportunities for law students, and to make the community more healthy, secure, productive, and hopeful. Started by law students from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, EBCLC has grown to become the largest provider of free legal services in the East Bay. With a full-time staff of 20, EBCLC provides legal services to several thousand low-income clients and community groups each year, with matters directly affecting their income, shelter, and healthcare. EBCLC serves individuals and families living in Alameda County, including immigrants, homeless people, LGBTQ, youth in the juvenile justice system, formerly incarcerated individuals, and medically vulnerable families. EBCLC also plays a central role in preparing and inspiring the next generation of lawyers committed to social justice. Approximately 80 students enroll in EBCLC’s nationally-recognized clinical program each year, receiving high-quality training and mentoring under the supervision of EBCLC staff attorneys.