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By Daniel Grossman and Timothy P. Silard

The rest of the country looks to California. Not for what is conventional, but for what is necessary—necessary to keep faith with our courageous forebears.

— Gov. Jerry Brown, State of the State Address, January 24, 2013

Throughout its nearly 80 years, the Rosenberg Foundation has aimed to be a risk-taking grantmaker for social justice, with the goal of identifying and nurturing innovative leaders and promising solutions to some of California's most pressing and vexing problems.

For us, innovation goes beyond new ideas and technologies. It is fresh passion and bold vision. It means fostering new collaborations and surprising connections across issues and communities. It is the ability to seize societal shifts and trends to bring new approaches to seemingly intractable challenges.

For this edition of Justice in California, we asked some of the leading thinkers and advocates in social justice to share with us their bold ideas, strategies, and vision on innovative ways that we can collectively work towards a stronger California. These leaders are working to make the promise of full and equal participation in our shared economic, political, and civic life a reality for every Californian.

We believe that immigrants are vital to California's economy and our communities. So, we asked Maria Echaveste, Benjamin Todd Jealous, and Kate Kendell to share their thoughts on how we can harness the power of the “New American Majority” to usher in real change, beginning with a new immigration process. DREAMers Sofia Campos, Catherine Eusebio, and Jorge Gutierrez delve into how undocumented immigrant youth are drawing strength from their differences to form a formidable movement that has ignited the country. Ai-jen Poo and Laphonza Butler discuss exciting opportunities at the intersection of immigrant and workers' rights. Maisie Greenawalt, Erik Nicholson, and Minor Sinclair write about how socially conscious consumers can deliver justice for farm workers.

Criminal justice remains one of California's biggest challenges, and one that demands a shift in solutions and approaches. Lenore Anderson calls for a bold new vision for safety in the Golden State. Susan Burton and Judy Patrick write about how California must change its approach to incarcerating and rehabilitating women. San Francisco DA George Gascón makes his case on how prosecutors can transform the justice system for the better. And Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and Esta Soler discuss why we must stem the tide of violence and trauma experienced by children, an urgent epidemic that has far reaching consequences.

We are excited to share with you these thought pieces by visionary—and indeed unconventional—leaders and advocates who are working tirelessly to achieve a brighter future for all of us. As always, our hope for this publication is that it will inform our public conversation on how best to realize our common dreams for justice and equality in California and beyond. We look forward to working with you on those goals.

Read the articles

The Courage to Change: How Prosecutors Can Lead on Public Safety ›

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón

Harnessing the Power of the New American Majority ›

Maria Echaveste, Benjamin Todd Jealous, and Kate Kendell

Strength in Our Differences: The Future of the Dream Movement ›

Sofia Campos, Catherine Eusebio, and Jorge Gutierrez

From Farm to Fork: How Consumers Can Make a Difference for Farm Workers ›

Maisie Greenawalt, Erik Nicholson, and Minor Sinclair

California's Dreamers ›

Images of immigrant youth in action

Author Bios and Photos ›