NLSLA hosted its 12th annual Just Neighbors celebration at the Skirball Cultural Center, where more than 300 friends and supporters gathered to commend the organization’s work changing lives and transforming communities across Los Angeles.

In times such as these, when the national conversation seems unconcerned with the needs of the most vulnerable among us, NLSLA is more committed than ever to pursuing justice and equality—one person, one family, one community at a time. This year’s Just Neighbors celebration was a chance to honor that commitment, as well as to recognize the dedication and support of the people who make it all possible.

This year’s honorees included State Senator Holly Mitchell, who has spent her career fighting to improve the lives of people living in poverty, and refusing to make the kind of political compromises that often leave low-income Californians without access to opportunity and justice. Mitchell was presented with this year’s Leadership Award by former California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, who is also a longtime friend of NLSLA and former Just Neighbors award recipient.

Loyola Law School received this year’s Community Service Award for the school’s historic commitment to public interest law, which has been central to Loyola’s curriculum since it first opened its doors in 1920. The award was presented to Loyola Dean Michael Waterstone by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Paul J. Watford, also a former NLSLA Board Member.

City Attorney Mike Feuer presented the Legal Excellence Award to Kirkland & Ellis LLP, for the firm’s work with NLSLA to help the many sick and disabled people who were dropped from Medi-Cal simply because the county failed to process their renewal forms. And the last award of the afternoon—the Equal Justice Empowerment Award—went to actor and activist Wilmer Valderrama, for his commitment to empowering vulnerable communities throughout Los Angeles County and worldwide.