Jeff Adachi has served as elected Public Defender of the City and County of San Francisco since March 2002 and has worked as a deputy public defender in San Francisco for 15 years. From 1998-2001, he served as the Chief Attorney of the office. As the only elected Public Defender in the state of California, Mr. Adachi oversees an office of 93 lawyers and 60 support staff. The office represents more than 23,000 people each year and provides a panoply of innovative programs, including Drug Court, Mental Health Court, Clean Slate expungement services, and a full-service juvenile division. The public defender’s community MAGIC programs address the root causes of juvenile crime in San Francisco’s underserved neighborhoods by linking families with educational, health and community services.
DeRay Mckesson is a protestor, activist, and educator focused primarily on issues of innovation, equity, and justice. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, he graduated from Bowdoin College and has advocated for issues related to children, youth, and families since he was a teen. Mckesson has served as an educator, student leader, and founding director of an after-school/out-of school program. He has also provided leadership to the executive teams of large urban school districts. Spurred by the death of Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, Mckesson has become a leading voice in the effort to confront the system and structures that have led to the mass incarceration and police killings of black and other minority populations. He is co-founder of the Protestor Newsletter and Campaign Zero.
Favianna Rodriguez is an artist and activist. She has self-identified as queer and Latina with Afro-Peruvian roots. Rodriguez began as a political poster designer in the 1990s in the struggle for racial justice in Oakland, California. Rodriguez is known for using her art as a tool for activism. Her designs and projects range a variety of different issues including globalization, immigration, feminism, patriarchy, interdependence, and genetically modified foods. Rodriguez works with multiple advocacy groups including Presente.org and Culture Strike, of which she is the Executive Director.
W. Kamau Bell is a socio-political comedian and host of KALW’s Kamau Right Now!, a live radio show that transform the political and cultural conversation of the moment into what Kamau calls “a three-ring circus of relevance.” Bell is also the host of CNN’s The United Shades of America, a documentary series in which Bell travels around the country exploring subjects and locations out of his comfort zone and digging into the complexities of race and culture in America. Before hosting for CNN and KALW, Bell was best known for his critically acclaimed FX comedy series, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. In its brief time, Totally Biased was nominated for both an NAACP Image Award and a GLAAD Award.