Skip to main content

This week in civics: Celebrate Juneteenth, meet Matt Dorsey and explore queer faith

Looking for more ways to get involved? This summer we’re launching a public events calendar packed full of events that can help connect you to the city. You can check out a preview of the calendar here.

Celebrate Juneteenth

Whether you call it Freedom Day, Jubilee, Black Independence Day—or by its original namesake, Juneteenth—June 19 commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States.

It’s also a time to pay tribute to African American culture, and there are many ways to do that, from patronizing Black-owned businesses, reading books by Black authors or by watching a Black-directed film. 

You don’t even have to wait until June 19. Any day is a good day to recognize all the things that Black folks have given to this country and the world. However, given that Juneteenth is right around the corner, there are many Juneteenth-adjacent celebrations of Black life, joy and culture scheduled between now and the holiday in question.

Children with the "Dancing Queen Dollz", a dance group from San Francisco join the annual Juneteenth Parade rolls through the Fillmore District neighborhood on Saturday 14, 2014 | Michael Macor/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Here are a few highlights to check out this weekend: 

First Annual Juneteenth Festival at Jerry Garcia Amphitheater

Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, 100 John F. Shelley Dr.
Saturday, June 18,  12 p.m. – 5 p.m. | Free

    Visitacion Valley Juneteenth Outdoor Celebration 

    Outdoors Inc, 1430 Sunnydale Ave.
    Saturday, June 18, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Free

      For a full list of Juneteenth events, check out our roundup here

      – Meaghan Mitchell

      Middle Ground

      Exploratorium, Pier 15 (Embarcadero at Green Street)
      Wednesday, June 15, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. | Free

      Courtesy of Exploratorium

      Ever wondered why you think about others in a particular way? Or how others perceive you? All summer long and into the fall, the Exploratorium is inviting the public to learn how humans connect with each other and why we do the things we do in our everyday lives. Middle Ground is a free hands-on experience for people of all ages to come and discover more about themselves and the people around them. There will also be a coffee cart and staff members to help guide you through the exhibition. (RT)

      Drag Me to the St. Francis

      The Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell St.
      Thursday, June 16, 7 p.m. | $45+

      Courtesy of Lady Bunny

      Party for Pride at this drag extravaganza benefitting the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. Drag artists Willam from RuPaul’s Drag Race, Lady Bunny, Derrick Barry, Meatball, Shannel, Stasha Sanchez, Mimi Marks, Nebraska Thunderf*ck and Heklina will take the stage in the St. Francis’ Grand Ballroom. (MJT & CJC)

      Pride in the Park 

      Nancy Pelosi Dr. and Bowling Green Dr. in Golden Gate Park
      Saturday, June 18, 3 p.m. | $100+

      The National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Pride celebration happens on June 18 with food, drinks, music and family activities to commemorate Juneteenth and 50 years of Title IX. (MJT)

      Everything is F*cked: How to Thrive in a Post-Roe World 

      PianoFight SF, 144 Taylor Street
      Saturday, June 18, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. | $30 - $45

      The hosts of the Vicious Cycle Podcast will host a live taping of their 100th episode at PianoFight. They’re tackling the timely topic of abortion rights with humor to bring some lightness to the fight for body autonomy in the United States. Kate Elston, Meghann Hayes and Meg Trowbridge discuss the history of abortion and ways you can help support abortion access resources with parody songs and games. All proceeds will be donated to abortion funds that help people in states with limited abortion access get medical care. (CJC) 

      Native Contemporary Arts Festival 

      Esplanade, Yerba Buena Gardens, Mission St. between 3rd & 4th Streets
      Sunday, June 19, 12 p.m. - 3 p.m. | Free

      Courtesy of the Native Contemporary Arts Festival.

      If you’re not bothered to host a cookout for Father’s Day, come to the Native Contemporary Arts Festival in Yerba Buena Gardens. For hundreds of years, colonization tried to wipe out the history and existence of North America’s indigenous peoples, but through adversity, their community kept the arts alive. This Sunday is the 24th annual Native Contemporary Arts Festival, made up of native music, traditional dance, poetry, visual arts, and crafts. Come out and support local indigenous artists. (RT)

      Old School Town Hall with New District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey

      Manny’s, 3092 16th St.
      June 20, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. | Free

      Matt Dorsey speaks to the crowd at his swearing-in ceremony after he is nominated as District 6 Supervisor by Mayor London Breed on May 9, 2022. | Camille Cohen

      Get to know new District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey at this intimate, in-person only town hall hosted by the civics-focused cafe and events space Manny’s. It’s the perfect time to quiz Dorsey, who was appointed by Mayor London Breed to the Board of Supervisors to replace new Assemblymember Matt Haney in May. (CJC)

      Queer Faith Space 

      Manny’s, 3092 16th St.
      Wednesday, June 15, 7 p.m. | $5 – $12

      Chaplain Claire Chuck Bohman, head of the multi-faith spiritual care center at SF General Hospital, and Buddhist Reverend Daigan Gather lead a conversation on the latest aspects of queer spiritual practice at Manny’s. (MJT) 

      Drag & Spirituality: Gender Diverse – The Spirit, The Body, The Artist

      Saturday, June 18, 12:00 p.m. | Free

      Ashlé Blow, The Dragon King, and Bobby Friday join Champlain B0NNi33 Vi0L3T and Glide Memorial Church to explore the intersection of spirituality, gender and drag. (MJT)


      Pediatric Vaccines for Children

      Malcolm X Academy, 200-398 Harbor Rd.
      Tuesday, June 14, 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. | Free

      For all the Bayview-Hunters Point parents with littles ages 5-11, there is a free pediatric vaccination site at Malcolm X Academy. San Francisco Department of Public Health and San Francisco Unified School District have put together school-based clinics, which will provide vaccines for your kids every Tuesday. (RT)

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

      Filed Under