Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Thu 6/22

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The Gay Bar in American History

Date: Thu, June 22, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
The history of the gay bar

Nancy Unger, Professor of History, Santa Clara University

For more than 100 years, gay clubs and bars have served as havens and sanctuaries as well as party spots and hookup sites. They've been the centers of solidarity, community and education. They've also been the sites of violence and persecution that ultimately led to great advancements in pride, rights and freedoms. Unger's richly illustrated talk highlights the history of a long and colorful American tradition central to the LGBTQ community: the gay bar—from jook joints to the Stonewall Inn to Orlando's Pulse and beyond.

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Is America in Retreat? Film Screening and Discussion

Date: Thu, June 22, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
The great policy debate

Johan Norberg, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; Senior Fellow, European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels; Executive Editor, Free to Choose Media
David R. Henderson, Professor of Economics, Naval Postgraduate School; Research Fellow, Hoover Institution
Introduction by Bob Chitester, Chairman, President and CEO, Free To Choose Network and Free To Choose Media
Additional Panelists TBA

The new documentary Is America in Retreat? examines the greatest foreign policy debate of our decade and the hard questions American leaders face in dealing with a rapidly changing world order. Since the Second World War, the United States has been at the forefront of a Pax Americana—a period of relative peace guaranteed by U.S. military might. Today, that peace is threatened by an ambitious and aggressive foreign policy in China, Russian territorial claims and occupations in Eastern Europe, and deteriorating conditions in the Middle East and North Korea. More than half of Americans polled today believe we should “mind our own business.” Is there a downside to retreat, or does the world still require American global leadership? Come view a clip of the documentary. A discussion will follow.

Mon 6/26

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Middle East Forum Discussion

Date: Mon, June 26, 2017
Time: 5:30 PM
Discussion group

This month's topic: the Qatar crisis

The Middle East Forum discussion group—which primarily covers the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan—has been meeting monthly for nine years. We are not a debate group. Each month we discuss timely, cultural subjects in a civil atmosphere with respect for others and their opinions.

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Not on Our Watch: How the Bay Area Stands United

Date: Mon, June 26, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Immigration crisis across the nation

Ju Hong, Dreamer Activist
Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director, National Immigration Law Center
Zahra Billoo, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations
Raha JorjaniDirector of the Immigration Representation Unit, Alameda County Public Defender’s Office 
Mina Kim, Anchor and Host, KQED—Moderator

This event is the latest in the San Francisco Foundation’s series on People, Place and Power. 

Teenage brothers Angel and Miguel worry every day about their mom. She is undocumented, and she’s put together an emergency binder telling her sons what to do if she’s picked up by immigration authorities and doesn’t come home. Kaushik came to San Francisco from India five years ago to attend college. He found a job as an app engineer, but because he’s here on a specialized work visa, he isn’t sure if he can continue living in this country. Esra, a student at San Jose State University, must think about her safety when she gets dressed in the morning. Last year, a stranger tried to yank off her hijab while she was in a campus parking garage.

These real stories illustrate what is unfolding across the country and in Bay Area communities. Our panelists say that, unlike any other region, the Bay Area is equipped with the history and willpower to stand with and protect immigrants and their families at this time of crisis.

In January, San Francisco, a city led by the son of immigrants, became the first city in the country to sue the president for threatening to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities. In February, Muslim artists began staging prayer sessions in public plazas throughout San Francisco to combat growing Islamophobia. In both February and April, more than 100 tech companies, including many founded by immigrants, banded together to file legal challenges to the president’s executive orders on immigration. And on May 1, tens of thousands of Bay Area residents took to the streets to demonstrate immigrants and workers’ essential contributions to society.

Please join the San Francisco Foundation to hear from Bay Area leaders seeking to protect and defend immigrants (who represent more than 40 percent of Bay Area residents) so that they can continue to contribute to the economic prosperity and cultural vibrancy of the region.  

The San Francisco Foundation


Tue 6/27

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Nob Hill Walking Tour

Date: Tue, June 27, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM
Walking tour

Explore one of San Francisco’s 44 hills, and one of its original “Seven Hills." Because of great views and its central position, Nob Hill became an exclusive enclave of the rich and famous on the West Coast who built large mansions in the neighborhood. This included prominent tycoons such as Leland Stanford and other members of the Big Four. 

Highlights include the history of four landmark hotels: the Fairmont, Mark Hopkins, Stanford Court and Huntington Hotel. Visit the city’s largest house of worship, Grace Cathedral, and discover architectural tidbits and anecdotes about the railroad barons and silver kings. A true San Francisco experience of elegance, urbanity, scandals and fabulous views.

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This event is Sold Out

There Is No Good Card for This

Date: Tue, June 27, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
How to master empathy

Kelsey Crowe, Ph.D., Author; Speaker; Founder, Help Each Other Out
B.J. Miller Jr., M.D., Hospice and Palliative Care Specialist, UCSF Medical Center

When someone you know is hurting, you want to let her know you care. But many people don’t know the exact words to use—or are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. This thoughtful, instructive guide, from empathy expert Kelsey Crowe, blends well-researched, actionable advice with the no-nonsense humor and immensely popular empathy cards to help you feel confident in connecting with anyone experiencing grief, loss, illness or any other difficult situation.

Whether it’s a co-worker whose mother has died, a neighbor whose husband has been in a car accident or a friend who is seriously ill, Crowe advises you how to be the best friend you can be to someone in need.

Crowe is the founder of Help Each Other Out, which offers empathy boot camp workshops to give people tools for building relationships when it really counts. She earned her Ph.D. in social work at the UC Berkeley and is a faculty member at the School of Social Work at California State University.

Miller is a hospice and palliative care specialist who treats hospitalized patients with terminal or life-altering illnesses at UCSF Medical Center. He also sees patients in a palliative care clinic and at the cancer symptom management service at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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U.S. Health Care Under Trump: Former Medicaid/Medicare Chiefs Square Off

Date: Tue, June 27, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Two health-care officials square off

Gail Wilensky, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Project HOPE; Former Administrator Under President George H.W. Bush, Health Care Financing Administration 
Andy Slavitt, Senior Advisor, Bipartisan Policy Center; Former Acting Administrator President Barack Obama, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Mark Zitter, Chair, the Zetema Project—Moderator

Where is health care in the U.S. headed under the Trump administration? What do recent changes mean, and how will they affect consumers? Where should we be heading and why?

Now that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) has passed in the House, health care reform remains a hotter topic than ever. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has proposed turning Medicare into a voucher program and funding Medicaid through block grants to states. Congress continues to discuss eliminating the individual mandate and providing more flexibility in terms of which benefits insurers must offer. Conservatives claim these changes would provide greater choice to consumers and more value to the federal budget, while progressives argue that these changes would reduce access to care and worsen health outcomes.

We’ll hear from two former senior officials on the ongoing efforts to repeal or repair the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Andy Slavitt recently stepped down as acting administrator for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama. Gail Wilensky held the same post under President George H.W. Bush. Both experts continue to speak out from differing perspectives on Medicare and Medicaid as well as broader reform issues. Join us for a spirited discussion on the problems and prospects of U.S. health care.

Thu 6/29

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Merola Opera: Sparking the Future

Date: Thu, June 29, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
Promoting opera to youth

Jean Kellogg, Executive Director, Merola Opera

Some say opera is dying due to younger generations’ lack of interest. Merola Opera Program proves opera is thriving, with a growing interest in and increased competition among its young singers. Jean Kellogg, Merola's executive director, will trace the program's history, providing photographs, anecdotes and a preview of Merola's 60th Anniversary Summer Festival. Come learn about this unique Bay Area opera company.

Fri 6/30

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A Brighter Day

Date: Fri, June 30, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
Helping teenagers who are suffering from depression

Elliot Kallen, Financial Accountant; Wealth Manager; Founder, A Brighter Day
Rona Hu, M.D., Medical Director, Acute Psychiatric Inpatient Unit at Stanford Hospital; Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University
Patrick O'Reilly, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist; Assistant Clinical Professor, UC San Francisco; Chair, Member-Led Psychology Forum—Moderator

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among teens in the U.S. In this program, Elliot Kallen, who founded A Brighter Day in honor of his late son, Jake, will discuss the organization's efforts in fighting depression and teen suicide; Dr. Patrick O'Reilly, a clinical psychologist specializing in anxiety disorders, and Dr. Rona Hu, the medical director of the Acute Psychiatric Inpatient Unit at Stanford Hospital, will join him. A Brighter Day reaches out to teens suffering from depression and other related issues while allowing them to maintain their dignity. The charity connects teens to the resources they need, showcasing local bands in a way that helps teens learn about depression and its risk factors.

Wed 7/5

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Ben Franklin Circles

Date: Wed, July 05, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Ongoing Ben Franklin forum

Join us monthly, every first Wednesday, for a 21st-century version of Ben Franklin’s mutual improvement club. One evening a week, for more than 40 years, the founding father discussed and debated with his friends the 13 virtues that he felt formed the basis for personal and civic improvement, a list he created when he was 20 years old. The virtues to which he aspired included justice, resolution and humility. (But don't misunderstand Ben on that one—his explanation of humility was "imitate Jesus and Socrates.")

The Ben Franklin Circles program brings people together to discuss the most pressing philosophical and ethical issues of our time with the goal of improving ourselves and our world. 

Mon 7/10

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Lefty O'Doul: Baseball's Forgotten Ambassador

Date: Mon, July 10, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Baseball and Japanese–U.S. relations

Dennis Snelling, Author, Lefty O'Doul: Baseball's Forgotten Ambassador

Monday Night Philosophy goes beyond ping-pong diplomacy and delves deep into the foreign policy role baseball played in US–Japan relations before and after World War II. Dennis Snelling reviews the roles played by Horace Wilson, Mike Fisher and Lefty O'Doul in making baseball popular in Japan. Horace Wilson, a Civil War veteran who had settled in San Francisco, taught English (and baseball) in Japan in the 1870s. Mike Fisher, a San Francisco entrepreneur, organized the first tour of Japan by professional ballplayers in 1908. Lefty O'Doul, a San Francisco native, played in Japan in 1931 and then brought Babe Ruth and others with him in 1934, where he helped found the Tokyo Giants. After the war, General MacArthur arranged for O'Doul to bring a baseball team over to help repair relations, which he successfully did in many ways on and off the field.

Week to Week Politics Roundtable and Member Social 7/10/17

Date: Mon, July 10, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Politics made lively and civil and fun
Mark Z. Barabak, Political Writer, Los Angeles Times; Twitter
Bob Butler, Reporter, KCBS Radio; Twitter

With Washington turned upside down by multiple Russia investigations and California trying to take the lead in setting its own agenda, local, state, and national politics is in the news like never before.

It's never a dull moment in politics these days, and we'll discuss the biggest, most controversial and sometimes the surprising political issues with expert commentary by panelists who are smart, are civil and have a good sense of humor. Join our panelists for informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news, audience discussion of the week’s events, and our live news quiz!

And come early before the program to meet other smart and engaged individuals and discuss the news over snacks and wine at our member social (open to all attendees). 

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Date: Mon, July 10, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Biweekly debate

The SFDebate is an open forum for discussion on the events of our time. It is a place where you will not only be exposed to opposing points of view, but a safe place where you will be encouraged to find and speak up for yours. SFDebate is also a meeting of minds, and we follow every meeting with continued debate and conversation at a nearby bar/restaurant.

Click here to sign up for this program via Meetup. 

Tue 7/11

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The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty: The Extraordinary Rise and Fall of Actor M.B. Curtis

Date: Tue, July 11, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
The Jewish Jackie Robinson of the stage

Richard Schwartz, Historian; Author, The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty: The Extraordinary Rise and Fall of Actor M.B. Curtis

Richard Schwartz captures the life of M.B. Curtis, an incredibly influential immigrant actor of the late 19th century. It is a story of immigration, assimilation, the theater and the invisible wings of comedy. It is about how one play became the way a nation examined its feelings and attitudes towards immigrants and gave audiences a chance to walk in shoes they would never have worn. Curtis was the Jewish Jackie Robinson of the stage—the first Jewish male actor who was allowed to portray a Jewish male on stage in America. His talent, creativity, fame, suffering, perseverance, dreaming and overnight rise to stardom linked him intimately with the Statue of Liberty, Mark Twain, New York, San Francisco, murder and the greatest African-American entertainment troupe of its time. 

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How to Fall in Love with Anyone

Date: Tue, July 11, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
On falling in love and sustaining relationships

Mandy Len Catron, Author, How to Fall In Love with Anyone; Professor of English and Creative Writing, the University of British Columbia; Editor, The Love Story Project
Moira Weigel, Author, Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating; Editor, Logic; Ph.D. Candidate, Yale University—Moderator

Remember Mandy Len Catron’s viral New York Times Modern Love column: “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This”? In the column, she and an acquaintance followed a less than scientific version of a psychology study comprised of answering 36 increasingly personal questions. The experiment ended with the two staring silently into each other’s eyes for four minutes. Mandy and her partner went on to actually fall in love. After reading her column, millions of people became invested in the future of her relationship. Now, in her new book, How to Fall in Love with Anyone, Catron explores the romantic myths we create and talks frankly about how they limit our ability to achieve and sustain intimacy.

Whether you’re dating and dubious about love or deep in a relationship, Catron’s mix of history, science, theory and personal experience will make you question the unwritten scripts we follow in love and relationships. Catron will be in conversation with Moira Weigel, author of Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating, a fellow academic and writer entranced by the complexity of love.

Originally from Appalachian Virginia, Catron is a writer living and working in Vancouver, British Columbia. She writes about love at The Love Story Project. She also teaches English and creative writing at the University of British Columbia.

Wed 7/12

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I'm Not Blind, But I Can't See: Resources for Those with Low Vision

Date: Wed, July 12, 2017
Time: 5:15 PM
A guide to low vision

Marlena A. Chu, O.D., FAAO, Low Vision Diplomate, American Academy of Optometry; Chief of Low Vision Services, UC Berkeley School of Optometry

Low vision occurs when a person's vision cannot be corrected with contact lenses or glasses. This talk will briefly review common conditions that may result in low vision, what is involved in a low vision evaluation, and what supportive services and resources are available in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Tesla: Impossible Until It's Not

Date: Wed, July 12, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
The future of Elon Musk's Tesla

Ashlee Vance, Author, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
Greg Dalton, Founder and Host, Climate One
Additional Speakers TBA

It’s crunch time as Tesla begins production of its Model 3 sedan this summer and races toward its goal of making 500,000 cars a year. Morgan Stanley says that that production level won’t be reached until 2024. Still, the stock market considers Tesla a tech company with a value higher than Ford and General Motors, both of which produce far more cars and generate higher profits.

But exorbitant valuation brings intense scrutiny, and cracks are starting to show in Tesla’s shiny exterior. Consumer Reports recently downgraded the Tesla Model S rating due to concerns about its emergency brake. Controversy is also swirling around how often Tesla’s factory workers get injured and how often its cars are involved in crashes.

Ashlee Vance wrote Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, a best-selling biography on Elon Musk. It stands as the definitive profile of the genius driving Tesla, SpaceX and Hyperloop. Join us for a conversation about the enigmatic man and his efforts to change and save the world.

Thu 7/13

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San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

Date: Thu, July 13, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM
Walking tour

Explore San Francisco’s Financial District with historian Rick Evans and learn the history and stories behind some of our city’s remarkable structures, streets and public squares.

Hear about the famous architects that influenced the building of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake. Discover hard-to-find rooftop gardens, art deco lobbies, unique open spaces and historic landmarks. This is a tour for locals, with hidden gems you can only find on foot!

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Richard Harris and Mary Roach: Is Sloppy Science Killing Us?

Date: Thu, July 13, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Funding biomedical research

Richard Harris, Science Correspondent, NPR; Author, Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hopes, and Wastes Billions; Twitter  
In Conversation with Mary Roach

Richard Harris says that American taxpayers spend more than $30 billion every year to fund biomedical research and that half of all the studies funded cannot be replicated elsewhere. He says this biomedical research, anchored in a system that often rewards wrong behaviors, is needlessly slowing the search for new treatments and cures. To get and keep a job in research or in academia, Harris says, scientists need to publish results rather than get the right answers. It’s simply too easy for these scientists to use bad ingredients, poor experimental designs or improper methods in analyzing their results. Join us for a startling discussion on how sloppy science has dangerous consequences for all of us.

Harris is one of the nation’s most celebrated science journalists, covering science, medicine and the environment. Now in his 30th year at NPR, his latest research concerns medical science, or the lack thereof.

Mon 7/17

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Begin with the End in Mind: The Impact of Trauma on Children’s Brains and Bodies

Date: Mon, July 17, 2017
Time: 5:15 PM
Combating the effects of poverty and violence

Christine Stoner-Mertz, LCSW, President and CEO, Lincoln

Evolving brain science has taught us much about the impact of trauma on developing brains. As a foster parent and as CEO of Lincoln, a Bay Area nonprofit serving children and youth, Christine Stoner-Mertz brings a deep understanding of the many ways trauma associated with poverty, community violence and mental health challenges impact children’s growth and development. She will discuss these impacts and the urgency to develop policies that support early screening and interventions for at-risk children.

Stoner-Mertz is driven by the belief that every young person deserves a family, and every parent wants his or her child to succeed despite the challenges of poverty, trauma, substance use and limited educational resources. She received her MSW from the University of Michigan and is a licensed clinical social worker. She has served on several state and local association boards and was a recipient of the Exemplar Award from the National Network for Social Work Managers. Stoner-Mertz currently serves on the board of the National Council of Behavioral Health and the California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies.