Press Release

Sen. Hirono, Rep. Jeffries, Cecile Richards Join AFJ in 40th Anniversary Celebration

June 1, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 2019 – Alliance for Justice is pleased to announce that its 40th Anniversary Luncheon will be held Wednesday, June 5, at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Washington, D.C. The event will feature a distinguished lineup of speakers including Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI); Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY 8); Cecile Richards, co-founder, Supermajority; Adam Serwer, journalist, The Atlantic; Deepak Bhargava, activist and former director of Center for Community Change; Norman Rosenberg, former CEO of the New Israel Fund; and AFJ’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Moriah Fund President Mary Ann Stein.

“A big anniversary is often a time for looking back at past accomplishments, but I’m excited to say that at AFJ, we are focused on the future as we reach this milestone year,” said Nan Aron, President of Alliance for Justice. “This year’s luncheon will be an opportunity to celebrate with friends and allies, including great leaders like Senator Hirono, Representative Jeffries, Cecile Richards, and Mary Ann Stein. It’s also a chance to share more news about our upcoming projects — including our Building the Bench program to identify a pool of future judicial candidates for the next administration. We’re very excited about this project and the opportunity to take back our federal courts after four years of ultraconservative and unqualified Trump judicial nominees.”

AFJ notes that as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Hirono has been outspoken about abuses of the judicial confirmation process under Republican committee leadership. She has also been steadfast in her opposition to Trump judicial nominees with records of hostility to the rights of women, people of color, LGBTQ Americans, workers, and immigrants. Sen. Hirono will be interviewed onstage at the luncheon by journalist Adam Serwer of The Atlantic.

Rep. Jeffries, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus and serves on the House Judiciary Committee, has been a driving force behind criminal justice reform legislation and a leader on issues of equal rights for all Americans. He has spoken out against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and against recent remarks by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in which McConnell stated he would confirm another Supreme Court nominee in the last year of President Trump’s first term if a vacancy occurred.

Cecile Richards will present AFJ’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Moriah Fund President, Mary Ann Stein. Ms. Richards has followed up her celebrated tenure as the President of Planned Parenthood by co-founding, with Alicia Garza, the new women’s advocacy organization Supermajority. Supermajority is working to organize women — the nation’s demographic supermajority — to fight for gender equity.

Ms. Richards will be joined in making the presentation by Deepak Bhargava and Norman Rosenberg, who have led organizations generously supported by the Moriah Fund.

“I am honored to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award from Alliance for Justice,” said Ms. Stein. “At the Moriah Fund we have made it our mission to seek out and support organizations that are doing tremendously important work but may have escaped the notice of larger funders. I am deeply proud of our support for civil and human rights projects for women, children, minorities, refugees and asylum seekers in this country, in Israel and in other parts of the world. I am also very grateful to Alliance for Justice for its unwavering commitment to strengthening the nonprofit community and for its work to defend our justice system. Without a fair and independent justice system, the rights that Moriah Fund grantees fight for cannot be upheld.”

Mary Ann Stein leads the Moriah Fund, a private foundation funding international and domestic programs to promote pluralism, democracy, equity and human rights. She is a board member of Americans for Peace Now and the New Israel Fund. She is the Founding Chair of the Fund for Global Human Rights and serves on its international board of directors. Ms. Stein served on the D.C. Judicial Nominations Commission for four years and on the Board of Directors of the Global Fund for Women. Currently she serves as a member of advisory boards of The Center for Victims of Torture and Human Rights First. A graduate of Wellesley College and George Washington University Law Center, Ms. Stein has also been Director of the Women Judges Fund for Justice, a consultant to the D.C. Department of Human Resources, Director of the Child Advocacy Center and a staff attorney at the Stern Community Law Firm in Washington, D.C. During law school she worked at Poverty Rights Action Center, organizing welfare recipients and at Neighborhood Legal Services. After college, she was a community organizer with SCLC in South Carolina. One of her proudest achievements is starting the Israel Center for Educational Innovation that works to turn around failing schools in low income Israeli neighborhoods with a focus on those with Ethiopian students.