Style Startup to IPO with Katrina Lake
Jun
20
6:30 PM18:30

Style Startup to IPO with Katrina Lake

Katrina Lake, CEO and Founder, Stitch Fix
Lauren Schiller, Host of Inflection Point--Moderator

Katrina Lake became the youngest female founder and CEO to take a company public when her online personal styling company, Stitch Fix, completed its IPO in November of 2017. Lest that not be a big enough splash on the generally male-dominated business world, she did so on stage at the NASDAQ with her young son casually resting on her hip, setting the tone for a next generation of women leaders in tech.

Lake started Stitch Fix in Harvard Business School, and often faced skepticism from a mostly male venture capital world as she pitched the concept of the data-driven fashion company targeted at women. Seven years after Katrina received her first term sheet, Stitch Fix is valued at more than $2 billion, and has shipped millions of ‘Fixes’: boxes of clothes and accessories personalized for clients using a unique combination of algorithms and human stylists.

Beyond its success with customers and investors, Stitch Fix’s workforce is 86 percent female, and the company also focuses on representation in its leadership, maintaining a 50/50 split of men and women on its board. Stitch Fix was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2018, and Lake has been recognized as a Forbes 40 Under 40 recipient, as well as numerous other accolades.

Join INFORUM for a dynamic conversation with Katrina Lake about life as an entrepreneur, being a female CEO, and the future of style and technology.

Location: 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco
Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program 

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

 

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CALIFORNIA AND MIDTERM ELECTIONS 2018 WITH THE NEW YORK TIMES
Jun
27
6:30 PM18:30

CALIFORNIA AND MIDTERM ELECTIONS 2018 WITH THE NEW YORK TIMES

Alex Burns, National Political Correspondent, The New York Times
Nate Cohn, Domestic Correspondent for "The Upshot," The New York Times
Maggie Haberman, White House Reporter, The New York Times; Pulitzer Prize Recipient 2018
Adam Nagourney, Los Angeles Bureau Chief, The New York Times—Moderator

Four prominent New York Times political journalists will take The Commonwealth Club stage to discuss the most consequential midterm election in a generation. What will the results mean for California and the nation? Following the California primary, Adam Nagourney, New York Times Los Angeles bureau chief, will moderate a discussion about the shape of the races, the role President Trump will play in this election, the future of polling and more. He will be joined by White House reporter Maggie Haberman, who was part of the team honored with a Pulitzer Prize in April for their coverage of Russia’s influence in the 2016 election; Nate Cohn, domestic correspondent for “The Upshot,” a data-driven blog which features a digital probability needle on The New York Times website on each election night; and national political correspondent Alex Burns.

Location: Marines' Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter St., San Francisco
Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

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A Seat at the Table: Women in Venture Capital and Tech with Jess Lee
Jul
18
6:30 PM18:30

A Seat at the Table: Women in Venture Capital and Tech with Jess Lee

Jess Lee, Partner, Sequoia Capital

In 2017, all-women founder teams received just 15 percent of the dollars invested by venture capitalists in the United States. Venture capitalist Jess Lee and her peers have their work cut out for them, but they’re ready to make changes. Venture funding is often spurred by individual perspectives, so startups founded by women may not personally resonate with male venture capitalists. With women numbering only 9 percent of decision makers at U.S. firms, this means there are fewer women investing overall and a lack of representation on both sides of the coin. Since venture capital is an increasingly vital resource to support unique solutions for problems at every level, if funders and founders are not diverse, can the investment truly address a broad swath of challenges?

Lee was the founder of the digital fashion site Polyvore, and she is now the first female investing partner in the United States at the high-profile venture firm Sequoia Capital. She’s focused on investing with a social lens, in companies such as Wonolo, which looks at the future of work. She’s also one of 34 senior female investors who came together in 2017 to found All Raise, a nonprofit dedicated to doubling the percentage of women in partner roles in venture capital over the next ten years and increasing total venture capital funding to female founders from 15 to 25 percent in the next five years. All Raise has already launched efforts such as Female Founder Office Hours and Founders for Change–and they’re just getting started.

Join Lee for a conversation about the power of access and capital to create growth and change, and what founders, funders and consumers alike can do to ensure valuable resources are available to all.

Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco
Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

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Founding, Funding, and Fatherhood with Alexis Ohanian
Jul
25
6:30 PM18:30

Founding, Funding, and Fatherhood with Alexis Ohanian

Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder and Board Member, Reddit; Co-Founder, Initialized Capital
Katie Bethell, Founder and Executive Director, PL+US; 2018 World's Greatest Leaders, Fortune—Moderator

Entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian has had a wild ride, and he’s just getting started. He founded Reddit, commonly known as “the front page of the Internet” and one of the most public displays of the huge potential and pitfalls of open dialogue today. Earlier this year, he left Reddit for new challenges, including becoming a father and returning full-time to the venture capital firm he founded, Initialized Capital. He spent time as a microfinance fellow for Kiva. He helped launch travel website Hipmunk and served as a partner for Y Combinator. His relationship with the world’s most famous tennis player, Serena Williams, was a match for the digital ages (There was a Reddit announcement of the engagement.), and now he’s arguably one of the highest profile dads in the tech world (to baby daughter Olympia).

His perspectives on tech, culture and parenting uniquely intersect at a key time in today’s landscape, and we have questions about many subjects: life for working parents in tech and beyond; his lens on the world as a husband and father; the role of open dialogue online, the most interesting emerging tech coming out of Silicon Valley; and advice for founders or those looking to start their own ventures.

Join us for a wide-ranging conversation with Ohanian, moderated by Katie Bethell, founder of PL+US, an organization which advocates for paid family leave for everyone in the United States.

Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco
Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program
Notes: This program is generously supported by Bank of America Merrill Lynch

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

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Sean Spicer: The Briefing
Aug
2
6:30 PM18:30

Sean Spicer: The Briefing

Sean Spicer, Former White House Press Secretary; Author, The Briefing; Twitter @seanspicer

Before he made his mark as one of the most recognized staffers in the Trump administration, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer built a decades-long career in Republican politics. Spicer witnessed and shaped the inner workings of Washington, D.C., from every vantage point—as a House of Representatives communicator, assistant at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Republican National Committee chief strategist, top advisor to presidential campaigns, and, of course, as White House spokesperson for President Donald Trump.

Few in Washington are as well equipped as Spicer to pull back the curtain and dissect what’s really happening in the nation’s capital. Join Spicer for a rare conversation as he takes us behind the scenes of his turbulent tenure as President Trump's press secretary, shedding new light on the headline-grabbing controversies of the Trump administration's first year.

Location:
Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program  

Notes: Attendees subject to search

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

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Coming of Age Black and Free in America with Darnell L. Moore
Jun
13
6:30 PM18:30

Coming of Age Black and Free in America with Darnell L. Moore

Darnell Moore, Author, No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free inAmerica; Editor at Large, Cassius;. Co-managing Editor, The Feminist Wire; Editor, The Feminist Wire Books (a series of University of Arizona Press); Writer-in-residence, Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice at Columbia University; Co-founder, YOU Belong

Join INFORUM for Pride Month and a conversation about the intersectionality of faith, sexuality, blackness and gender with author Darnell L. Moore, as he discusses his new memoir, No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America. This will be an empowering and insightful evening that you won’t want to miss.

Darnell L. Moore is regarded as “one of the most influential black writers and thinkers of our time,” centering his work largely around the topics of liberation, self-love and tolerance. Moore is an embodiment of resilience, having endured traumas such as narrowly escaping being burned alive at 14 years old by homophobic neighborhood children, suffering a near-fatal heart attack at 19 years old, and enduring poverty and brutality in his childhood home. Today, Moore is an award-winning writer and activist, a leader in the Black Lives Matter movement and a champion of justice. His writing centers around anti-racist, feminist, pro-queer of color and anti-colonial thought and has taken him to The Huffington Post, Ebony Magazine and many other publications. Moore is also a renowned scholar in black Christian thought and has spoken at Harvard Divinity School and been a visiting scholar at the Yale Divinity School and Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University.

Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco
Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, book signing to follow

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

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Gavin Grimm: Youth Activism and LGBTQ Rights
Jun
5
6:30 PM18:30

Gavin Grimm: Youth Activism and LGBTQ Rights

Gavin Grimm, Transgender rights activist
Abdi Soltani, Executive Director, Northern California ACLU — Moderator

What is being done in California and beyond to safeguard the rights of transgender people, especially as the current administration rolls back Obama-era protections? And what is the role of young people in advancing this issue?

As a prominent face of the transgender rights movement, 18-year-old activist Gavin Grimm has unique insight to share on the matter. In 2014, Grimm and his family told his Virginia high school he was transgender, and then, amidst uproar from some parents, the school administration barred Grimm from using the boys’ bathroom. So, Gavin sued his district, stating that the decision violated Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in schools that receive federal funding. Grimm then quickly gained national attention and the respect of transgender activists including as Laverne Cox and Janet Mock. Today, his case in Virginia is still pending.

Join INFORUM, Grimm and Abdi Soltani, executive director of the ACLU Northern California, for a conversation about youth activism, the cultural and legal shifts around transgender rights, and the status of space and protection for minority and vulnerable populations in our society.

Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco
Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

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Walls and Bridges: Policy and Racism
Jun
4
6:30 PM18:30

Walls and Bridges: Policy and Racism

Jeff Adachi, San Francisco Public Defender
Alicia Garza, Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter; Special Projects Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance; Activist; Writer
Nikki Jones, Professor of African-American Studies, UC Berkeley; Author, Between Good and Ghetto
Mina Kim, News Anchor and Friday's "Forum" Host, KQED—Moderator

Does the Bay Area have policies that affirm racism? Join INFORUM and KQED as we explore one of the most polarizing topics of our time, asking the questions that divide us and seeking answers that may unite us. Arrive early or stick around afterwards to mix and mingle with audience members and keep the conversation going. The evening will be moderated by Mina Kim, anchor and host at KQED, and include Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, and Jeff Adachi, San Francisco public defender.

Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco
Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program
Notes: Graphic by Mark Fiore. In association with KQED

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

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Let's Talk About Class
May
17
6:30 PM18:30

Let's Talk About Class

A conversation with Death, Sex & Money and BuzzFeed News

Anna Sale, Host, "Death, Sex & Money," WNYC Studios
Venessa Wong, Reporter, BuzzFeed News

"Class is complicated. So, so complicated," a listener named Jessica wrote to WNYC Studios’ "Death, Sex & Money" (DSM) podcast when they asked for listener-submitted stories about class.

Death, Sex & Money and BuzzFeed News collaborated on a multimedia project called Opportunity Costs: Money and Class in America. In listening to and reading the stories, it became evident that class wasn’t just about money—it was also about childhoods, present-day status, aspirations, housing, education, culture, mental health, community and much more.

And now, we want to know: What does class mean to you?

Join DSM host Anna Sale and BuzzFeed News’ Venessa Wong for a conversation about class and all that it entails. Expect lots of audience participation and engagement around questions like “What embarrases you about your current class status?” and “What was a moment when you felt particularly aware of your class status?” We’ll provide drinks and snacks to help get the dialogue started and keep it going in a post-show happy hour.

Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium,San Francisco
Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:45 p.m. happy hour!

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

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San Francisco Decides: Mayoral Election 2018
May
14
6:30 PM18:30

San Francisco Decides: Mayoral Election 2018

Angela Alioto, Attorney and Former San Francisco Supervisor, District 2
Michelle Bravo, Holistic Health Practitioner
London Breed, President, San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Supervisor, District 5
Amy Farah Weiss, Homelessness Activist
Richie Greenberg, Businessman and Advisor
Jane Kim, San Francisco Supervisor, District 6
Ellen Lee Zhou, Public Health Worker
Mark Leno, Former California State Senator, SD-11
Melissa Caen, Politics and Legal Reporter, CBS Bay Area (KPIX 5) - Moderator

Join us for a nonpartisan San Francisco mayoral candidate forum as the city decides who will occupy its highest office, including all eight of the candidates.

The candidates will be addressing a wide range of important policy areas – homelessness, cannabis, gentrification and more — moderated by Melissa Caen of CBS Bay Area.

Don’t miss your chance to ask a question of one or all of the candidates, even if you can't join us that night. Submit your questions prior to the program. Fill out this form, or tweet us @inforumsf or @cwclub. We'll also be accepting audience questions as attendees arrive that evening.

Get registered to vote before the May 21 deadline here.

Time: 5:30pm check-in, 6:30pm program, 8:00 pm end.
Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco
Notes: If you would like to attend the forum but the price of admission is cost-prohibitive to you, please contact us at inforum@commonwealthclub.org.

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

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Ronan Farrow: The War on Peace
Apr
30
6:30 PM18:30

Ronan Farrow: The War on Peace

Ronan Farrow, Investigative Journalist; Author, War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and The Decline of American Influence

Kara Swisher, Executive Editor, Recode - Moderator

Recent accounts of the U.S. State Department building liken it to site of a nuclear attack: empty offices, dark wings and noiseless halls. According to Ronan Farrow, this desolate building is a symbol of something even bigger — American diplomacy has fallen to the wayside while our use of military action seems to grow. How did this happen and what does it mean for America’s place in the international sphere?

Farrow, investigative journalist, former government advisor and now author, answers these questions and more. Farrow documents the decline of diplomacy since 9/11, citing incidents from across the globe and sharing interviews with whistleblowers, policymakers and every living Secretary of State, from Henry Kissinger to Rex Tillerson.

Join us for an enlightening conversation with Farrow about America’s role in the global community, the changes that have gotten America here, and how a return to diplomacy could lead the nation down a brighter path.

Note: Attendees subject to search
Photo Credit: Brigitte Lacombe

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A Field Guide to Repairing Humanity with Sally Kohn
Apr
26
6:30 PM18:30

A Field Guide to Repairing Humanity with Sally Kohn

Sally Kohn, CNN Commentator; Activist; Host, "State of Resistance" podcast; Author, The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Humanity
Julie Lythcott-Haims, New York Times Best-Selling Author, Real American and How to Raise an Adult - Moderator

Whether on social media or television screens, there's increasing divisiveness, hate, vitriol, and more as people discuss their perspectives in public forums. As a progressive commentator on Fox News and CNN, Sally Kohn has earned a reputation as someone who can build bridges across party lines - but even she has her limits. 

Through conversations across America, the Middle East and Rwanda with scientists, white supremacists and even some of her own Twitter trolls, Kohn will help us understand how hate develops and what we can do to stop it from growing and consuming us. 

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Hollywood and Humor with Nell Scovell
Apr
23
6:30 PM18:30

Hollywood and Humor with Nell Scovell

Nell Scovell, Author, Just the Funny Parts: … And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boys’ Club

Kara Swisher, Executive Editor, Recode -- Moderator

From late night TV to Lean In, America has heard Nell Scovell’s words for years, but as a writer, she’s always been behind the scenes. Now, in her new book, Just the Funny Parts: …. And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boys’ Club, Scovell sheds a bright light on her experiences as a writer and advocate for women in the workplace, as well as her thoughts on the ongoing cultural revolutions in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and beyond. Scovell will be in conversation with Kara Swisher, another leader in cultural coverage and executive editor of Recode.

Advancing women’s rights in professional spaces requires women to actually occupy professional roles, and Scovell, only the second female writer to ever work on The Late Show with David Letterman, championed diversity and inclusion in the writer’s room and beyond. Scovell spent the earlier days of her career writing for publications such as Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Rolling Stone and working as the creator and executive producer of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. In 2009, amid reports of sexual harassment at The Late Show with David Letterman, she stepped into the spotlight to speak publicly about her own experiences with discrimination and sexual favoritism. More recently, Scovell co-authored Lean In with Sheryl Sandberg, lending her sharp and witty voice to a groundbreaking story of female empowerment that has inspired millions of readers worldwide.

Join Scovell as she shares her experiences and stories from her new book and opens up about her rise to the top of a highly-competitive and male-dominated industry that is now under fire and facing changes.

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Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: The Basics
Apr
12
6:30 PM18:30

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: The Basics

Kathryn Haun, Former federal prosecutor at the United States Justice Department; Lecturer in Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business; Board of Directors, Coinbase
Laura Shin, Journalist; Podcast Host—Moderator

Buzzwords like blockchain, cryptocurrency, and bitcoin are popping up in every news outlet and in casual conversation—but if you’re not an insider, do you actually know how it works? INFORUM wants to make sure this new technology feels more accessible and understandable to all, and we’ve got lots of questions we want to get answered.
Join top blockchain journalist Laura Shin as she digs into the burgeoning field and asks all our burning questions to Kathryn Haun, a leader in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space known for being a clear and candid “explainer.” It’s time to clarify this murky world and ensure you can both throw the buzzwords around and engage more deeply with this technology. Start thinking of your questions now! A few of ours include…

  • What IS cryptocurrency?

  • What IS blockchain?

  • Why do either of those things matter now, or in the future? Are they safe?

  • What is an ICO? What does ‘mining’ mean?

  • Should I buy cryptocurrency? If so...how?

This program is the first in a series exploring blockchain, cryptocurrency, and the future of this technology--we hope you’ll come back for more.

Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco
Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

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An Evening with Sean Penn
Apr
9
6:30 PM18:30

An Evening with Sean Penn

Sean Penn, Academy Award Winning Actor; Writer; Producer; Director; Author, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff

Academy Award winner and loudmouth Sean Penn has worked as an actor, writer, producer and director on more than one hundred theater and film productions, including Mystic River and Milk and now he’s adding another role to his repertoire: first-time novelist.

One part satirical thriller, and one part political commentary, Penn’s debut novel, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff tells the story of Bob Honey, a modern American entrepreneur and part-time assassin who spends his days selling septic tanks to Jehovah’s Witnesses and arranging pyrotechnic displays for foreign dictators. He’s also a contract killer for a clandestine program run by a branch of U.S. intelligence that targets the elderly, the infirm, and other populations who drain a consumption-driven society of its resources.

When a dogged journalist starts questioning Honey, he can’t decide if it’s the beginning of a new friendship or the catalyst to his demise. Among a backdrop of treason, terrorism and American political life sinking lower every moment, Honey decides to make a change - if he doesn’t get killed by the corrupted government or the overzealous media first.

Join us for a very special, can’t miss evening with one of America’s most acclaimed artists.

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Dear Madam President: An Open Letter To The Women Who Will Run The World
Apr
2
6:30 PM18:30

Dear Madam President: An Open Letter To The Women Who Will Run The World

Jennifer Palmieri, President, the Center for American Progress Action Fund; Former Head of Communications, Hillary for America 2016; White House Communications Director under President Barack Obama; Author, Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World

Political operative Jennifer Palmieri is inspiring a new generation of leaders to shatter the glass ceiling, break down barriers and take control of their destiny. Palmieri served on the front lines of two historical and groundbreaking political operations, first as White House communications director for President Barack Obama and then as communications director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Now, she’s making sure there is a playbook for future female political and professional leaders.

Palmieri argues that the roadmap for the path to a female presidency hasn’t yet been clearly drawn and that our country needs to reimagine women in leadership roles — from the boardroom all the way to the Oval Office. Join INFORUM for a conversation with Jennifer Palmieri and discover a blueprint for achieving your dreams and taking the world by storm.
 

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Crafting a Creative Life with Brit Morin
Mar
21
6:30 PM18:30

Crafting a Creative Life with Brit Morin

Brit Morin, founder and CEO, Brit+Co
Marissa Mayer, former CEO, Yahoo - Moderator

Creative, colorful, hands-on, inspiring: how many people get to describe their jobs that way? Brit Morin ran with her passion for DIY and crafting, and took it to the next level. Today, she’s founder and CEO of Brit + Co, which aims to educate, inspire, entertain, and inform creative women.

Morin’s entrepreneurial streak began while she was working in Silicon Valley at Google and Apple, but even then she always had creative side projects going in her off hours. She left Google at 25 to launch Brit+Co, which began as a small online company offering how-to videos for women, covering everything from calligraphy to coding. Under Morin’s direction, Brit + Co has grown from a fledgling venture into one of the largest digital media companies for women--175 million users strong!--and securing partnerships with IKEA, Starbucks, Target, Sephora, and many others along the way. Not just online, Brit + Co often hosts pop-ups and conferences that welcome in-person community building, crafting, and more sans computer screen.

Morin is a partner to Slow Ventures, and recent awards include Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Marie Claire’s The New Guard, and Glamour’s Female Entrepreneur Innovator.

Whether you’re into DIY crafting or are looking for new inspiration, Brit Morin will empower you to harness your inner creativity and use it to live a more colorful life. She will be in conversation with Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo, who mentored her at Google, invested in Brit+Co, and continues to be one of Morin’s influences and inspirations.

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Heart Talk with Cleo Wade
Mar
15
6:30 PM18:30

Heart Talk with Cleo Wade

Cleo Wade, Poet; Activist; Author, Heart Talk: Poetic WIsdom for Living a Better Life

Cleo Wade has already been called “the Millennial Oprah” by New York Magazine, and this talented poet is still on the rise. With hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers waiting for her next poem or artwork to drop, she’s inspiring a generation with her words and warmth.

Whether she’s advocating for women’s issues, reproductive health, and LGBTQ rights or launching creative projects with her chez conversations art collective, Wade uses her words to empower and motivate. A combination of poems, mantras, affirmations and pep talks, her collection Heart Talk is a daily reminder to look inward and to others for support and sustenance. Join Cleo Wade for a conversation about leveraging the power of the pen for positive impact.  

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Betty Reid Soskin: A Legacy of Service
Mar
8
6:30 PM18:30

Betty Reid Soskin: A Legacy of Service

Betty Reid-Soskin, Park Ranger, Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park, National Park Service

Lauren Schiller, Host of The Inflection Point podcast on KALW and PRX--Moderator

Celebrate Women’s History with INFORUM and a conversation with local and national legend Betty Reid Soskin! At 96, she’s currently the oldest serving career park ranger with the National Park Service—just one chapter in a long life of public service and her active role in the social evolution of the United States.

Reid Soskin’s remarkable resume ranges from clerking in an all-black trade union during World War II to political activism and songwriting during the Civil Rights Movement, from running a record store to working as a congressional field representative, and, finally, to her work as a historian. When the National Park Service began to plan the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, CA, Reid Soskin played a key role in shaping and designing the park, ensuring that the reality of history—including racism, segregation and sexism—weren’t left out of the narrative. The great-granddaughter of a slave, Reid Soskin’s life spans World War II to the Civil Rights Movement to the election of the first black president, and her experiences and observations allow for unique insight into our country’s history.

The ultimate storyteller, she is the lead figure in a forthcoming documentary being made by Rosie the Riveter Trust detailing the African-American experience in the United States from World War II to the present day, and she was featured in a multi-part PBS special. She still regularly draws crowds to the park with her powerful presentations, blogs and writes regularly, and was even invited to officiate the White House Tree Lighting Ceremony with President Obama.

Join us for insights into Reid Soskin’s full life and the backdrop of history of which she and her work are a vital part to this day.

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Making Chocolate: From Bean, to Bar, to S'more
Feb
14
6:30 PM18:30

Making Chocolate: From Bean, to Bar, to S'more

Todd Masonis, CEO, Dandelion Chocolate
Greg D'Alesandre, Vice President of Research and Development and Chocolate Sourcerer, Dandelion Chocolate
Adam Savage, Editor-in-Chief, Tested.com -- Moderator

Join the brains behind Bay Area-based Dandelion Chocolate, in conversation with maker Adam Savage, as they dig deep into the world of chocolate making and eating. What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Todd Masonis, CEO, and Greg D’Alesandre, Chocolate Sourcerer, and their team at Dandelion Chocolate make some of the best bean-to-bar chocolate around, and their book, Making Chocolate: From Bean to Bar to S’more, unravels the secrets for anyone from hobbyists to professional makers seeking to create delicious, luxurious chocolate in their home kitchen. From the simplest techniques—like roasting beans on a sheet pan to winnowing away the shells with a hair dryer—to more complex subjects like the science and mechanics of making chocolate, and the nuts, bolts, and ethics of sourcing beans directly, this book follows the cocoa bean from the farm to the factory to the pastry kitchen, and everywhere in between. 

Just talking about chocolate is torture unless there’s tasting involved, so join us before and after the program for Dandelion chocolate-making demonstrations and education, chocolate samples, hot chocolate, s’mores, and more!

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Learning How to Say Hard Things with Kelly Corrigan
Feb
6
6:30 PM18:30

Learning How to Say Hard Things with Kelly Corrigan

Kelly Corrigan, Author, Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say; Author, Glitter and Glue and The Middle Place; Creative Director, The Nantucket Project

Daniel Handler (also known as Lemony Snicket), Author—Moderator.

Author Kelly Corrigan knows that words matter. Sometimes finding the right words to say in a difficult situation seems almost impossible, but the right words at the right moment can change everything.

In her new book, Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say, Corrigan recounts the conversations and experiences throughout her life that have shaped the way she connects and empathizes with family, friends and her community.

Join master storyteller Corrigan, or as she's been called, “the poet laureate of the ordinary,” as she shares stories that serve to remind us that we’re all human and all deserving of compassion and understanding.

This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

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Mayor Michael Tubbs: Reinventing Stockton
Feb
5
6:30 PM18:30

Mayor Michael Tubbs: Reinventing Stockton

Michael Tubbs, Mayor of Stockton, CA

27 year-old Stockton, CA Mayor Michael Tubbs has already made history as both the city’s first African American mayor and the youngest mayor in American history of a city of more than 100,000 people - and he’s just getting started.

He recently made headlines when Stockton became the first city in the nation to pilot a universal basic income program. The Mayor also hopes to use his tenure to reduce violent crime, foster economic development, and partner with local school districts to improve public education.

Mayor Tubbs’ bold leadership and commitment to his community have earned him recognition as one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 young stars for 2017 and The Root named him as one of their 100 Most Influential African Americans 2017. 

As a member of Stockton’s City Council, Mayor Tubbs founded the Reinvent South Stockton Coalition and played an instrumental role in the planning efforts of the South Stockton Promise Zone. He also served as a college course instructor for Aspire Langston Hughes Academy and as a fellow and lecturer at the Design School at Stanford University.   

Mayor Tubbs was born and raised in Stockton to a teenage mother and an incarcerated father, and graduated with honors from Stanford University. During his time as a student, Mayor Tubbs founded both The Phoenix Scholars and the Summer Success and Leadership Academy at the University of the Pacific, which both aim to increase access to higher education for underrepresented students. Mayor Tubbs also interned in the White House and at Google.

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Larry Wilmore: Black on the Air Live!
Feb
3
5:00 PM17:00

Larry Wilmore: Black on the Air Live!

Larry Wilmore, Host, Larry Wilmore: Black on the Air

Larry Wilmore’s podcast Larry Wilmore: Black on the Air debuted in May and features Wilmore’s candid thoughts on the most pressing issues of the week, as well as his interviews with guests from the worlds of politics, entertainment, culture, sports, and beyond. Recent guests include U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Cecile Richards, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae, and Gretchen Carlson.

Wilmore is an Emmy Award winner and he has been working in the entertainment industry for more than 25 years as a television producer, writer, actor, and comedian. Best known as host of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, he has helped to launch some of today’s most beloved comedies including both Black-ish and Insecure. Wilmore has also been a writer for In Living ColorThe PJ’sThe Office, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In 2002, he earned an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series” for his work as creator, writer, and executive producer of The Bernie Mac Show, as well as a Peabody Award. In April 2016, Wilmore hosted the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in Washington, D.C.

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How Hippie Food Changed the Way We Eat
Jan
30
6:30 PM18:30

How Hippie Food Changed the Way We Eat

Jonathan Kauffman, Author, Hippie Food; Food and Culture Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle

Who started the organic food craze that now is a cornerstone of popular American eating? Who is responsible for getting whole-food staples like sprouts, tofu, yogurt, brown rice, and whole-grain bread onto every grocery and home shelf? It’s more than a corporate marketing effort, and although it’s a way of life for many, it wasn’t always like this. Food journalist (and former line cook!) Jonathan Kauffman digs deep into funky food history in his new book Hippie Food, shedding light on the cultural revolutionaries who shaped a more idealistic and communal way of life and food in the United States. Food is deeply woven into our cultural history: join Kauffman as he shares a hippie food chapter, including stories about cults, the Summer of Love, and a coast to coast journey of culture and cuisine.

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2018 Oscar Contenders: Best Documentary (Short Subject)
Jan
9
6:30 PM18:30

2018 Oscar Contenders: Best Documentary (Short Subject)

Garrett Bradley, Artist, Director
Davina Pardo, Documentary Director, Producer
Maximilien Van Aertryck, Filmmaker, Plattform Produktion
Kathleen Lingo, Commissioning Editor, Opinion Video; Executive Producer of Op-Docs, The New York Times—Moderator

It’s Oscars season! Join INFORUM as we screen three of the films vying for a 2018 Oscar nomination for Best Documentary (Short Subject) from “Op Docs” at The New York Times. We’ll follow up the screenings with a panel featuring several of the filmmakers and then take your questions. Check out all three films below, but we promise they’re better seen on our wall projectors with new friends than on your laptop by yourself! Come ready to nurture your inner film critic--we’ll provide the popcorn and candy.

In 116 Cameras, filmmaker Davina Pardo introduces us to a holocaust survivor who takes part in an innovative new attempt to preserve survivors’ stories in holographic form for future generations. 

In Alone, filmmaker Garrett Bradley explores the dilemma of a single mother deciding whether to marry her jailed boyfriend. 

In Ten Meter Tower, filmmakers Maximilien Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson show that on a ten-meter high diving tower, fear of taking the jump is pitted against the personal loss that would arise if you didn't dare. What do we look like when we hesitate and when we make a decision? What does it look like when we overcome our fear? 

Kathleen Lingo is commissioning editor of Opinion Video and executive producer of Op-Docs. Since joining Op-Docs in 2013, the series has published over 200 short films and virtual reality and interactive documentaries, two of which were nominated for Oscars (“4.1 Miles” in 2017 and “Our Curse” in 2015). Op-Docs films have also received seven Emmy nominations, earned two Emmys (“A Short History of the Highrise” in 2014 and “Notes on Blindness” in 2015) and won two Peabodys (“Highrise” in 2014 and “Notes on Blindness” in 2015). She began her career in documentary film working at Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions. She went on to work on nonfiction projects such as “The IFC Media Project”; the HBO documentary El Espiritu de la Salsa, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2010; and WNYC’s “The Takeaway."

Filmmakers Axel Danielson and Maximilien Van Aertryck collaborate under the banner of Plattform Produktion in Gothenburg, Sweden. Together, Van Aertryck and Danielson direct and produce both feature-length documentaries and short films. Their short films have premiered in the official competitions of Berlin, Cannes, Sundance and Toronto, earning several awards. Their recent short film, “Ten Meter Tower,” has been seen by millions through The New York Times' website. Their films aim to have a critical and humorous approach and are distinguished by their minimalistic style as well as theme-based rather than plot-driven narratives.

Davina Pardo is documentary director and producer based in New York City. She recently produced Very Semi-Serious, an HBO documentary about New Yorker cartoonists, which received a 2015 Emmy for outstanding arts and culture programming. Her award-winning documentary shorts include “Minka” and “Birdlings Two,” and her work has been supported by the Tribeca Film Institute, IFP's documentary lab and Independent Film Week, and the Sundance Institute. Pardo previously worked as David Cronenberg’s assistant and associate produced the Academy Award-winning documentary Freeheld

Garrett Bradley is a New Orleans-based artist and director. A recipient of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival Jury Award for nonfiction filmmaking, Bradley has screened at festivals and institutions around the world, including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, DokuFest, the Tribeca Film Festival and Prospect.3. Bradley’s most recent short film, "Alone,” premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

In association with The New York Times.

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Iliza Shlesinger: Comedy & Commentary
Dec
8
6:30 PM18:30

Iliza Shlesinger: Comedy & Commentary

Iliza Shlesinger, Comedian, Netflix stand-up specials, “Confirmed Kills”, “Freezing Hot”, and “War Paint”; Creator and Host, “Truth & Iliza”; Creator and Star, “Forever 31”; Author, Girl Logic: The Genius and the Absurdity


Alexis Pence, Host of "Let’s Get Lexi" and "Covering Your Bases with Let’s Get Lexi" - Moderator

Iliza Shlesinger hit comedy gold when she became the only woman and youngest comedian to be named NBC’s "Last Comic Standing" in 2008, and she’s been on the rise ever since. She has starred in several hit Netflix comedy specials and is the creator and star of of "Forever 31" on Hulu and the late-night show "Truth & Iliza" on Freeform. On all platforms, she provides a mix of feminism, social commentary, on-point voices and characters, and a fresh take on the comedy scene.

Now, Shlesinger brings her signature wit to her new book Girl Logic: The Genius and the Absurdity--we know it’ll be funny and insightful for both the men and women in the audience! Spend an evening with Iliza Shlesinger and get the inside scoop from one of comedy’s rising talents.

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Tim Ferriss: Tribe of Mentors
Nov
30
6:30 PM18:30

Tim Ferriss: Tribe of Mentors

Who is your mentor? Author Tim Ferriss went in search of his by speaking with experts from the fields of tech, business, sports, entertainment and more - and he’s coming back to INFORUM to share their advice for successfully navigating through life.

In his newest book Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World, Ferriss profiles everyone from Jesse Williams and Craig Newmark to Arianna Huffington and Dita Von Teese (and many others!) and shares their secrets for success, happiness, and meaning.

No matter what obstacles you’re facing, Ferriss’s concise but juicy profiles of some of the world’s most beloved experts can help you succeed.

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Health Equity at Birth: What Will It Take? with Lateefah Simon
Nov
16
6:30 PM18:30

Health Equity at Birth: What Will It Take? with Lateefah Simon

Lateefah Simon, President of the Akonadi Foundation; BART Board Director for District 7; Board of Trustees, California State University

Dr. Michael McAfee, President of PolicyLink - Moderator

In association with University of California, San Francisco’s Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi) 

Racism affects all aspects of health, and for women, mothers, children, and babies, the devastating effects of racism can create vastly unequal starts to life. What can be done to create stronger systems for equity, beginning at birth?  

 Join Lateefah Simon, President of the Akonadi Foundation, as she shares her personal experiences and her hopes for health equity. Simon, who was born prematurely, is now a mother herself; she’ll discuss how racism affects the health and experiences of individuals and families, and share her thoughts on what communities, organizations, and individuals can do to level the playing field.

Simon stepped into her role as Akonadi Foundation's President in August 2016. A nationally recognized advocate for civil rights and racial justice, Simon brings over 20 years of executive experience advancing opportunities for communities of color and low-income communities in the Bay Area. Prior to joining Akonadi, she served as Program Director for the San Francisco-based Rosenberg Foundation.

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An Introvert's Roadmap to Getting Out There
Nov
14
7:00 PM19:00

An Introvert's Roadmap to Getting Out There

Morra Aarons-Mele, Founder, Women Online; Podcast Host, “Hiding in the Bathroom”; Creator, The Mission List; Author, Hiding in the Bathroom: An Introvert’s Roadmap to Getting Out There (When You’d Rather Stay Home)

Gina Bianchini, Founder and CEO, Mighty Networks - Moderator

Do you have to be an extrovert to be successful in today’s hyper-social world? Author Morra Aarons-Mele says no: She argues that the common belief that success can only be the result of constant networking, deal-making and “leaning in” is nonsense.

In her new book, Hiding in the Bathroom: An Introvert’s Roadmap to Getting Out There (When You’d Rather Stay Home), Aarons-Mele covers how she and others approach everything from schmoozing to FOMO to open-plan offices, demonstrates that there is more than one “type”, and highlights how each of us can reach our goals without conforming to a one-size-fits-all lifestyle.

As a successful entrepreneur who shares many of her personal experiences and anxieties, Aarons-Mele knows what it takes to make your mark on the world no matter your personality type. Her insights, coupled with proven tools and simple exercises, and more than 100 interviews, will empower you to evaluate your own work/life balance, take control and build a life based on your own version of happiness and success.

This program is generously supported by Wells Fargo.

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Whistleblowers, Drone Warfare and Surveillance: A Graphic History
Nov
7
6:30 PM18:30

Whistleblowers, Drone Warfare and Surveillance: A Graphic History

Pratap Chatterjee, Investigative Reporter focused on U.S. warfare and technology; Commentator for BBC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC; Journalist, The New Republic, Financial Times, and The Guardian; Author, Verax: The True History of Whistleblowers, Drone Warfare, and Mass Surveillance: A Graphic Novel

Khalil Bendib, Co-Author; New York Times bestseller Zahra's Paradise; Co-Host, Voices of the Middle East and North Africa; Former Political Cartoonist, San Bernardino County Sun; and Author of Verax: The True History of Whistleblowers, Drone Warfare, and Mass Surveillance: A Graphic Novel

Barry Eisler, Former CIA Directorate of Operations; Author, The God’s Eye View - Moderator

Want to get the full story on post-9/11 American electronic surveillance--in the form of a graphic novel? Follow journalist Pratap Chatterjee and illustrator Khalil Bendib through their new book Verax: The True History of Whistleblowers, Drone Warfare, and Mass Surveillance: A Graphic Novel, which blends Chatterjee’s sleuth journalism with Bendib’s comic illustrations for a uniquely visual perspective on a complex issue.

Chatterjee and Bendib explain the many ways that governments track individuals and countries, and highlights the complicity of tech giants like Apple Inc., Verizon and Google in these covert operations. They also share the stories of the journalists and whistleblowers like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, who blew the lid off of electronic surveillance operations and exposed them for all the world to see. Finally, Chatterjee and Bendib predict the future for electronic surveillance practices and those who choose to resist them - whose side are you on?

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State Bird Provisions in Your Kitchen
Nov
2
7:00 PM19:00

State Bird Provisions in Your Kitchen

Stuart Brioza, Chef and Owner of State Bird Provisions and The Progress, Author, State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook

Nicole Krasinski, Pastry Chef and Owner of State Bird Provisions and The Progress; Author, State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook

Jonathan Kauffman, Food and Culture Reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and Author of the forthcoming book Hippie Food - Moderator

Chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski always have a line out the door for their award-winning dishes. inspired by years catering parties, the dynamic husband-and-wife duo adopted a casual dim-sum cart style of small plates at their debut restaurant State Bird Provisions, and then expanded their empire to The Progress, where the menu feels more like a dinner party banquet. Both restaurants have garnered critical acclaim, including multiple James Beard Awards and Michelin Stars, and their shared special event space, The Workshop, creates even more opportunities for good food and community.

Now, Brioza and Krasinski want to get into your kitchen, too! Join us as they discuss their first book, State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook. We’re hungry just looking at the recipes for some of their most popular dishes, and the breathtaking photography will no doubt inspire you to get creative and get cooking!

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The Startup Way with Eric Ries
Oct
25
6:30 PM18:30

The Startup Way with Eric Ries

Eric Ries, Entrepreneur; Author, The Startup Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long - Term Growth and New York Times bestseller The Lean Startup

Todd Park, Former United States Chief Technology Officer - Moderator

In his first book, best-seller The Lean Startup, entrepreneur Eric Ries laid out a new roadmap to success for startups of all shapes and sizes, kickstarting a movement that quickly spread across the industry and inspired a generation of entrepreneurs. Now he’s back with his latest, The Startup Way, examining different kinds of companies and organizations beyond the start up, and and how they can leverage key entrepreneurial tactics and principles to grow and create impact in today’s fast-paced economy.

Case studies include icons like GE and Toyota, tech heavyweights like Amazon and Facebook, and Silicon Valley darlings like Airbnb and Twilio, as well as NGOs and governments, so whether you’re an entrepreneur, a startup employee, a consumer, or just plain curious, Ries has insights for you!

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Gabrielle Union's Real Life Book Club Tour
Oct
24
6:30 PM18:30

Gabrielle Union's Real Life Book Club Tour

Actress Gabrielle Union’s resume just keeps getting longer: she’s had roles on television and in movies, serves as an executive producer of BET’s Being Mary Jane, is a serial entrepreneur and activist, and is now the author of a new book of essays entitled We’re Going to Need More Wine.

When rape allegations against Union’s co-star Nate Parker surfaced a month before the release of the film The Birth of a Nation, Union made headlines when she spoke out about her own experience being raped as a young woman and she urged compassion for other survivors of sexual assault. Today, Union is an important and powerful voice for rape survivors and she advocates against sexual violence, while also juggling her work in Hollywood, her many business endeavors, and life with her family.

In her debut book, We’re Going to Need More Wine, Union shares stories and essays on race, gender, feminism, sexuality, fame, marriage, beauty and more, all with the trademark honesty and humor her fans have loved for years. Join Gabrielle Union, moderator Anna Sale of "Death, Sex & Money" and INFORUM and get real over a glass of wine.

This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

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DeRay Mckesson: Power of the People
Oct
19
6:30 PM18:30

DeRay Mckesson: Power of the People

DeRay Mckesson, Host of "Pod Save the People", Civil Rights Activist and Organizer

Dan Pfeiffer, Co-host of "Pod Save America"; CNN Contributor; Former Senior Advisor for Strategy and Communications for President Barack Obama — Moderator

DeRay Mckesson has become one of the most recognizable faces in the fight for racial and social equality through his work as one of the leaders of Black Lives Matter.

Mckesson leverages his extensive social media network to encourage others to speak out online and to turn out in the streets in protest of police brutality. His work has inspired people from Ferguson to Baton Rouge and beyond to discover their power and to push back against injustices in their communities and fight for their rights. Last year, Mckesson gained national notoriety when he was one of more than 100 people arrested in Louisiana during a protest in response to the police shooting of Alton Sterling.

Mckesson is one of the founders of Campaign Zero, a ten point policy plan for police reform, and in 2016, he was a candidate for Mayor of Baltimore. In addition to his role as an organizer, McKesson served in administrative positions in both the Minneapolis and Baltimore public school systems and he is a Teach For America alum. Recently, McKesson joined Crooked Media as the host of the podcast "Pod Save the People", focused on activism, social justice, culture, and politics, with recent guests including John Legend, Valerie Jarrett, Edward Snowden, and Katy Perry.

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Julie Lythcott Haims : What It Means to Be Black and American
Oct
16
6:30 PM18:30

Julie Lythcott Haims : What It Means to Be Black and American

Julie Lythcott-Haims, Best-Selling Author, Real American and How to Raise an Adult

In Conversation with Judge LaDoris Cordell (Ret.)

This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Julie Lythcott-Haims is the New York Times best-selling author behind the "anti-helicopter" parenting manifesto How to Raise an Adult. She’s also a biracial black woman who’s experienced the highs and lows of race relations in America. In her new memoir, Real American, Lythcott-Haims focuses her discerning eye on relations both in and out of the home to help us all fearlessly grow into our best selves.

Join Julie Lythcott-Haims as she returns to The Commonwealth Club and reveals how she’s navigated through the heavy, forceful blows of racism and the small, sharp cuts of “micro” aggressions. She’ll discuss the importance of a generous and wise community as a healing power to fractured race relations and what we can all do to make America a better place for everyone. Moderated by LaDoris Cordell, a longtime civil rights advocate, this is a can't-miss conversation.

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