In light of the public health recommendations to increase social distancing and reduce the incidence and spread of COVID-19, Phi Beta Kappa Northern California is suspending all in-person events and meetings for the foreseeable future. 


"The Fight for Racial Justice, then and now”

A two-part series on Racial Justice.

March 13th and April 17th, 2021

The Reverend Jim Richardson, the final speaker at Asilomar 2020, will present an updated and compelling view of Abolitionist times from his own family history.  This presentation will be followed on April 17th by

The Honorable Lise Pearlman, who is an award-winning author and documentary film director.


This is a two-part presentation by PBKNCA members on the topical subject of Racial Justice.

Jim Richardson will present a history of his abolitionist family and their activities followed by Lise Pearlman, who will start with the Huey Newton trial’s groundbreaking results and bring us up to date on pivotal issues, and cases, affecting Racial Justice in the Criminal Justice system.

“THE ABOLITIONIST’S JOURNAL, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF AN AMERICAN ANTI-SLAVERY FAMILY" James Richardson, PBK, M.Div. (Theology), Dean, Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento 

Methodist pastor George Richardson (1824-1911) left behind a 334-page journal richly detailing how he and his family used their home on the Underground Railroad to assist escaped slaves; his service as the white chaplain to an African American Union regiment in the Civil War; and then after the war, his family’s struggle to found a college for the formerly enslaved in Texas. The college was burned down by the Ku Klux Klan, chased out by the city of Dallas, and then reestablished in Austin where it thrives today as Huston-Tillotson University. His journal has prompted a decade-long search through family archives -- yet raises questions about how a family’s deep commitment to emancipation faded and disappeared in succeeding generations. 

James Richardson is a former senior writer with The Sacramento Bee and the author of several books on California politics, including an acclaimed biography of the politician Willie Brown, published by the University of California Press. His newest book project heads into a new direction, exploring his family roots in the anti-slavery abolitionist movement of the 19th century. Richardson is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UCLA and has a Master of Divinity degree from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley. He is an Episcopal priest and is currently the interim Episcopal Priest (ret), Sacramento.

Topic: "The Fight For Racial Justice, Then and Now, #1"

Time: Mar 13, 2021 10:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 873 1462 3628

Passcode: 830391

“AMERICAN JUSTICE ON TRIAL: 1968,2020 AND BEYOND” The Honorable Lise Pearlman (ret.)

Lise Pearlman is an award-winning author and documentary film producer. She will speak from her work on a 2016 book “American Justice on Trial: People v. Newton.”

The outcome of this landmark trial has impacted the fight for racial justice in an ongoing way.

Topic: "The Fight For Racial Justice, Then and Now, #2"

Time: Apr 17, 2021 10:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 867 0122 9782, Passcode 495814

O’Neil Dillon, First Vice President – Programs

We suggest you check out the Visiting Scholar virtual lectures through May 2021 are listed on the National PBK website. Please go there for details. 

Since 1956, the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program has been offering undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America's most distinguished scholars. The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students. 

Please see the National PBK website for details

    • May 02, 2021
    • 12:00 PM (PDT)
    • Bancroft Hotel, Berkeley

    Bancroft HotelSunday, May 2, 2021: ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon, Bancroft Hotel, Berkeley, 12:00 Noon

    Because of the official directives concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, we had found it necessary to cancel our Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon, scheduled for Sunday, May 3, 2020, at the Bancroft Hotel in Berkeley. But we have videos of the brief talks that the awardees would have given! The Scholarship recipients are available here and the Teaching Excellence recipients are here

    Although we regret not being able to meet and hear our scholarship and teaching excellence award winners (not to mention missing the opportunity to see old friends again), the good news is that we have already made a reservation with the Bancroft for next year. Those of you who really plan ahead can already mark your calendars, keeping this date open: Sunday, May 2, 2021. By that time we hope this current pandemic will be only a distant memory. Location: Bancroft Hotel, Berkeley Directions: click here

    Email Jean James at with questions about the upcoming Annual Luncheon

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