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

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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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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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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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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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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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

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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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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Sir Richard Branson: Finding My Virginity
Oct
14
6:00 PM18:00

Sir Richard Branson: Finding My Virginity

Sir Richard Branson, Founder and Chairman, the Virgin Group; Author, Finding My Virginity
In Conversation with Stacy Brown-Philpot, CEO, TaskRabbit

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

Fifty years ago, Sir Richard Branson started his first business, and he hasn’t stopped since. In his new autobiography, Finding My Virginity, the Virgin founder shares his personal, intimate thoughts on five decades as the world’s ultimate entrepreneur. This is the true account of how the Virgin founder reinvented himself and his brand for the 21st century while continuing to push boundaries, break rules and reach for the stars in more ways than one. This is the story of the man behind the beard, the business, the bravado and the brand.

In Finding My Virginity, Branson shares the secrets that have seen his family business grow from a student magazine into a global brand. He discusses his dream of private citizens one day flying into space, an idea that developed from a childhood fantasy to the brink of reality. He also shares his focusing shift from battling bigger rivals to changing business for good. Go behind the scenes as Branson creates the world’s first commercial “spaceline,” Virgin Galactic. Learn how Branson created 12 different billion-dollar businesses and hundreds more companies across dozens of sectors, going from living on a houseboat to owning a private island.

It’s not all business though: Join Sir Richard as he juggles working life with his dedication to his wife and family. Get the real story behind his adventures with everyone from Bill Gates and Kate Moss to Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama. Get under the skin of his world record attempts on land, sea and air. See how the original business hippy adapted to becoming a doting “grand-dude” to his four grandchildren.

This book goes far beyond numbers and achievements—it’s a journey into the heart and mind of Britain’s best-loved businessman. Join us for the rollercoaster ride of a lifetime with Sir Richard Branson.

Thank you Bank of America Merrill Lynch for generously supporting this program.

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Reversing Poverty One Job at a Time with Leila Janah
Oct
3
6:30 PM18:30

Reversing Poverty One Job at a Time with Leila Janah

Leila Janah, Founder and CEO of Samasource; Co-Founder and CEO of LXMI; Author, Give Work: Reversing Poverty One Job at a Time

Laura D. Tyson, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley

According to serial social entrepreneur Leila Janah, giving work is the most effective means of reducing poverty, and she and her company, Samasource, are a big part of the solution. Janah and her team have gone into some of the world’s poorest communities - from right here in California all the way to Kenya - and trained individuals in digital work for tech titans like Google and Microsoft. Samasource’s model, which addresses the causes, not just the symptoms, of poverty, gives work, not aid, helping individuals access dignified, steady, fair-wage work and ensuring they can gain the tools to change their own lives for the better.

Janah’s new book Give Work: Reversing Poverty One Job at a Time, shares the stories of those who have benefitted from Samasource’s groundbreaking business model and demonstrates how entrepreneurs and individuals can be a part of the movement to eradicate poverty across the globe.

Join Janah and moderator Laura D. Tyson of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley and an expert in the field of global economics, for an insightful and impactful conversation on innovative ways to reverse global poverty.

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Ellen Pao: Resetting Silicon Valley
Sep
27
6:30 PM18:30

Ellen Pao: Resetting Silicon Valley

Ellen Pao, Kapor Capital Investment Partner; Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Kapor Center for Social Impact; co-founder of Project Include and Author of Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change

Laura Weidman Powers, Co-founder and CEO of Code2040 - Moderator

In 2015, Ellen Pao sent shockwaves throughout Silicon Valley when she sued her employer, powerhouse venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, for workplace discrimination against women and other minority groups. While she lost her case, her fight for change was just beginning. From her work as a founder of Project Include to fighting negative culture as interim CEO of Reddit, Pao dedicates time and energy to making sure others don’t have the same experiences she did, and she recently published her first book, Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change.

Pao’s bravery in calling out systemic harassment and other abusive practices within the tech community has inspired others--in the wake of the most recent stories around discrimination and harassment, many mention Pao by name in their accounts. Today, women, people of color, and allies in the workplace and beyond are standing up for themselves and their colleagues. They’re pushing back against toxic workplace cultures in Silicon Valley and beyond, galvanizing widespread coverage advocating for increased accountability of individuals and companies: they’re resetting Silicon Valley.

Join Ellen Pao and Laura Weidman Powers, co-founder and CEO of Code2040, for an empowering discussion about overcoming the struggle to be heard and raising your voice to create lasting change.

This program is generously supported by Carbon Five.

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Unbelievable: The Trump Campaign and Katy Tur
Sep
18
12:00 PM12:00

Unbelievable: The Trump Campaign and Katy Tur

Katy Tur, Author, Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History; Correspondent, NBC News; Anchor, MSNBC Live

Audrey Cooper, Editor-in-Chief, San Francisco Chronicle - Moderator

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

“Look back there! ‘Little Katy,’ she’s back there,” said then-presidential candidate Donald Trump as he pointed to reporter Katy Tur amidst a packed rally in December 2015.

Over the course of 16 months, NBC and MSNBC correspondent Tur took the high road as she devoted her life to covering the 2016 presidential campaign and in particular now-President Donald Trump. A former foreign correspondent, Tur began her stint on the Trump campaign under the impression that she’d be back home in London in just six weeks, but her experiences on the campaign trail altered her career and life forever. From being publicly asked by candidate Trump to “be quiet” during a press conference to needing Secret Service protection to escort her to her car safely, Tur received personal and professional critiques from President Trump and beyond on a regular basis.

It didn’t stop there: she was threatened by rowdy crowds both online and in her everyday life, but in response, thousands of her supporters took to Twitter to applaud her efforts. By the end of the campaign, Tur was a new journalism star, and at just 33, her profile continues to rise. Today, she’s a correspondent for NBC News and an MSNBC Live anchor.

In her new book, Tur shares her eye-opening, first-hand accounts of being an embed reporter on the 2016 presidential campaign, her thoughts on the current media landscape and President Trump, while exposing the intrigue and power at play in the 2016 election.

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Back to School: What is the Purpose of Public Education?
Aug
24
6:30 PM18:30

Back to School: What is the Purpose of Public Education?

Nikole Hannah-Jones, Investigative Reporter, The New York Times Magazine

Kristina Rizga, Senior Reporter, Mother Jones; Author, Mission High - Moderator

Across the country, the challenges of growing extremism, xenophobia, violence, and filter bubbles plague communities and the country at large, alongside a lack of mutual understanding and collective responsibility. Can public education be a part of the solution or will it crumble in today’s political climate?

Over the last 30 years, education reform has drastically changed American schools: The slashing of public dollars, backlash against racial integration, test-and-punish policies, and other shifts have increased inequities and other divisions within our public school system. In just the past decade, the per-student funding gap between rich and poor schools has grown 44 percent, and public schools are more segregated by race and class today than they were shortly after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. The Trump administration heralds school choice and vouchers as the best solution to issues facing education, but access and quality of these systems are hotly debated.

This leaves the American public with lots of questions. Can the promise of public education stand up to the current state of the country? Are there ways to uphold public schools as a bastion of democracy, civic engagement, and inclusion? How can parents and citizens help revive the promise of public education? How can choice policies improve to serve students with disabilities, black children, and English learners more equitably?

Join journalists Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times Magazine and Kristina Rizga of Mother Jones and author of Mission High as they reflect on their extensive reporting in schools—as well as personal experiences—and highlight key, largely invisible forces that are slowly eroding the promise of public education, the intentions and money that drives some of them, and look ahead to the future of schools in America.

 

 

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A Citizen's Guide to Making Change Happen with Eric Liu
Aug
22
6:30 PM18:30

A Citizen's Guide to Making Change Happen with Eric Liu

Eric Liu, Author, You’re More Powerful Than You Think: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Change Happen; Founder and CEO, Citizen University; Executive Director, Aspen Institute Citizenship and American Identity Program

Do you want to use your power as an individual to change your community and your country?

Then civic expert Eric Liu has all the tools you’ll need.

Increased turbulence and grassroots movements are shaping today’s political and civic landscape and citizen power is their driving force. But what exactly IS civic power? Who has it? How can you use yours effectively?

Join Liu as he shares case studies from across our historical and political spectrums which demonstrate key laws of citizen power. These laws aren't just theoretical -- Liu's book You’re More Powerful Than You Think You Are: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Change Happen offers step-by-step guidance on how to make true, lasting change both as an individual and through grassroots political movements.

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Protect the Vote with Jason Kander
Aug
3
6:30 PM18:30

Protect the Vote with Jason Kander

Jason Kander, President, Let America Vote; Contributor, CNN; Former Missouri Secretary of State; Former U.S. Senate Candidate; Former U.S. Army Intelligence Officer

Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State, Former California State Senator—Moderator

Voting in America has never been easy, and Jason Kander has made it his personal and political mission to change that. 

Recently, Kander launched Let America Vote, a political organization dedicated to leading the fight for voting rights. Specifically, Let America Vote focuses on combating state and national laws that it believes are intended to disproportionately disenfranchise people based on their race, ethnicity, gender, age or income. The organization ensures that there are political consequences for elected officials who defend prohibitive voting laws.

Kander was elected Missouri secretary of state in 2012 at the age of 31, making him the first millennial in the nation to be elected to statewide office. He became interested in public service after he returned from a tour of duty as an Army intelligence officer in Afghanistan and recognized the need for more resources for America’s veterans and their families. After serving in the Missouri House and narrowly losing his 2016 bid for U.S. Senate in Missouri in the state’s most expensive Senate race in history, he gained traction on the national political stage as a promising up-and-comer for the Democratic Party.

Kander will be in conversation with California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a rising star in California’s political scene, who previously served in the California State Senate and who was the youngest person and the first Latino elected president of Los Angeles City Council. During his tenure as secretary of state, Padilla has expanded access to voter registration for California’s teens aged 16 and 17 and is currently working to improve California’s voter tools and technology.

Join INFORUM, Kander and Secretary Padilla for a conversation about the vital role of civic engagement in our democracy and the need to ensure that all eligible citizens are able to exercise their constitutional right to cast their ballot.

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For-Profit Punishment? The Private Prison Question
Jul
18
6:30 PM18:30

For-Profit Punishment? The Private Prison Question

Shane Bauer, Senior Reporter, Mother Jones; Co-Author, A Sliver of Light
Alysia Santo, Staff Reporter, the Marshall Project
Jeanne Woodford, Former Warden, San Quentin State Prison; Former Undersecretary of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Mina Kim, News Anchor and Friday's "Forum" Host, KQED — Moderator

2016, the Obama administration declared that the federal government would begin to phase out the use of private, for-profit prisons in the justice system, following a Justice Department report with data that private prisons did not save money and were less safe than public facilities. In early 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the decision. Today, the debate continues: should the American criminal justice system include private, for-profit entities? Or should the prison system at the state and federal levels be run by the government? Join journalists and advocates focused on criminal justice reform, including Shane Bauer, a senior reporter at Mother Jones, where he recently reported on his four month stint as a private prison guard, and a representative from The Marshall Project, a non-profit journalism outlet featuring journalism about criminal justice, for a conversation about the state of the American criminal justice system and private prisons.

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How to Fall in Love with Anyone with Mandy Len Catron
Jul
11
6:30 PM18:30

How to Fall in Love with Anyone with Mandy Len Catron

Mandy Len Catron, Author, How to Fall In Love with Anyone; Professor,  English and Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia; Editor, The Love Story Project
Moira Weigel, Author, Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating; Editor, Logic Magazine, PhD candidate, Yale University - Moderator

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

Whether you’re dating and dubious about love or deep in a relationship, Mandy’s mix of history, science, theory, and personal experience will make you question the unwritten scripts we follow in love and relationships. Mandy Len 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, Mandy Len Catron is a writer living and working in Vancouver, BC. She’s writing about love and love stories at The Love Story Project. She teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.

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Take a Wild Uber Ride with Adam Lashinsky
Jun
14
6:30 PM18:30

Take a Wild Uber Ride with Adam Lashinsky

Adam Lashinsky, Fortune journalist and author of the best seller "Inside Apple"
Kara Swisher, Executive Editor of Recode - Moderator

Uber makes headlines every day--both complimentary and controversial--and since its launch in 2009, it’s been one of the top companies on the minds and phones of millions worldwide. But what do we really know about Uber, and more importantly, what lies ahead?

Uber’s last eight years as a leader in the on-demand economy has found the company battling lawmakers and competitors in emerging markets, facing protests and riots in cities from Paris to Mumbai, hustling to build the first self-driving car, and responding to major employee allegations, to name just a few challenges. CEO Travis Kalanick is known as a ruthless businessman, appearing in the news almost as often as the Silicon Valley giant he runs. There’s talk of an IPO, with the company valued at billions, and competition from the likes of Google and Lyft. Uber continues to rise in value and global impact even while questions around finances, leadership, valuation, and the future arise, so the question remains--what else should the public know?

Join Adam Lashinsky, Fortune journalist and author of the best seller Inside Apple, for a conversation about his new book Wild Ride: Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination, diving deep into the Uber universe and what’s on the horizon for the company the world can’t seem to stop using or talking about every day.

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Tartine All Day Every Day
May
25
6:30 PM18:30

Tartine All Day Every Day

Elizabeth Prueitt, Co-Founder, Tartine Bakery; Co-Founder, Tartine Manufactury; Co-Founder, Coffee Manufactury; James Beard Award Winner for Best Pastry Chef; Author "Tartine All Day"
Gabriela Camera, Owner and Executive Chef, Cala Restaurant
Kate Sofis, CEO, SFMade.org - Moderator

We all love food, but Elizabeth Prueitt LOVES food. From baking some of Bay Area’s favorite bread at Tartine to launching her new venture Tartine Manufactory (we hear she’s most excited about the soft-serve ice cream machines) the James Beard Award winning pastry chef always brings the best to the table. 

Join Prueitt in conversation with others blazing trails in the Bay Area culinary world, including Gabriela Cámara, owner and executive chef of ten restaurants including the local Cala, as they discuss effecting social change through food, creativity, entrepreneurship and more. 

Prueitt’s latest cookbook, Tartine All Day makes her popular food and recipes accessible to the broader community, with a hands-on approach not always seen in a gadget-driven world. Come be inspired to cook, eat, and do better with Elisabeth Prueitt and friends!


This is a Good Lit Program, underwritten by the Osher Foundation.

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One Nation Under Stress: How Social Connection Can Heal Us
May
16
6:30 PM18:30

One Nation Under Stress: How Social Connection Can Heal Us

Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A., United States Surgeon General; Co-Founder, VISIONS; Co-Founder, Doctors for America

“America’s Doctor”, Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A. was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2013 as the 19th United States Surgeon General, and he continues to serve under the current administration. Dr. Murthy is the first Surgeon General of Indian descent and the youngest Surgeon General of modern times.

As Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy is responsible for communicating the best available scientific information to the public regarding ways to improve personal and public health. Dr. Murthy is focused on tackling our country's most urgent public health issues. During his tenure, he has created initiatives to end our country's opioid crisis, reduce tobacco-related diseases, and create a culture of prevention in America grounded in physical sctivity, nutrition, and emotional well-being. In 2017, Dr. Murthy will continue his efforts to build a culture of prevention, tackling one of the root causes of illness - chronic stress - while promoting efforts to improve emotional well-being.

Dr. Murthy's commitment to medicine and health began early in life. The son of immigrants from India, he discovered he discovered the art of healing in his father's medical clinic in Miami, Florida. A believer in the power of community, he co-founded VISIONS, a peer-to-peer HIV/AIDS education program in India, and the Swasthya project ("health and well-being" in Sanskrit), a community health partnership that trained women to defy the odds in their patriarchal villages and become health care providers and educators. As a healthcare entrepreneur, Dr. Murthy co-founded a technology company to improve research collaboration in clinical trials that is powering research studies around the world. He also co-founded Doctors for America, a non-profit with more than 16,000 physician and medical student members from all 50 states dedicated to creating a high-quality, affordable health care system for all.

Join INFORUM for a conversation with Dr. Murthy on the urgent need to cultivate emotional well-being as a pillar of personal and public health, and how emotional well-being might be the best prescription not only for ourselves and our communities, but for the future of our country.

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Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant: Option B
May
4
7:00 PM19:00

Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant: Option B

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook; Author, Option B
Adam Grant, Wharton Professor; Author, Option B

Join Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, authors of Option B, as they talk about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks. After the sudden death of her husband, Sandberg felt certain she and her children would never feel pure joy again. Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are steps people can take to recover and even rebound. Option B combines Sandberg’s emotional insights and Grant’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. The authors will share what they’ve learned about helping others in crisis; developing compassion for ourselves; raising strong children; and creating resilient families, communities and workplaces. Many of these lessons can be applied to ordinary struggles, allowing people to build resilience for whatever lies ahead. Sandberg and Grant will discuss the capacity of the human spirit to persevere . . . and to rediscover joy.

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Ben Shapiro: Rules for Debating the Left
Apr
24
6:30 PM18:30

Ben Shapiro: Rules for Debating the Left

Ben Shapiro, Editor-in-Chief of Daily Wire, Host of "The Ben Shapiro Show", New York Times best-selling Author and Attorney

Ben Shapiro has made a name for himself as a prominent young conservative voice in our nation’s political dialogue. At the age of 17, Ben became the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in America as a part of the Creators Syndicate. He was the Editor-At-Large for Breitbart, co-founded the media watchdog website Truth Revolt, has written several successful books and also started his own law practice. Today, he's the Editor-in-Chief of Daily Wire, Host of the number one conservative podcast on iTunes "The Ben Shapiro Show", and has almost half a million Twitter followers who engage in discussion and debate with him every day. Ben is a California native, and is a graduate of both UCLA and Harvard Law School.

Ben is frequently called upon to offer his opinion on controversial political and social issues, including everything from the role of the media in our society to the rise of Black Lives Matter to Jews in the United States. He’s known for his confrontational approach and is never one to back down during a heated exchange.

Ben welcomes agreement and argument alike, so we hope that you’ll join us for an in-depth conversation. Bring your questions!

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