We deeply mourn the passing of the Hon. Henry Ramsey Jr., a warrior for justice and a longtime member of the Rosenberg Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Judge Ramsey’s passing is a tremendous loss for the foundation and for philanthropic, legal and civil rights communities. Judge Ramsey was a trailblazer, serving as a prosecutor in the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office; a judge on the Alameda County Superior Court; a professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Law (Boalt Hall); and as Dean of Howard University School of Law, among many other accomplishments. His life was dedicated to advocacy, mentorship, community service, and giving voice to the needs of at-risk youth and communities of struggle.
Judge Ramsey was not only a giant in the world of law but in philanthropy as well. He began serving on the foundation’s Board of Directors in 1999, and we were honored to have him as Board Chair from 2007-2009. Among his many contributions as a member of our board was his persistent push for the foundation to invest in criminal justice reform, decrying the over-incarceration of young Black men, which he deemed a national crisis. When talking about the work to transition formerly incarcerated people back into communities, he often said that, “the best reentry is no entry.”
We very much will miss his compassion, razor-sharp analysis, invaluable insights and refusal to compromise on issues of fundamental fairness and equal opportunity. How lucky we are to call Judge Ramsey one of our own.
The Board and Staff of the Rosenberg Foundation