Skip to main content

This week in civics: Rethink sex, graffiti with mom and #StopAsianHate

Reflections on Contemporary Asian American Activism

Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Public Library Main Branch, 100 Larkin St.
Saturday, May 14, 2 - 5 p.m. | Free

May is Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and San Francisco is pulling out all the stops with plenty of arts and cultural programming. It’s also a time to reflect on the political and civic contributions of Asian Americans to San Francisco and the Bay Area at large. 

On Saturday, May 14, the San Francisco Public Library will host a panel on contemporary Asian American activism and a remembrance of Filipino youth activist Amado Rodriguez, who tragically passed away while serving Indigenous communities in the Philippines two years ago. 

The panelists include: 

    Protesters in front of the International Hotel in San Francisco January 1977, 7 months before San Francisco Sheriff's deputies evicted the elderly mostly Filipino tenants. | Nancy Wong, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

    The book will be a focal point of the panel discussion as well as the current state and future of Asian American activism in the Bay Area. Rodriguez hopes that discussion of Contemporary Asian American Activism can bring visibility to the significant ways that Asian Americans have been involved in historic civil rights and labor movements as far back as the 1960s and ’70s as well as more modern social justice movements such as #MeToo, Occupy and Black Lives Matter, and highlight the connections between the Asian American activism of today and the past.  

    “A lot of attention has been paid to just the recent response to anti-Asian hate, when, in fact, some of this recent response is possible because of several decades of work in the Asian American community,” said Rodriguez, whose son Amado will be remembered during the event. “I feel like it gives people a chance to hear about these wonderful histories that maybe people didn't realize… existed.” 

    Rodriguez says that the panel will “celebrate and showcase several generations of Asian American activism and organizing in the Bay Area” and allow the audience to hear from Gen Z activists, who are taking the movement in new directions centered on “interracial solidarity,” trans and gender justice as well as activism that “actually goes far beyond just addressing anti-Asian hate.”  

    —Christina J. Campodonico 

    Homelessness Town Hall at Manny's

    Manny’s, 3092 16th St.
    Monday, May 16, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. | Free

    San Franciscans have a lot to say—and ask—about the city's homelessness and housing crisis. We want to know the city's plan to keep the streets clean and how long it takes to get an affordable housing project built. Most importantly, what will it take to abolish homelessness in the city? Shireen McSpadden, Director of SF’s Homelessness and Supportive Housing, and Sam Dodge, Director of the Healthy Streets Operation Center, will be in Manny's for a live Q&A to discuss some of these concerns. This is part of a new monthly town hall series designed to bring local leaders and the general public together. (MM)

    Girls Graffiti Workshop with Moms

    Historic Clarion Alley, Clarion Alley
    Tuesday, May 10, 4 p.m. | Free

    Nina Wright and Nyia Luna, two local artists, believe that young women in San Francisco should take up more space—public space, that is. If you couldn’t get enough of hanging out with mom over the weekend, or if you’re a mom looking for something fun to do with your teen, consider taking a graffiti lesson at Historic Clarion Alley. Wright, the founder of Graffiti Camp for Girls, started the organization to help young women who are passionate about graffiti feel confident. “The graffiti scene is dominated by men, and as the only girl, I often felt lonely and intimidated,” Wright explained. “It’s all about empowering women.” Spray painting will be taught and all materials are provided. (MM)

    District 5 Budget Town Hall with Supervisor Dean Preston 

    Monday, May 9, 6 p.m. 

    Supervisor Dean Preston wants to hear from you if you live in District 5! The annual budgeting process for the city is underway, and his office needs your input to prioritize spending in your neighborhood within his district, which is—through the redistricting process—now the new home of the Tenderloin. Come prepared with questions and recommendations. (MM)

    Listening Sessions for Bayview Residents

    Tuesday, May 10, 6 - 7:30 p.m. | Topic: Economic & Workforce Development
    Wednesday, May 11, 6 - 7:30 p.m.  | Topic: Arts, Culture & Cultural Competency

    Do you live in the Bayview neighborhood? If so, the San Francisco African American Arts & Cultural District (SFAAACD) would like to hear from you. They are currently holding a series of community listening sessions to discuss the Cultural History, Housing, and Economic Sustainability Strategies (CHHESS) report. Through these discussions, SFAAACD will learn from the community and identify district priorities related to preserving Black culture in San Francisco. The community's input is critical in identifying priorities that will help shape the CHHESS report! Listening sessions will be in person or virtually, and all participants will receive a $25 incentive for their time and input. To better understand the community's nuanced and diverse perspectives, these sessions have specific dates. Each affinity group was formed to celebrate Bayview-Hunters Point residents' diverse interests and skillsets. Sign up and make sure your voice is heard. (MM) 

    The 400 Year Holocaust at  Koret Auditorium

    Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Public Library Main Branch, 100 Larkin St.
    Wednesday, May 11, 5 p.m. | Free

    Why is there such an outcry against critical race theory? Join author and San Francisco native Dante King for a lecture that will unpack white America's anti-Blackness. King examines the legal history of white colonialism in the United States and its impact on modern-day America in his book, The 400-Year Holocaust. In this lecture, King will present research that inspired the book and has shaped his work in racial equity, repair, relief and inclusion strategies. Following the lecture will be a book signing. (MM)

    Eat, Drink and Be Giving

    Tupelo, 1337 Grant Ave.
    Wednesday, May 11, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. | $150 per person

    If you have to party on a Wednesday, why not party to fight against sexual assault? All proceeds will go towards San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR). For almost 50 years, SFWAR has continued to bring resources and advocacy to survivors and people impacted by sexual violence in San Francisco. The overturn of Roe v. Wade this past week has left many unsure of the health and safety of women and femmes everywhere in the U.S. SFWAR aims to address that worry and create a support system of equity for all residents of San Francisco. Tickets to this event will get you the entire V.I.P. experience at Tupelo with an open bar, food, live music by Shantytown and other special guests. (RT)

    Wednesday, May 11, 7 p.m. | Free; suggested $10 donation or pay what you can

    If you’d rather stay in on a school night and study, you can log in to the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) where Christine Emba, reporter and Washington Post columnist, and Michelle Marzullo, program chair of the department of human sexuality, dive into the complexities of consent. Emba believes your sex life should start with consent—but not stop there. Join this virtual discussion about the “very real emotional, mental, social, and political implications of sex” in our pursuit of satisfaction for others—and ourselves. (RT)

    Local Abortion Rights Actions

    Various Times & Locations

    Carrying signs and chanting slogans, protesters marched from Mid-Market to the Mission District in San Francisco on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 following news that the Supreme Court intends to overturn Roe v. Wade in a future decision. | Camille Cohen

    With the Supreme Court poised to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights, pro-choice advocates are on edge about the future of reproductive health access in the U.S. 

    Last week, hundreds marched in the city after a draft decision by Justice Samuel Alito revealing the court’s intent leaked to Politico. While San Francisco and the world wait for a final decision expected in the coming months, some may wonder what they can do to make their voices heard and learn more about the issue. 

    On Monday, May 9, civics-focused cafe and events space Manny’s hosts a discussion exploring what a post-Roe world might look like in California and beyond with a panel of political, activist and medical experts.  

    On Saturday, May 14, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund partners with Women’s March San Francisco for a reproductive rights rally in the civic heart of San Francisco. Sign up for the demonstration here

    Check for an ongoing list of abortion rights actions here. (CJC)

    Immigration Stories of Asian American Women: Here Is Happiness 


    Sunday, May 15, 2 - 5 p.m. | Free
    Listen to an afternoon of hopeful immigrant stories told by Asian American women and hosted by the Asian Art Museum. Storytellers include Japanese Korean storyteller Alton Takiyama-Chung, whose tales are spun from Asian folktales and the magic of Hawaii,  Eleanor Clement Glass, whose personal stories are inspired by her Black and Filipina heritages, and Janet Liu, who immigrated from Taiwan to the U.S. at age 10 and found success through powerful educational opportunities. (CJC)

    Christina Campodonico, Meaghan Mitchell and Rosalie Tapavalu contributed additional reporting for this story.