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This Week in Civics: See the World’s Libraries, Fireworks at the Wharf and the Meaning of Home

Written by The Standard StaffContributors Charlotte Ehrlich, Garrett Leahy, Lisa Moreno, Meaghan MitchellPublished Jun. 27, 2022 • 9:00am
Calgary, a vibrant city shaped by cowboys and oil money, is like the Houston of Canada. The new Central Library, designed by the renowned architectural firm Snøhetta, is a dynamic expression of the community’s spirit. | Robert Dawson / Provided by Kate Patterson/SFPL

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The Global Library Project 

San Francisco Main Library, Jewett Gallery – Lower Level, 100 Larkin St. 
Through November 13 | Free

San Francisco residents and life-long partners Robert Dawson and Ellen Manchester believe that libraries are one of the few non-commercial public spaces we have left in the world today. They took their enthusiasm for libraries to the next level by traveling around the world to photograph them.

The Public Library: A Photographic Essay, which the couple published, features 150 photos and a collection of essays from well-known writers like Bill Moyers, Amy Tan, and Ann Patchett and highlights the crucial function of public libraries in bringing literacy, education, and hope to citizens across the United States and beyond. 

For five years, this refugee camp, known as “The Jungle,” was home to over eight thousand migrants trying to reach England via the nearby Port of Calais. The books in this library once offered education and sanctuary, but they disappeared with the refugees when the camp was destroyed by the French government in 2016. | Robert Dawson/ Provided by San Francisco Public Library

According to Dawson and Manchester, “Libraries are one of the few non-commercial public spaces we have in the world today. By providing a place to gather, to share stories, to read, to get on the internet, to research rare historical documents or to learn new skills, a library is our ‘commons’—what we share as a society and what we need to take responsibility for.”

Since publishing the book in 2014, the couple and their son, Walker Dawson, researched public and private libraries around the world traveling to places like Canada, Europe and the Middle East to capture the institutions on film and develop their photographs into an exhibit at the San Francisco Public Library.

 The family dubbed the collection The Global Library Exhibition and will give visitors the opportunity to travel in the family’s footsteps to places like “The Jungle” refugee camp in France, haunted former synagogues turned libraries in Poland, libraries in the currently-conflicted Ukraine, and a Russian State Library for Young Adults in Moscow. They also studied libraries serving refugees in Greece, Italy and Israel. 

Meaghan M. Mitchell


The Future of Abortion Rights in California: A Gathering of Voices

The Commonwealth Club of California, 110 The Embarcadero
Tuesday, June 28, 4 p.m. | $0-$25

People listen as San Francisco Mayor London Breed delivers a speech during the Womens March at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, January 19, 2019. | Yalonda M James/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling last Friday, California—one of few states that would maintain full abortion access—is preparing for a potential rush of patients nationwide. Join California abortion rights leaders and legislators in a discussion about expanding abortion access to all, regardless of financial situation or residency status in the state. After the conversation, there’s a reception on the rooftop deck and a film screening of The Janes, a documentary about an underground abortion network before the 1973. Roe v. Wade ruling. (CE)

National Iranian American Council San Francisco Civic Training

Address available upon RSVP
Wednesday, June 29, 2022, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.| Free

The National Iranian American Council is hosting a two-hour civic training event focused on educating San Franciscans on national political and government mechanisms. The council was formed in the midst of increased Islamophobia that was galvanized by the September 11 attacks. Now, the organization hopes to build political power through lobbying and educating their community and allies about the ways they can protest governmental decisions. The training will discuss the use of grassroots advocacy to promote positive change through ordinary actions. In addition to discussing our possible influences on the government, the event aims to connect Bay Area allies. (LM)

Author Malinda Lo will discuss her book Last Night at the Telegraph Club virtually with library audiences. | Provided by San Francisco Public Library

Author: Malinda Lo on her new book, set in 1950s Chinatown

Virtual Library
Wednesday, June 29, 12 p.m. | Free 

To add to your list of ways to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community this month, San Francisco Public Library is hosting New York Times bestselling author Malinda Lo to speak about her book, Last Night at the Telegraph Club. The story takes place right at home, with main characters Lily Hu and Kathleen Miller attending Galileo High School in 1954. The two learn to manage their love story in a time of racial exclusion, homophobia and conservatism. The event is a great way to celebrate not just Pride, but also Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander month. (CE)

Home in the Bay | A Reading Series

Virtual
Wednesday, June 29, 5 p.m. | Free

Aunt Lute Books, a local and independent book publishing company is hosting a virtual reading featuring the works of authors and poets of color exploring themes of homelessness, gentrification, migration, and colonization. Speakers featured include Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu, a UC Davis Post-Doctoral Fellow, Norman Antonio Zelaya, an SF born-and-raised poet, and members of the Povery Skolas from POOR Magazine, a non-profit arts organization based in Oakland. (GL)

Discussing Asian American Communities and Culture at Manny’s

Manny’s, 3092 16th St
Thursday, June 30th, 6 – 7 p.m. and 7:30  – 8:30 p.m. | $5 – $12

The #SaferPlace campaign pushes for an end to street harassment of AAPI groups. | Courtesy Stop AAPI Hate

Manny’s will be hosting back-to-back panels discussing street harassment and violence against marginalized groups and racism against Asian communities. 

In light of the spike in AAPI hate crimes since the onset of Covid, Stop AAPI Hate, which tracks AAPI hate incidents, will hold a conversation about how to create a safer environment for vulnerable communities by banding together to address hate crimes.

The second panel will discuss how colorism has affected the lives of Filipinx Americans and features Jessica Rae, who owns a local dance studio and talent agency, and Frances Belleza, a yoga teacher at local studio Haum. (GL)

4th at the Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf, 100 Jefferson Street
Monday, July 4, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. | Free

Fireworks at Fisherman’s Wharf on July 4, 2005. | Liz Hafalia/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Lucky for San Franciscans, time-honored Independence Day traditions will prevail despite looming fire risks, as the city has approved two shows. The fireworks will be launched simultaneously at the end of the Municipal Pier and from a barge in the Bay near Pier 39 so that spectators can see the show at every angle. It begins around 9:30 p.m. and lasts around half an hour. 

All restaurants, activities and retail shops around the wharf will remain open all day, beginning at around 9 a.m. until the firework show. Listen to live music at Aquatic Park, take an hour-long bay cruise, and get mesmerized by exhibits at the Aquarium of the Bay. 

If you have a little too much fun on the Fourth (and some other major holidays!), the Law Office of Chuck Geerhart is offering free Uber, Lyft and cab rides to prevent drunk driving. Simply mail in your receipt and photo ID within 10 business days to the office. Some rules apply: the trip must cost less than $25, riders must be 21+ and the ride must take place in the city within the hours of 5 p.m. the day of and 10 a.m. the following day. (CE)


FYI: USPS Career Fair – San Francisco and the Peninsula

1300 Evans Ave.
Wednesday, June 29, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Free

It’s never been easier to get a job at USPS thanks to their weekly career fairs. If you’re interested, show up bright and early Wednesday where HR staff, local postmasters and managers will be there to guide you through an online application process. They’ll provide you with helpful tips, and you don’t even have to bring your own computer to apply—they’ll have ones for you onsite. There are several openings ranging from Lead Automotive Technician to City Carrier, and staff will be happy to talk you through the details of the job and benefits like dental and vision insurance. (CE)

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The Standard Staff can be reached at [email protected]


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