Malcolm Gissen has been a social activist since spending the first summer of law school at the University of Wisconsin in Mississippi working with Martin Luther King’s SCLC to desegregate public facilities and to provide economic opportunities for African Americans. Malcolm visited Mississippi often thereafter, working for change with friends like Fannie Lou Hamer and other impactful black leaders.

Malcolm headed a financial advisory firm based in San Francisco for many years, sold the firm to First Republic Bank in 2015, and became a Managing Director with First Republic. While visiting San Quentin Prison in 2017, he became so moved by the inequities of the criminal justice system and mass incarceration that he decided to transition to being a fulltime activist, advocating for change. In that role, he assists several effective nonprofits working to reduce the prison population and to make prisons a place of rehabilitation and not punishment. Malcolm regularly meets with California legislators and their aides and with the Governor’s attorneys to advocate for change.