America’s history of racial inequality continues to undermine fair treatment, equal justice, and opportunity for many Americans. The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) believes we must acknowledge the truth about our history before we can heal: truth and reconciliation are sequential.

As a nation, we have not yet acknowledged our history of racial injustice, including the genocide of Native people, the legacy of slavery and racial terror, and the legally-supported abuse of racial minorities.

When we engage truthfully with our history, we are better equipped to address contemporary issues ranging from mass incarceration, immigration, and human rights to how we think and talk about cultural moments and icons.

EJI designed A History of Racial Injustice as a set of tools for learning more about people and events in American history that are critically important but not well known. This digital experience highlights events on this day in history with rich detail and intuitive sharing features. Find the daily /monthly calendar here

Racial Justice Events in Marin

Click on an event in the calendar above for full details:

In theaters now! Just Mercy: based on the powerful and thought-provoking true story of young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the main testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings, as well as overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds—and the system—stacked against them.

Monday, January 20 • 10:00am Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Annual Celebration in Marin City Manzanita Center, 630 Drake Ave., Marin City Join us this year in our celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!  Featuring performances from:

Lighthouse Gospel Singers with Rev. Ulis Redic, Jr.
Recording Artist, Pashia GreenSpecial Awards: “Those Who Inspire” Ricardo’s Health and Art Band

Speakers on Healing: Racial Equality, Affordable Housing, Education, Empowerment of Youth. Student Performances from: SMCSD, Sausalito and Tam Union Schools, Willow Creek Women Helping All People Academy

Saturday, January 25, 2:00 – 4:00pm Have you been curious about where you can meet other white people in Marin who are working against racism? Join with volunteers from SURJ Marin to learn about our values, mission, what we’ve been up to in Marin, and how you can get involved in the movement for racial justice. Please register online here.

*Connect with other Marin residents interested in racial justice.

*Practice having courageous conversations about race.

*Join in a local collective action to support racial equity.

*Get involved, break white silence, and show up for racial justice in Marin!

Sunday, January 26, 3:00 – 4:30pm, Racial justice book discussion: Marin City Library , 164 Donahue St., Marin City The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein. In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation—that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation—the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments—that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day. Discussions are open to everyone – find more information here.

Monday, Jan 27, 12 noon True Justice – Free Community Cinema at the Rafael Theater, 1118 4th St., San Rafael. Get your free ticket online here.

True Justice follows the personal journey of Bryan Stevenson, a public defender in Alabama and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, who is working to bring justice to the incarcerated, wrongfully convicted, and disadvantaged. Weaving together Stevenson’s own story, those of his clients, and a history of injustice and complicity by our justice system, the film reveals how a narrative of racial inequality emerged in this country. Stevenson challenges us to seek the truth, confront it, and work towards reconciliation.

Discussion to follow screening with special guest Rabbi Paul Shleffar, Jewish Chaplain, San Quentin State Prison

Monday, Jan 27, 6pm-8pm. Disrupting Marin’s School-to-Prison Pipeline: an in-depth discussion with three people who see the “pipeline” from inside and learn how they believe it can be disrupted School suspensions are one of the key factors leading young people into the Prison Pipeline. We must work together to understand the causes and alternatives to suspension to prevent students from continuing down the path towards incarceration. Panelists will discuss the facts about Marin’s suspension rates and policies and what can be done to maintain continuing education and success of students.Light food and refreshments will be provided! RSVP online here.

Wednesday, January 29, 6pm-8pm Meetup at Aroma Cafe, 1122 4th St., San Rafael. Let’s discuss Episode 1: The Fight for a True Democracy in the New York Times’ audio series on The 1619 Project, observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. Four hundred years ago, in August 1619, a ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived in the English colony of Virginia. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the 250 years of slavery that followed. Find the podcast episodes here.


Sunday, February 2, 4pm SPECIAL MIND THE GAP SCREENING WITH INVITED GUEST BETTY REID SOSKINat the CHRISTOPHER B. SMITH RAFAEL FILM CENTER, 1118 4th St., San Rafael. No Time to Waste celebrates 98-year-old national park ranger Betty Reid Soskin’s life, work, and urgent mission to restore critical missing chapters of America’s story. The film follows her impressive trajectory from a kitchen stool in a tiny theatre to reaching national and international audiences, relaying the stories of her fascinating personal journey, from her experiences as a young worker in a WWII segregated union hall, through her multi-faceted career as a singer, activist, mother, legislative representative, and park planner. In her present public role at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historic Park, Soskin illuminates the invisible histories of African Americans and other people of color, and her efforts demonstrate how her work has impacted the way the National Park Service conveys such history to audiences across the US, challenging fellow citizens to move together toward a more perfect union. Director Carl Bidleman (US 2019) 50 min Order tickets online here.

Saturday, February 8, 2pm- 4pm Conversations from the Heart workshop. Have you found yourself involved in challenging conversations with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers about race? SURJ Marin is offering an opportunity to practice these conversations in a safe and supportive space. Whether you’d like to share your current interest in racial justice, talk with your loved ones and neighbors about changing the name of the Dixie School District, discuss what it means to ‘take a knee’ when the national anthem is played, or engage in conversation about our country’s treatment of migrants and asylum seekers, you’ll come away with more confidence in your ability to stay in conversation around important issues related to racial justice. Come learn how to engage and respond more effectively through deep listening, finding common ground and speaking from the heart. Do your part to break white silence! Order your tickets online here.

Thursday, February 20, 7pm COLLISIONS with FILMMAKER RICHARD LEVIEN IN PERSON at the CHRISTOPHER B. SMITH RAFAEL FILM CENTER, 1118 4th St., San Rafael. The potentially devastating effects of immigration policy impacts one San Francisco family in this impressive first feature from local writer-director Richard Levien. Twelve-year-old Itan Bautista (a powerful Izabella Alvarez, Westworld) is studious, precocious, and tenacious, caring for her young brother Neto while their mother Yoana works multiple jobs to support their family – until the day the children return from school to find their home upended and Yoana arrested in an ICE raid. The siblings turn to their estranged uncle Evencio (Jesse Garcia, Quinceñera), a hard-living truck driver with little interest in helping the kids find his sister. As Yoana is shuffled between detention centers, Itan is left with the burden of finding her mother and preventing her deportation, attempting to secure much-needed assistance from the unreliable Evencio, and caring for Neto in increasingly dire circumstances. Are they now truly on their own?  Or will Evencio come through and help reunite the family? Director Richard Levien (US 2018) 82 min. Order tickets online here.

Saturday, February 22, 2:00 – 3:30pm, Racial justice book discussion: San Anselmo Council Chambers, 1110 Tunstead Ave, San Anselmo The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley. In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time. The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement and a man whose work was never completed but whose message is timeless. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America. Discussions are open to everyone – find more information here.

Sunday, Feb 23, 5pm Panel: Race in America and the Lead-Up to the 2020 Election at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera. Join us for this special event featuring a carefully curated and diverse panel of Bay Area writers and agents of change. Moderated by journalist and Book Passage host Paula Farmer, they’ll be tackling this vital topic and how it may impact the next presidential election. Presented with MarinArts Find more information here.

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963–1983
Now through March 15, 2020 at the de Young

This internationally acclaimed exhibition, organized by Tate Modern, celebrates art made by Black artists during two pivotal decades when issues of race and identity dominated and defined both public and private discourse. The de Young’s presentation includes a focus on Bay Area artists whose work promoted personal and cultural pride, collective solidarity and empowerment, and political and social activism.

Honoring the incredible legacy of Black Power in the San Francisco Bay Area, the de Young museum is hosting a line-up of programming and partners tied to celebrating this landmark exhibition. Featuring renowned artists, performers, musicians, activists, civic leaders, and others, these programs welcome special guests from around the Bay Area to bring Black Power to the forefront. Find information here.

Find news on upcoming events and actions throughout the Bay Area at SURJ Bay Area’s website!