Winter 2018 Newsletter

In this issue…


CWLC 2018 Pursuit of Justice Awards honors Rita Hall, It’s On Us, LA County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and Lois Thompson on May 17


 Speaker Series with Congressman Adam Schiff


 March is Women’s Herstory Month


 “Equal Pay” in 2018


 CWLC Welcomes Kim Nakamaru


2018 Pursuit of Justice Awards lunch


The California Women’s Law Center will host our annual Pursuit of Justice Awards lunch on Thursday, May 17, 2018, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. We hope you will join us in recognizing four amazing honorees who are working to end sexual harassment and violence against women. Our 2018 honorees are: Rita Hall, It’s On Us, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, and Lois Thompson.

After serving as a Los Angeles County Sheriff for nearly three decades, Rita Hall founded Holy Helping Hands, a non-profit organization committed to providing support to women and families in need. Ms. Hall established Handbags of Hope which holds numerous events and outreach programs each year to support victims of domestic violence and their families. We thank Rita for her commitment and empowerment of women, children and families in California.

In 2014, the White House Task Force to Prevent Sexual Assault created the IT’S ON US campaign to support and grow the movement seeking to shift Americans’ perspective about sexual violence. IT’S ON US raises awareness about violence against women and is working to create a country where sexual assault is not tolerated and survivors are supported. We thank IT’S ON US for their leadership and advocacy on behalf of sexual assault survivors.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis represents the First District of Los Angeles and has been a dedicated advocate for women and children throughout her career. She has served in the California State Assembly, the State Senate, the House of Representatives and as the Secretary of Labor for President Barack Obama. As a Los Angeles County Supervisor, she has led efforts to examine and strengthen the county’s workplace harassment policies and she co-authored a motion creating the Los Angeles County Initiative on Women and Girls. Thank you, Supervisor Solis, for your lifetime of service and dedication to women and families.

Lois Thompson, a partner at Proskauer Rose LLP, has represented clients in complex litigation for over 40 years. During Ms. Thompson’s twelve years on the Board of CWLC and seven years as our President, she has spent hundreds of hours pursuing justice for women and girls through her board leadership as well as directing numerous pro bono efforts on behalf of CWLC. We thank Lois for her stewardship and the impactful work she has done to benefit some of the most vulnerable among us.

Please join us for an inspiring afternoon at our 2018 Pursuit of Justice Awards on May 17th. The VIP reception will begin at 11:30 a.m. and the program will begin at 12:00 noon. For event details and sponsorship opportunities please go to


Distinguished Guest Speaker Series with Congressman Adam Schiff


Join CWLC for a Distinguished Speaker Series with Congressman Adam Schiff on Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 3:00p-4:30p at the West Hollywood Library. Congressman Schiff will give us an update on many of the most pressing issues facing our state and country during these very challenging times.
A special thank you to our co-hosts Victor George, Genie Harrison and Chris Hollinger/Sleeping Lion, Inc., and our sponsors Theane Evangelis, Esra Hudson, Pamela Palmer, Rasha Gerges Shields and the City of West Hollywood.

Please join us for what will be a very interesting discussion. To RSVP, click here.

March is Women’s Herstory Month: Nevertheless, She Persisted

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, CWLC is proud to acknowledge and celebrate women who have overcome challenges to accomplish their goals and succeed through tenacious commitment and effort. We applaud all who have forged new paths and created milestones in their professions and industries.

During this month of celebration, it is interesting to remember that before the late 20th Century, women’s history was not taught in American schools and women’s contributions were largely ignored. In 1978, the National Women’s History Project succeeded in their effort to include women’s history in the school curriculum in Sonoma County, California. The momentum to acknowledge women and their impact on society continued to grow and, in 1980, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first national Women’s History Week. In 1987, Congress passed a proclamation establishing March as Women’s History Month.

The 2018 theme for Women’s History Month has been Nevertheless, she persisted. CWLC is excited to highlight contributions some very impressive American women have made throughout our nation’s history in our Women’s Herstory emails, to see them please click here.

2018 Equal Pay Days: American Women Have a Way to Go

Equal pay remains one of the most pressing issues for women and families today. CWLC is committed to the fight to end practices contributing to the gender wage gap and to address the needs of women living in poverty.

Equal Pay Days represent the number of days women must work into each new year to make the same amount of money their white male counterpart made, on average, the previous year. CWLC recognizes each of these Equal Pay Days to increase awareness about pay inequality and the compounding effect it has on women of color.

Unequal pay significantly impacts how women and families live. It has been estimated that California Latinas will lose $1.5 million over their lifetime due to unequal pay. And, combined, women in California are underpaid a total of more than $30 billion a year.

To learn more about pay inequity, please click here. Connect with us on social media and stay informed about how you can work to change pay inequity across the country.

Fighting for Women’s Health at the Supreme Court

In February, CWLC filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in National Institute of Family Life Advocates v. Becerra. The brief was filed in support of California’s Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act, which seeks to address the harmful practices of “pregnancy centers” in California. These centers often operate in low-income, rural and majority-minority areas and give false, misleading or no information about the full range or reproductive health care options legally available to women, including abortion.
CWLC is proud to advocate for comprehensive health care options for all women, regardless of their income, race, age or education level. To learn more about the case and read CWLC’s full brief, please click here.

We Are Here to Help – CWLC Trainings

CWLC trains attorneys throughout California on our various areas of expertise, including Title IX and campus sexual assault, the rights of pregnant and parenting students, teen dating violence, and gender equity in K-12 athletics.

If your organization would like to learn more about CWLC’s trainings, or would like to be trained in one of CWLC’s areas of expertise, please contact us at or (323) 951-1041.

CWLC Stands with Roe

On January 22nd, CWLC participated in the 45th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade at the State Capitol in Sacramento with Planned Parenthood. The 1973 Supreme Court decision recognized a woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion. CWLC stands with our allies and women everywhere to ensure they are legally allowed to make health decisions that work for them.

CWLC’s Housing Clinic: Help for Beach City Residents

For nearly a year, CWLC has hosted a free legal housing clinic the third Saturday of each month in Venice, California. With our partner, Venice Community Housing, housing attorneys who are experienced in tenants’ rights and landlord responsibilities meet with tenants in need of legal advice regarding their housing concerns. If you or someone you know has a housing question or wants to know more about their rights, please join us at an upcoming clinic or call to set an appointment.

Upcoming clinic dates: April 21, May 19, June 16
10:00a – 12:00p
at Venice Community Housing

720 Rose Avenue, Venice CA 90291

Navigating Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession

CWLC’s Executive Director, Betsy Butler, participated in a panel hosted by UCLA Law School titled Navigating Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession. This panel is part of the Spring 2018 UCLA Law Discussion Series #MeToo, Sexual Harassment Law, and Changing Community Norms. The discussion focused on instances of sexual harassment that are particular to law firms and other parts of the legal profession including law school, and ways people might respond to such situations. For more information about the discussion and upcoming UCLA Law School panels, click here.

Tackling Inequality in Public Schools

In February, CWLC’s Senior Staff Attorney, Amy Poyer, participated in a panel titled Tackling Inequality in Public Schools held at the LA Law Library in recognition of African American History Month. The panelists discussed educational inadequacies including differences in learning opportunities for less advantaged children, unequal provision of school programs, issues influencing girls’ participation in sports, and considerations regarding the scholastic needs of foster care children.

Political Animals: A History of LGBT Rights in California

CWLC’s Executive Director, Betsy Butler, participated in a panel discussion after the screening of the documentary Political Animals shown at the LGBTQ 2018 Film Festival hosted by the School of Reproductive Justice at UC Irving’s School of Law. Political Animals features the first four openly gay California legislators and their combined efforts to secure equal rights for the LGBT community in our state. Together, these legislators passed California’s anti-discrimination and anti-bullying laws for gay and lesbian students and paved the way for other states to implement similar laws.


CWLC Welcomes Kim Nakamaru to our Board of Directors!

Kim Nakamaru is a corporate lawyer at Global Eagle Entertainment where her focus is on corporate governance, securities, capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, and managing its employment, litigation and intellectual property matters. The Japanese American Bar Association recently awarded Kim the 2017 Community Service Award for her work successfully petitioning the California Supreme Court for posthumous law license for a Japanese social justice pioneer denied admission to the state bar based on race. Ms. Nakamaru earned her law degree from Loyola Law School where she served on the law review and her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. Welcome Kim!