Mercy, Justice and Love

Three East Bay men move heaven and earth to do right by their fellow humans.

This time of year many of us are fortunate to spend the holidays giving thanks—for family, health and comforts close to home. This month The Monthly gives thanks to three community members who work for justice and peace year-round. Not daunted by cynicism or scared off by the enormity of our world’s problems, these dedicated leaders—Manual de Paz, Larry Fleming and Rabbi Steven Chester—devote their days to making change and helping others. Their insights and challenges can serve to inspire us all—to action and reflection on the many blessings around us. In recognizing these individuals, The Monthly also recognizes the women and men in community organizations whose work, big and small, improves our beloved East Bay and the world.


Sanctuary from the Storm | Manuel de Paz suffered terror in his homeland and survived an arduous journey to the United States. Now he helps refugees and immigrants who are trying to make their way in the East Bay. | By Mike Rosen-Molina

Man with a Mission | Rabbi Steven Chester grounds his congregation in works of social justice but constantly raises the question, “Am I doing enough?” | By Julia Park Tracey

Breaking the Cycle | Larry Fleming lost his son to the violence in Richmond. Now he’s helping ex-convicts find honest work to avoid a return to a life of crime. | By Mike Rosen-Molina

Faces of the East Bay