War Comes Home - SFPL and SFSU Explore Veterans’ Experiences as part of Statewide Program

For Immediate Release: Nov. 4, 2014 Media Contact: Michelle Jeffers Michelle.Jeffers@sfpl.org; (415) 557-4282

War Comes Home

San Francisco Public Library and San Francisco State University Explore Veterans’ Experiences as part of Statewide Program with Talks, Exhibits, Books & Resources


In partnership with Cal Humanities’ War Comes Home, a multi-year initiative to raise awareness of and promote greater understanding of our veterans and explore the impact of war on our communities, San Francisco Public Library and San Francisco State University celebrate our veterans with programs, exhibits and readings throughout the month. To commemorate Veteran’s Day on November 11, the Library’s On the Same Page citywide book club featured title for the fall is What It Is Like to Go to War (Grove/Atlantic 2011), by New York Times bestselling author, Karl Marlantes. This account of combat during the Vietnam War is this year’s California Reads selection of Cal Humanities, in partnership with the California Center for the Book. In connection with the book club, SFPL and San Francisco State University are co-hosting a number of public programs and exhibits: Women veterans are the fastest growing cohort of the veteran population. Join us on Nov. 5 for Experiences of Women Veterans, a panel discussion with Star Lara, Dottie Guy and Kelly McFarland from Swords to Ploughshares, at the Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St. On Nov. 6, author and photographer Tom Graves will discuss his book, Twice Heroes, which features portraits of Nisei veterans and explores the experiences of Japanese American veterans before, during and after World War II. This event will be held in the Main Library’s Latino Hispanic Community Room. On Nov. 8, Defending Our Stories/Commemorating Our Veterans will honor courageous Filipinos who fought for the survival of families and communities on both sides of the Pacific in the Main Library’s Latino Hispanic Community Room. Mental health issues, compounded by unemployment and substance abuse, lead many veterans into the criminal justice system. Adrian James, Roland Holmes, and Henry White from the San Francisco Community of Veterans Engaged in Restoration (COVER) program will lead a panel discussion in the Main Library’s Koret Auditorium on Nov. 18, Veterans & the Prison Industrial Complex. Native American Veterans, on Nov. 19, features a panel discussion about the geographical distances and economic challenges that make it difficult for these veterans to access the resources and programs they need. This event will take place in the Main Library’s Koret Auditorium. On view on the Main Library’s 4th Floor is the exhibit, Heal! Veterans & Their Service Dogs. This exhibit is a documentary project by San Francisco photographer Vicki Topaz. The images and stories portray the difficult journeys of military personnel who face a long road to recovery from traumatic experiences while in-service, and the help they receive from their steadfast and highly trained companions - their service dogs. The project emphasizes the strength and healing power of the human/canine bond and how it redirects the veteran's focus away from the symptoms of post-traumatic stress, nourishing their will to live and a desire to heal themselves. To learn more about the project, please visit http://healveterans.com/. The exhibit is on view through Jan. 8, 2015. Coming Home: A Veteran’s Artwork Exhibition will be on view Nov. 13 through Jan. 15 at The Art Gallery, Associated Students Inc., San Francisco State University, terrace level of the Cesar Chavez Student Center. The exhibition strives to bridge the gap between the disparate experiences of veterans and civilians by utilizing the singular power of art to express that which defies expression. By providing veterans with the opportunity to speak about the way that their experiences have impacted their perception of home, the Art Gallery will give the public unusual access to their changed perspectives. As part of War Comes Home, the Art Gallery will create a platform for education, discussion, connection, and healing. For more information visit www.asiartgallery.wordpress.com. The StoryCorps booth at the San Francisco Main Library will also be recording veterans’ stories this month as part of the initiative. For more than a decade, 2.4 million men and women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan while millions of families have stood behind them at home. The military community knows well the challenges of multiple deployments, combat-injuries, and long-awaited homecomings. Yet few civilians truly understand the complex realities of our troops’ service and sacrifice. StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative provides a platform for veterans, service members, and military families to share their stories. In doing so we honor their voices, amplify their experiences, and let them know that we—as a nation—are listening. Tell your story at the StoryCorps booth at San Francisco Public Library by calling (415) 557-4277 or sending an email to programming@sfpl.org. The San Francisco Public Library is also participating in Veterans Connect @ the Library. In partnership with the California Department of Veterans affairs, San Francisco Public Library will be opening a Veteran Resource Center (VRC) on the 5th Floor of the Main Library, starting in December. The VRC will be run by trained volunteers who will provide veterans’ benefits and local service information to veterans and family members. Veterans will be able to learn about state and federal education, employment, housing, health, disability and other benefits that may be available to them and their families. The VRC will have a collection of books and other resources for veterans, as well as providing access to computer equipment for extended periods in order to complete online application and do research. To find out more, contact the Learning Center at (415) 557-4388.

November 4, 2014