Paterson, Eva


Eva Paterson is the Director & Co-Founder, Equal Justice Society, a national strategy group heightening consciousness on race in the law and popular discourse.

Social Scientists’ Brief with Supreme Court Sheds New Light on Diversity

By Eva Paterson
Equal Justice Society

On August 13, the Equal Justice Society, the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and the Haas Diversity Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 13 of the country’s leading social scientists in the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, urging the Court to uphold modest race-conscious admissions policies.

The brief cites studies, provided to the Supreme Court for the first time, showing that race-conscious admissions policies such as those used by the University of Texas at Austin result in a more diverse student body, which is essential to produce leaders able to compete in the 21st century global marketplace. The brief also explains how structural barriers inhibit educational opportunity.

Justice for All Murder Victims

By Eva Paterson
Equal Justice Society

Murder is something I know well. In November of 1997, three days before Thanksgiving, my fiancé, Steve Henry was murdered execution style on the streets of Kingston, Jamaica. His body was stuffed in a barrel. I later learned that 1000 people were murdered in Jamaica that year. The pain and grief is hard to remember now.  I felt as though someone had taken a meat cleaver to my heart.  I remembered screaming in anger at God: “Why? Why?”  

I have many memories of that dreadful time but one memory is of relevance to the topic at hand. I remember knowing that despite this grievous loss, I still was opposed to the death penalty, to the state taking someone’s life.

Sadly, my experience is shared by many murder victim family members across California, particularly people of color. The majority of murder victims in California are African-American or Latino, and 45% of murder cases in the state are not even solved.