ERA Gala 2023

The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
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ERA’s Gala is a premiere annual celebration in the gender justice and civil rights movements, bringing together hundreds of advocates, business leaders, philanthropists, and partners from across the country in an inspiring celebration of our collective power to drive change.

This year, our Gala will celebrate the theme State by State: Building Power for Gender Justice, celebrating Equal Rights Advocates’ work with changemakers across the country advancing rights for women, girls, and gender expansive people. Because no one’s rights should depend on their zip code. We will spotlight the powerful advocacy and legal efforts of movement leaders to standardize critical civil and constitutional and reproductive rights across the country. We will also mark the 60th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the 10th Anniversary of ERA’s Equal Pay Today Campaign pushing progressive pay equity laws across the nation.

Our goal? Gender justice for all.

This event will feature a hybrid format, with an in-person gathering in San Francisco and a live virtual option for attendees across the country, both taking place June 9 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Pacific.

This year’s gala is a special one because we’re adding a selfie booth from DigiBooths! Make sure you stop through and take a few pics and share them to your phone via text or email. If you’re in need of a photo booth DigiBooths is the go to for all of your needs!


Speakers & Honorees

Dahlia Lithwick


Featured speaker: Dahlia Lithwick

Legal scholar • Award-winning author • Journalist

MSNBC analyst and a senior legal correspondent at Slate, Dahlia Lithwick is one of the nation’s foremost legal commentators. She is the host of Amicus, Slate’s award-winning biweekly podcast about the law and the Supreme Court, and author of the instant New York Times bestseller Lady Justice, which recounts the heroic story of women attorneys who fought for equity during the Trump presidency—and won. Lithwick was a recipient of a 2021 Gracie Award for Amicus Presents: The Class of RBG, which featured the last in-person audio interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She has been twice awarded an Online Journalism Award for her legal commentary. Read more.

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi


Gender Justice Honoree: Nancy Pelosi

U.S. House Speaker Emerita

Nancy Pelosi served as the 52nd Speaker of the House of Representatives, having made history in 2007 when she was elected the first woman to serve as Speaker. Speaker Emerita Pelosi made history again in January 2019 when she regained the Speakership – the first person to do so in more than six decades. Pelosi has represented San Francisco in Congress for 35 years. Currently serving as the Representative for California’s 11th Congressional District, she is fighting For The People to lower costs, grow paychecks and create jobs. She is the architect of generation-defining legislation, including the Affordable Care Act and the American Rescue Plan, and a defender of democracy at home and abroad. Married to Paul Pelosi, she is a proud mother of five and grandmother of nine. 

Tani Cantil-Sakauye Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California


Gender Justice Honoree: Hon. Tani Cantil-Sakauye

Former California Supreme Court Chief Justice • President & CEO: Public Policy Institute of California

From 2011 to 2022, Tani Cantil-Sakauye served as the 28th Chief Justice of California and led the judiciary as the chair of the Judicial Council—the constitutional policy and rule making body of the judicial branch—the first person of color and the second woman to do so. Before she was elected statewide as the Chief Justice of California, she served more than 20 years on California appellate and trial courts and was appointed or elevated to higher office by three governors. Earlier in her career, she served as a deputy district attorney for the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and on the senior staff of Governor Deukmejian, first as deputy legal affairs secretary and later as a deputy legislative secretary. She holds a BA and a JD from the University of California, Davis. Read more.


Cassandra Welchin


Gender Justice Honoree: Equal Pay Today Roundtable

Accepted by Cassandra Welchlin, Executive Director, Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable

Noreen Farrell


Noreen Farrell, Executive Director, Equal Rights Advocates


Emcee: Karina Nova


Emcee: Karina Nova, ABC7

Emmy Award Journalist

Our accomplished Emcee, Karina Nova, is a California girl despite her Ohio upbringing. From Baku, Azerbaijan, her family immigrated to the United States, settling in Northeast Ohio where she mastered English. Karina’s early fascination with journalism led her to study the craft at Kent State University, with notable internships at C-SPAN and Voice of America. She embarked on a 15-year career at WBNS, ascending from a traffic reporter to a celebrated weekday morning anchor. Karina’s dedication to factual reporting earned her an Emmy for her exceptional coverage of a major train derailment. Alongside her professional achievements, she actively volunteers, emcees events, and promotes nature as the spokesperson for Metro Parks. Eager to explore the parks of Northern California and indulge her love for paddleboarding, Karina shares her exciting adventures on social media.


Also featuring:

Hon. Maria Rivera
Ashley Crary Lidow, S.C. Women’s Rights & Empowerment Network
Michelle Grier, Girls for Gender Equity
Seher Khawaja, Legal Momentum
Verónica Lagunas, Ya Basta Center; SEIU-USWW
Sharmili Majmudar, Women Employed
Kelly McClellen, National Taskforce on Tradeswomen Issues



Gala 2023 Chair: Joi Chaney

Joi Chaney


Event Sponsors

Do you or your employer want to sponsor this event? View sponsorship options. Thank you for your support!

Thanks to our generous sponsors, including our Honorary Steering Committee members, whose support advances gender justice across the country.


Title Sponsors

Louette Colombano Philanthropic Fund


Well Fargo


Louette Colombano Philanthropic Fund; Wells Fargo 


Platinum Sponsors

Morrison Foerster



Morrison & Foerster and The Morrison & Foerster Foundation 


Gold Sponsors


Gold Sponsors: Allen Matkins, Coblentz Patch Duffy Bass, Cruise, Delta Dental, Fenwick & West, Google, Jenner & Block LLP:, Kaiser Permanente, Kirkland & Ellis, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, Locke Lord LLP, Marci Rubin, Maynard Nexsen, Morgan Lewis, Paulette Meyer and David Friedman, Quinn Delaney, Sanford Heisler Sharp, Sasha Rao, Sunrun, Veritext, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation

Silver Sponsors: Altshuler Berzon, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP, Cooley, EMC Communications, Farella Braun + Martel, Gibbs Law Group, Hanson Bridgett, Hemming Morse LLP, Hunter Pyle Law, Kazan McClain Partners’ Foundation, Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP, Latham & Watkins, Lichten & Liss-Riordan P.C, Natalie Fleming Nolen, Nia Impact Capital, Nossaman, O’Melveny & Myers, Orrick, Outten & Golden, Paul Weiss, Perkins Coie LLP, Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld, Rudy Exelrod Zieff and Lowe, Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP, Shartis Friese, Susie T. Buell, Valerian Law and Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger

Bronze Sponsors: BakerHostetler, Brandi Law Firm, California Civil Rights Law Group, Duane Morris, Epiq, Golden State Warriors, Happily, Hinman and Carmichael, Liu Peterson-Fisher LLP, Neyhart Anderson Flynn & Grosboll, Oppenheimer Investigations Group and Saber Law

Event hosts: Anita Elliot, Cohen Milstein, Dale Schroedel & Lisa Honig, Delia Coleman, Drucilla Ramey, Farrah Wilder, Feinberg Jackson, Genie Harrison, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, Irma Herrera, Jachimowicz Law Group, Judith Goldkrand and Nancy Geenen, Joi Chaney, Kathi Pugh and Josh Maddox, Mary Alexander and Associates, Natalie Dement, Pami Vyas, Renne Public Law Group, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, San Francisco Giants, Sara Sanderson, and Eric and Andrew Weaver and The Sturdevant Law Firm.

Advocates: ADR Services, Andrus Anderson LLP, Barbara Marshall, Barry Goldstein, Berman Tabacco, Bijal Vakil, Bill Tamayo, Doris Ng, Emi Uyehara, Evidentia Consulting, Futures without Violence, Gilda Turitz, Kathleen Burke, KCC, Lawless, Lawless and McGarth, Law Office of Glicel Sumagaysay, Lorie Nachlis, Lucy Wang, Nancy Cotton, Nichols Kaster PLLP, Olivier & Schreiber LLP, Phillip Bokovoy, Rukin Hyland & Riggin, Rust Consulting, Varsity, Wendy Williams, William Tamayo & Debbie Lee and Zachary Hill.


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We may be able to provide free legal help for the following issues at California schools: gender and LGBTQI+ discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.

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Sus Derechos en el Trabajo


Posible que podamos proveer ayuda legal por gratis por los siguientes problemas en el trabajo o la escuela: discriminación basado en el género o por LGBTQI+, acoso sexual, asalto sexual, y discriminación basado en el embarazo o por ser padre/madre.


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