Upcoming Events

Mon 8/25

Image - The San Francisco LGBT Struggle for Freedom Revisited: Catholic Power an

The San Francisco LGBT Struggle for Freedom Revisited: Catholic Power and the Right to the City

Date: Mon, August 25, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Bill Issel, Professor of History Emeritus, San Francisco State University

The LGBT movement of the 20th century became one of the challenges to Catholic power that Walter Lippmann called "the acids of modernity." Bill Issel's new book, Church and State in the City, describes how, in San Francisco, the church and laypeople worked to make it a Catholic city. They wanted to make their city a place where residents would be secure against modernity's incursions. By the 1940s, Catholic power reached its zenith just as LGBT newcomers began demanding equal rights to the city. This story helps explain the city's robust opposition to LGBT activists' call for broader American freedoms in the 1950s and beyond.

Image - Marriage, the Movement and More: A Political and Legal Understanding of What LGBT Families Are Facing

Marriage, the Movement and More: A Political and Legal Understanding of What LGBT Families Are Facing

Date: Mon, August 25, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Three experts define the current status of marriage equality and adoption rights.

Deb Kinney, Partner, Johnston, Kinney & Zulaica LLP
Juan Barajas, Development Director, Freedom to Marry
Deb Wald, Founder & Senior Partner, The Wald Law Group
Ignatius Bau, Health Care Policy Consultant - Moderator

Barajas from Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage equality nationwide, will present the strategies being employed throughout the country to get marriage rights, an up-to-date analysis of how the movement is advancing and what can be expected in the future. Wald will explain the challenges and progression of parenting and adoption rights, including the new three-parent law in California. Kinney will talk about the legal and tax implications and complexities facing LGBT families, married or not. Whether you are LGBT, an ally or advisor, this session promises to be informative and current.

Image - Middle East Discussion Group

Middle East Discussion Group

Date: Mon, August 25, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM

Make your voice heard in an enriching, provocative and fun discussion with fellow Club members as you weigh in on events shaping the face of the Middle East. Each month, the Middle East Member-Led Forum hosts an informal roundtable discussion on a topic frequently suggested by recent headlines. After a brief introduction, the floor will be open for discussion. All interested members are encouraged to attend.

Tue 8/26

Image - How Did Marriage Equality Go Mainstream: Evolution or Revolution?

How Did Marriage Equality Go Mainstream: Evolution or Revolution?

Date: Tue, August 26, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Stuart Gaffney, Communications Director, Marriage Equality USA
John Lewis, Legal and Policy Director, Marriage Equality USA

As one of the plaintiff couples in the landmark California marriage equality cases, Stuart and John will relate stories of everyday heroes working for the freedom to marry. As directors with Marriage Equality USA, Stuart and John have joined with many activists who, for over a decade, helped nurture the love revolution that is in full bloom today. Our speakers will describe how the freedom to marry stands on the shoulders of over a half century of LGBT activism and how the movement for marriage equality is creating momentum for full LGBT equality in every aspect of our lives. While progress is made toward equality in all 50 states, we will also hear about Stuart and John’s work with activists in Japan as the movement has gone global.

Wed 8/27

Image - Up Close With Marga Gomez

Up Close With Marga Gomez

Date: Wed, August 27, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Marga's comedy is exuberant, proudly Latina and slightly dorky.

Marga Gomez, Comedian; Playwright; Humorist; Twitter @margagomez

Join The Commonwealth Club for a lunchtime discussion with GLAAD award-winning comedian, writer, performer Marga Gomez as she prepares to bring her latest solo play “Lovebirds” to The Marsh Berkeley. Gomez is the author and performer of 10 solo plays that have been produced nationally and internationally. She teaches solo performance as a 2014 artist in residence at San Francisco’s Brava Theater. Gomez is also a triple winner of the SF Bay Guardian’s “Best Comedian” award and received Theatre LA’s Ovation Award. She got her comedy start in San Francisco at the historic gay comedy clubs Valencia Rose and Josie’s. Her television credits include HBO's "Comic Relief," Showtime's "Latino Laugh Festival" and LOGO’s "One Night Stand Up." Gomez's acting credits include Off-Broadway and national productions of "The Vagina Monologues" and roles in Warner Bros films Sphere and Batman Forever.

Image - The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence: Deviance, Justice & Art

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence: Deviance, Justice & Art

Date: Wed, August 27, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Explore this vibrant charitable organization.
Cathy B. Glenn, PhD; Author; Advocate; Consultant
Sister Mary Juanita High, Board Secretary & Mistress of Archives, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, San Francisco House
Sister Zsa Zsa Glamour
 
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is a global charitable order of sexual orientation and identity minorities and supporters. It seeks to vanquish stigma about LGBT life and address what it sees as internalized homophobia within LGBT communities through art and social deviance. The sisters dress as nuns in drag and participate in communities in a similar fashion to traditional Catholic nuns, but with a very different message and decorum. From supporting LGBT non-profits through grant making and advocacy to supporting the marginalized on an individual level, the group has been a positive force in the LGBT community since the early days of the LGBT rights movement.

This program showcases the sisters both as social justice change agents and performance artists. The discussion will cover their goals and successes – from non-profits to individual support. There also will be a retrospective of their costumes, donned by current members, followed by a discussion.

Thu 8/28

Image - Harnessing the Power of the LGBT Marketplace and Social Capital to Drive

Harnessing the Power of the LGBT Marketplace and Social Capital to Drive Positive Social Change

Date: Thu, August 28, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Explore a new movement in Chicago's African American LGBT community.

Kevin Jones, Founder, Good Capital; Co-founder and Convener, SOCAP
Danielle Kinzaire-Sutton, M.D., Community Organizer; Principal Consultant, Notus-S.G.
Marc J. Lane, JD, Author, Social Enterprise: Empowering Mission-Driven Entrepreneurs; Chairman, Illinois Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise
Charles Sutton, CEO, Bronzeville Urban Development
Marc Loveless, Executive Director, Coalition for Justice and Respect
Kevin O’Malley, President, TechTalk | Studio – Moderator

Social capital, alternative funding and concern for the triple bottom line are now moving beyond generalities and into specific targeted areas and communities. A new movement is harnessing the power and resources of Chicago’s African American LGBT community. They are aiming to create change through cutting-edge social enterprise initiatives – including sustainable city farms and medical marijuana – and relying on innovative legal and financial structures, including for-profit and non-profit stakeholders, investors and governments.

Fri 8/29

Image - Hollywood and the LGBT Journey

Hollywood and the LGBT Journey

Date: Fri, August 29, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
San Francisco media personalities discuss Hollywood.

Donna Sachet, Media Personality; Actor; Community Activist
Jan Wahl, Film Critic, KRON 4

Donna Sachet has been a San Francisco performer and icon for decades, from being elected Empress of San Francisco to serving as Grand Marshal for the SF Pride parade. In 2009, Sachet became the first drag performer to sing the national anthem at a Major League Baseball game. Donna Sachet and film critic Jan Wahl "dish-cuss" the LGBT journey in Hollywood, past and present.

Tue 9/2

Image - Book Discussion: The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman

Book Discussion: The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman

Date: Tue, September 02, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM

Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August is a compelling book to discuss during this 100th anniversary of the inception of World War I. The first world war was the signal event of the modern era: without it, no Hitler, no Holocaust, no World War II, no Bolshevik Revolution, no Cold War (including the Korean and Vietnam Wars), and no nuclear weapons. The book discussion will focus on the first 158 pages. Anyone not interested in the minutiae of military history after hostilities opened can stop at page 158, which completes Ms. Tuchman’s brilliant discussion of how and why the four years of horrendous hostilities began in August of 1914.

Wed 9/3

Image - Journalism: The Agriculture Beat Resurgence

Journalism: The Agriculture Beat Resurgence

Date: Wed, September 03, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Exploring the growing appetite for food news.

Tara Duggan, Staff Writer, San Francisco Chronicle; Author, Root to Stalk Cooking: The Art of Using the Whole Vegetable
Naomi Starkman, Founder and Editor in Chief, Civil Eats; Winner of the Publication of the Year, 2014 James Beard Awards
Andy Wright, Senior Editor, Modern Farmer
Sasha Khokha, Central Valley Bureau Chief, KQED – Moderator

The agriculture beat was once an important area of coverage for all major media outlets, delivering news about rural areas as well as policy decisions in Washington, D.C. But, like most mainstream media, the agriculture beat has taken a significant hit due to cutbacks in editorial and reporting staff. At the same time, more consumers are hungry for news about where their food is coming from and new outlets are seeking to feed their interest. This panel will explore the intersection between the changing state of journalism and its impact on the future of food and agriculture reporting. Post-program, enjoy local and organic bites provided by Bi-Rite Catering.

Image - Vietnam, the U.S. and China Today: Insights from the Consul General

Vietnam, the U.S. and China Today: Insights from the Consul General

Date: Wed, September 03, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Exploring the global relationships between these countries.

Nguyen Ba Hung, Consul General of Vietnam in San Francisco

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam, with a population of almost 90 million people, is on a course of economic growth as it moves toward a market-oriented economy. Its GDP is forecasted to grow 5.5 percent this year. Overseas makers of apparel, footwear and electronics are attracted by low labor costs and have set up factories there. Foreign direct investment in 2013 is said to have increased 36 percent over 2012. How are relations between Vietnam and the United States? How will its conflict with China over territory in the South China Sea affect Vietnam? Hear the views of the consul general of Vietnam in San Francisco and bring your questions.

Thu 9/4

Image - Russian Hill Walking Tour

Russian Hill Walking Tour

Date: Thu, September 04, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Join a more active Neighborhood Adventure!

Join a more active Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure! Russian Hill is a magical area with secret gardens and amazing views. Join Rick Evans for a two-hour hike up hills and staircases and learn about the history of this neighborhood. See where great artists and architects lived and worked, and walk down residential streets where some of the most historically significant houses in the Bay Area are located.

Image - The West Without Water

The West Without Water

Date: Thu, September 04, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Exploring the climate of the American West throughout history.

B. Lynn Ingram, Professor, Earth & Planetary Science and Geography, UC Berkeley; Co-author, The West Without Water
Frances Malamud-Roam, Senior Environmental Planner and Biologist, Caltrans; Co-author, The West Without Water
 
The West Without Water documents the tumultuous climate of the American West over 20 millennia, with tales of past droughts and deluges and predictions about the impacts of future climate change on water resources. Its authors ask the central questions of what is “normal” for the West, and whether the relatively benign climate of the past century will continue into the future. Their answers are derived by merging climate and paleoclimate research from a wide variety of sources.

Image - Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin and the Organized Mind

Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin and the Organized Mind

Date: Thu, September 04, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
How can we deal with the digital-age flood of information?

Daniel J. Levitin, Author, The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload and This Is Your Brain on Music

In conversation with Indre Viskontas, Host, Inquiring Minds

In the information age, people are expected to make faster, more frequent decisions about their lives despite facing an unprecedented, unrelenting barrage of data each day. It’s no wonder, then, why the average person is prone to missing appointments, losing track of their car keys and generally feeling worn out as they struggle to keep up. Join Levitin for a discussion on how to not only organize your home and time, but also excel at navigating this never-ending flood of information through a neuroscientific perspective.

In his recent book, The Organized Mind, acclaimed neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author Daniel J. Levitin explores the latest brain science to illustrate how we can apply the newest research into the cognitive neuroscience of attention and memory into our daily lives.

Image - Sal Khan: INFORUM's 21st Century Visionary Award

Sal Khan: INFORUM's 21st Century Visionary Award

Date: Thu, September 04, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM

Sal Khan, Founder, Khan Academy; Author, The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined

In conversation with Kishore Hari, Director, Bay Area Science Festival

"I teach the way that I wish I was taught."
– Sal Khan

When Sal Khan started helping his teenage cousin with algebra from across the country, he didn’t set out to change the world. Starting only with an office in his Bay Area apartment, he now has over 4,000 video lessons in his online library, ranging from chemistry to history to finance. Khan is truly an educational pioneer, reaching millions of students, teachers and individuals. Khan Academy’s mission to give a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere has breached the educational divide between poor and privileged and pioneered a transformation at the intersection of learning and technology. INFORUM will award this educational innovator with our 21st Century Visionary Award. Don’t miss your chance to learn from one of the best teachers you’ll ever have, in conversation with a special guest, live at the Castro Theatre.

Mon 9/8

Image - Driven: Saudi Arabian Women Leaders

Driven: Saudi Arabian Women Leaders

Date: Mon, September 08, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM

Philippa Kelly, Ph.D., Educator, UC Berkeley; Author; Dramaturg

Dina Ibrahim, Associate Professor of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts, SFSU – Moderator

Dr. Kelly has published widely, including books on Shakespeare and papers on dramaturgy and cultural engagement. She will discuss her work in teaching and leadership at Saudi universities. Kelly's next book will record the experiences of Saudi Arabia's female leaders in a society that is still rigidly masculinist. 

Image - What Is It to Redeem Your Past? Some Lessons from Nietzsche and Kundera

What Is It to Redeem Your Past? Some Lessons from Nietzsche and Kundera

Date: Mon, September 08, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Straight from Stanford's The Art of Living course.

Lanier Anderson, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Stanford University

Monday Night Philosophy focuses on the ancient issues raised by the human ability to remember our pasts. Should it exert a heavy burden upon the present, or light the way to a better future? Though neither extreme is commonly indulged, redeeming ourselves from our apparently unredeemable pasts does get a lot of cultural attention. Straight from Stanford's The Art of Living course, hear Professor Anderson's views on Friedrich Nietzsche's and Milan Kundera's insights into one version of redemption.

Tue 9/9

Image - The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan

The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan

Date: Tue, September 09, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Creating the Reagan Revolution

Rick Perlstein, Author, The Invisible Bridge

The Invisible Bridge is a dazzling portrait of America on the verge of a nervous breakdown in the tumultuous 1970s. In the wake of Watergate, Nixon's resignation, congressional investigations of CIA assassinations and the chaotic end to the Vietnam War, Americans began thinking about their nation in a new way, as just one nation among many, no more providential than any other. But Ronald Reagan never got the message. Instead, he was reconstituting the conservative political culture we know now. Perlstein recalls that in America's bicentennial year, that temporary vision of patriotism rooted in a sense of American limits was quickly derailed by the rise of the smiling politician from Hollywood.

Image - Marianne Cooper & Sheryl Sandberg Talk Modern Families Cut Adrift

Sheryl Sandberg & Marianne Cooper Talk: The Anxieties of Modern Families

Date: Tue, September 09, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
The worries all American families face and what can be done about it.

Marianne Cooper, Stanford Sociologist & Author, Cut Adrift
In conversation with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook & Lean In
Introduction by Jaleh Daie, Managing Partner, Aurora Equity; Former President, Association for Women in Science

 

In an increasingly insecure economy, it’s easy to get bogged down with statistics and lose sight of the human costs of the recession. Stanford sociologist and lead researcher for the book Lean In, Marianne Cooper wants to change that. In her new book, Cut Adrift, Cooper weaves together deep data analysis of our frightening economic condition with real-world stories of families struggling to adjust. Hearing from everyone from suburban soccer moms to those struggling to feed their children, we’re given an intimate look at the challenges facing modern families, and how financial anxiety penetrates the daily lives of those at every socioeconomic level. Whether it’s the wealthy seeking even stronger security or the poor trying to avoid further instability, Cut Adrift gives us a glimpse of changing gender dynamics and how families are coping in a go-it-alone economy. Hear Cooper in conversation with LeanIn.org Founder Sheryl Sandberg, as they unpack the worries all American families face and brainstorm what can be done about it.

 

Image - Kat Taylor and Tom Steyer

Kat Taylor and Tom Steyer

Date: Tue, September 09, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Championing good money, good food and good energy systems.

Kat Taylor, CEO, Beneficial State Bank; Founding Director, TomKat Ranch Education Foundation

Tom Steyer, Founder and President, NextGen Climate; Twitter: @TomSteyer

In conversation with Dr. Gloria C. Duffy, President and CEO, The Commonwealth Club

Taylor and Steyer are committed to supporting causes that champion good money, good food and good energy systems. Their efforts include ventures such as Beneficial State Bank, a sustainable community development bank that provides fair and transparent banking products to communities in California, Oregon and Washington. They are also engaged in promoting sustainable animal agriculture and healthy food initiatives, as well as supporting organizations that are working to prevent climate disaster and preserve American prosperity. Join us for a conversation with Taylor and Steyer.