San Francisco Rolls Out Red Carpet for Bay Area Native Chanel Miller


2021 One City One Book selection, Know My Name: A Memoir, inspires free public program series touching on topics of feminism and sexual assault awareness

Author Chanel Miller with the cover of her book

San Francisco — San Francisco Public Library is ready for its annual and highly anticipated citywide literary event, One City One Book: San Francisco Reads, which encourages everyone to read the same book at the same time and then join in lively discussions through a variety of public programs. This year the City is celebrating Bay Area-native Chanel Miller, author of the critically acclaimed, New York Times bestseller Know My Name: A Memoir.

"My community taught me that my words hold weight, they hold worth,” says Miller. “Being heard shouldn't be an unexpected gift, it should be a given. I was saved because people listened."

Miller’s breathtaking memoir “gives readers the privilege of knowing her not just as Emily Doe, but as Chanel Miller the writer, the artist, the survivor, the fighter” (The Wrap). Her story of trauma and transcendence illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicting a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shining with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life. Know My Name forever transforms the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing.

This year’s One City One Book program coincides with the Library’s annual HERstory Women’s History Month celebration and Sexual Assault Awareness Month—a cause championed by Miller. During the months of March and April 2021, San Francisco Public Library presents a variety of events surrounding the topics in the book as well as a small exhibit on the exterior of the Main Library that complements an installation by the author at the Asian Art Museum. Programs include a new Bite Size Book Club where the book will be discussed in sections; a panel with the feminist artist collective the Guerilla Girls; a panel discussion with philosopher and gender theorist Judith Butler and artist Isaac Julien on Frederick Douglass and feminism and a panel of local female artists and activists who are making their mark on the Bay Area. The One City One Book celebration will culminate in a virtual event—a conversation between Miller and local media artist Robynn Takayama—on March 16. Full program details and registration information can be found on Brief descriptions follow.

Friends of the San Francisco Public Library has made Know My Name by Chanel Miller available for online purchase and home delivery. Visit to order a hardcover edition or paperback.


Book Clubs

Bite Size Book Club Chanel Miller, Know My Name – Jan. 3, Feb. 7, March 7, 3 p.m. 
San Francisco Public Library invites the public to discuss the 16th annual One City One Book selection, Chanel Miller’s Know My Name over three meetings on the first Sunday of the month leading up to Miller’s virtual library appearance on March 16. 

Suggested Chapters for Book Club Meets:

Jan. 3 - Chapter 1 - 5 and the introduction; Feb. 7 - Chapter 6-12 and March 7 - Chapter 13 - Victim Impact Statement


More Opportunities to Join the Conversation
Book Club: Chanel Miller, Know My Name – Feb 18, 6p.m. 

Book Club: Chanel Miller, Know My Name – March 13, 11 a.m.

Know Your Name: Resources, Arts, Poetry, Writing and Healing – Monday’s in March and April – Starts Mar. 1, 7 p.m.
Know Your Name is a series created around our 16th One City One Book, events related to Chanel Miller and her book Know My Name. We will explore a broad range of topics, from sexual assault, survivor resources, gender and system oppression, healing through art, feminism and more. Kicking off the series will be Virgie Tovar, author, podcaster, icon. Tovar will discuss fatphobia and trauma.

Panel: Judith Butler, Celeste-Marie Bernier and Isaac Julien in conversation – March 4, 12 p.m.
While widely acknowledged as an icon of abolitionism, Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) is less understood as an early figure in the intersectional pursuit of human rights, a dissonance which informed filmmaker and artist Isaac Julien’s immersive moving-image installation Lessons of the Hour—Frederick Douglass (2019). In this wide-ranging conversation, Julien is joined by the celebrated philosopher and educator Judith Butler and acclaimed Douglass scholar Celeste-Marie Bernier to examine the role of the influential women in Douglass’ life and their overdue recontextualization as pioneers in the history of civil rights. Butler’s renowned scholarship in the fields of philosophy, ethics, and feminist, queer, and literary theory guides her moderation of the conversation.

This conversation is co-presented with the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts.

Registration Information:

Presentation: Women of the Marin Headlands – March 7, 11 a.m.
A partnership with National Park Service
Women’s History Month, National Park Ranger Lara Volski will provide a look at different women who have played a role in the history, stewardship, and preservation of the sea swept bluffs and coastal prairies just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Listen in to learn more about the historic role of women within coastal Miwok villages, blustery light stations, WW2 and Cold War military defense systems, and the creation of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Tune in on YouTube:

One City One Book Author Chanel Miller in conversation with Robynn Takayama – March 16, 6 p.m.  Chanel Miller will join Asian American media artist Robynn Takayama for a candid conversation about her book, art and her personal experience with sexual trauma and the California court system. 

Takayama is an Asian American media artist who presents evocative, complex stories about communities of color. In addition to interactive sound installations, Takayama contributes stories to public radio that reveal little-known intersectional histories that speak to America’s diverse populations, including the Peabody-award winning documentary series, Crossing East, on the history of Asian immigration to the United States. Turning the microphone on herself, she contributed to the Journal of Asian American Studies’ #WeToo Reader. In it, she shares her experience as an Asian American survivor, the complications that arise when the perpetrator is a family member, and the healing process she went through.

Registration Information:

Guerrilla Girls: The Art of Behaving Badly with Frida Kahlo and Kathe Kollwitz – March 24, 7 p.m. 
In celebration of their new title, Guerrilla Girls: The Art of Behaving Badly, Guerrilla Girls Frida Kahlo and Kathe Kollwitz discuss the book and their legacy, followed by a Q&A session.


Panel: International Transgender Day of Visibility – March 29, 7 p.m.
A partnership with Mirror Memoirs
In honor of Transgender Day of Visibility, Mirror Memoirs is hosting a panel of transgender, non-binary and intersex child sexual abuse survivors of color. Amita Swadhin, the Founding Co-Director, will moderate a conversation between three Mirror Memoir survivor storytellers on how our movements can better support the healing and leadership of survivors that are often left out of the conversation.


Panel: "Feel, what I felt.”  –  March 30, 7 p.m. 
A dynamic panel of fierce women artists titled "Feel, What I Felt," which was a post-it quote Chanel Miller wrote and kept as inspiration during the writing of her memoir, referenced in an interview with The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah. The panel will feature cultural creators Cece Carpio, Diana Gameros, Amara Tabor Smith and Seema Yasmin and will be moderated by Ellen Sebastian Chang. They will discuss Miller’s book, art and their artistic practices.


Workshop: Virtual Healing Circle for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Assault – April 20, 7 p.m.
A partnership with Mirror Memoirs
In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Mirror Memoirs is hosting a virtual healing circle for survivors of child sexual abuse. The healing circle will be facilitated by Mirror Memoirs Co-Directors, Amita Swadhin and Jaden Fields, and two other Core Members. This space will be a confidential space in which survivors can get grounded in their bodyminds via altar creation, guided meditation, journaling and storytelling practices, and can collectively release feelings of grief and invite practices of joy.


San Francisco Main Library Presents Artwork by Chanel Miller – mid-February to May 1, 2021
As part of its transformation and expansion, in summer 2020 the Asian Art Museum unveiled I was, I am, I will be, a three-part mural by Chanel Miller, who, in addition to being an author, is also a talented artist. Miller represents healing from trauma as an ongoing process: reflecting on the past, being mindful in the present, and envisioning the future. The tender, knowing, yet playful “characters” in I was, I am, I will be represent different stages of coping with the uncertainties and challenges of life — “unfinished sentences,” as the artist calls them, encouraging visitors to reflect on their own experiences. Visible from Hyde Street outside the museum — day and night — I was, I am, I will be is one of several public artworks commissioned by the Museum to engage the surrounding community.

To complement the installation at the Asian Art Museum, patrons can visit the exterior of the Main Library to see a small exhibit of Chanel’s work located in the vitrines along Grove Street, near the corner of Hyde. 


HERstory, the Library’s Women’s History Month Celebration, which coincides with One City One Book, is an opportunity to hear from diverse voices and provide space for youth and their families to share stories by creating art, learning about different career paths, participating in a book club or speaking directly to authors. This year, inspiring women abound in the Library’s program series for youth and families.

Panel: The Power of Story with Career Girls – March 3, 3 p.m.

Linda Calhoun, Founder and Executive Director of Career Girls, a comprehensive video-based career exploration and readiness tool for girls, facilitates a panel of diverse and accomplished women. Panelists will explore how speaking their truth has transformed their lives. The panel includes Anya Adams, an award-winning Canadian-American director who is best known for directing Black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat, and The Good Place; Sahar Jahani, a first-generation Iranian-American writer/director raised in Los Angeles who worked on Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why; Charmin Roundtree Baaqee, Oakland native, civil engineer and art curator for the East Bay Municipal Utility District; and Anne Collins Smith, Curator of Collections at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art in Atlanta.


Authors: Maika & Maritza Moulite – March 10, 5:30 p.m. 

For those interested in diverse YA literature, the Library is offering a chance to meet sister-writer duo, Maika & Maritza Moulite, authors of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine and One of the Good Ones. They will share their perspectives on writing, allyship and the power of sisterhood. The Moulites loved visiting their local library and being inspired by the books they read. 


Workshop: Introduction to Drawing Real vs Manga Faces with Karen Luk – March 15, 4 p.m.  

Karen Luk, whose work has been featured at the Cartoon Art Museum and Google, brings an introductory course to drawing and comparing realistic and manga style face art.


Panel: Women Building the Presidio Tunnel Tops – March 22, 3:30 p.m. 

Meet the women behind the construction of the Presidio Tunnel Tops project. Hear about the all-women project management team’s journey to building parks facilitated by a Crissy Field Center youth leader.  


Workshop: Introduction to Spot Art with Alejandra – March 29, 4 p.m. and March 31, 4 p.m.

Alejandra G. Ramirez, a Salinas and Bay Area artist, presents spot art with a focus on renowned artist Yayoi Kusama and returns to share Dolores Huerta’s influence in the American Labor movement. Both of Alejandra’s workshops will have projects that use easy-to-find household items.  


About the Author
Chanel Miller is a writer and artist who received her BA in Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her critically acclaimed memoir, Know My Name, was a New York Times bestseller, a New York Times Book Review Notable Book, and a National Book Critics Circle Award winner, as well as a best book of 2019 in Time, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, NPR, and People, among others. She is a 2019 Time Next 100 honoree and a 2016 Glamour Woman of the Year honoree under her pseudonym “Emily Doe.”

Editorial Reviews

“Compelling and essential…Miller reminds us that our stories are worth telling, that the names and the lives attached to those names matter.” ─San Francisco Chronicle


Know My Name is an act of reclamation. On every page, Miller unflattens herself, returning from Victim or Emily Doe to Chanel, a beloved daughter and sister…Know My Name marks the debut of a gifted young writer. Miller’s words are purpose. They are maps. And she is a treasure who has prevailed.”─Jennifer Weiner, The New York Times

“In this powerful, gutsy memoir, Miller—the sexual assault survivor in the Stanford case—reclaims her name and her story.”—The New York Times Book Review

Know My Name is a blistering, beautifully written account of a courageous young woman’s struggle to hold a sexual predator accountable. Stand back, folks: This book is going to give a huge blast of momentum to the #MeToo movement.”─Jon Krakauer

“In a perfect world, Know My Name would be required reading for every police officer, detective, prosecutor, provost and judge who deals with victims of sexual assault.” ─LA Times

“Triumphant…Know My Name evokes a woman whose spirit hasn’t been broken—a study in what it means to strike back, not in revenge, but in reclamation.”—O Magazine

“Miller distinguishes herself not only for her resilience and fortitude, but also for her power of expression. She possesses extraordinary gifts as a writer.”─The National Book Review

“Miller makes a powerful case for overhauling a system that retraumatizes victims of sexual violence even in successful cases, perpetuating the feedback loop that discourages victims from coming forward to seek justice.” ─Mother Jones

About One City One Book

One City One Book: San Francisco Reads is an annual citywide literary event that encourages members of the San Francisco community to read the same book at the same time and then discuss it in book groups and at events throughout the City. By building bridges between communities and generations through the reading and most importantly the discussion of – one book, we hope to help to make reading a lifelong pursuit and to build a more literate society. Sponsors for One City One Book include the San Francisco Public Library and Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. The program is also supported by many bookstore partners, program partners and media sponsors.

About San Francisco Public Library:

San Francisco Public Library is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community. The library system is made up of 27 neighborhood branches, the San Francisco Main Library at Civic Center and four bookmobiles. To learn more, please visit and follow on Twitter @SFPublicLibrary and on Instagram @sfpubliclibrary.


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January 26, 2021