Inspiring Women Take the Stage during Women’s History Month

For Immediate Release: February 17, 2021

Media Contact: Jaime Wong
415-214-2279 |

Inspiring Women Take the Stage during Women’s History Month
Authors, artists and activists lead essential dialogues and workshops on feminism, oppression, sexual assault and more

Herstory. past present future

San FranciscoHERStory, the Library’s celebration of Women’s History Month, features a multitude of events celebrating strength, activism, talent and fierceness.

This year, we are proud to present a series of programs titled Know Your Name, created in connection to the Library’s One City One Book title Know My Name by Chanel Miller. Miller comes to our virtual stage on March 16 to speak about her book, art and her personal experience with sexual trauma and the California court system. Every Monday evening in March and April, join the Library to hear authors, artists, activists and visionaries from all fields on a broad range of topics, from sexual assault, survivor resources, gender and system oppression, healing through art, feminism, activism and more. To kick off the series, Virgie Tovar, author, activist, podcaster and one of the nation's leading experts on weight-based discrimination and body image, leads an evening session of meditation, a short discussion and journaling. She challenges her audience to see the connection between the elements that enable rape culture and the elements that are built into the structure and ethos of how we think about gender, bodies, food and weight.

Two talks also spotlight the relationship between art and activism. Through a partnership with Chronicle Books, Guerrilla Girls Frida Kahlo and Käthe Kollwitz will discuss their new book Guerrilla Girls: The Art of Behaving Badly and their legacy, followed by a Q & A. The Guerrilla Girls are a group of political artists who have been exposing gender biases and discrimination in art and culture for over 30 years. Additionally, in the program “Feel, What I Felt,” a dynamic panel of cultural creators Cece Carpio, Diana Gameros, Amara Tabor Smith and Seema Yasmin, moderated by Ellen Sebastian Chang, hold a compelling discussion of Miller’s book, art and their artistic practices. Other events in the Know Your Name series are in partnership with the SF Human Rights Commission’s Office of Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention team (SHARP), Department on the Status of Women, SF Women Against Rape and Mirror Memoirs, along with other local organizations. A full program listing is included below.

SFPL partners with the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts as part of Isaac Julien’s immersive moving-image installation Lessons of the Hour—Frederick Douglass (October 14, 2020 – April 24, 2021). Julien, joined by the celebrated philosopher and educator Judith Butler and acclaimed Douglass scholar Celeste-Marie Bernier, examine the role of the influential women in Douglass’ life and their overdue recontextualization as pioneers in the history of civil rights.

In honor of International Women’s Month, the Library is exploring how women have contributed to our local national parks. We offer two Nature Boost virtual programs to celebrate the important living history of the women preserving, building and leading the parks. National Park Ranger Lara Volski provides a look at the historical role of women beginning with the Coastal Miwok villages to World War II and eventual creation of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. And meet the amazing women behind the construction of the new $98 million Presidio Tunnel Tops project in a live panel facilitated by a Crissy Field Center youth leader. This is an incredibly unusual team in the construction industry leading a truly transformative project in our City. Members of this team have “built California”, and have been involved in such high-profile projects as SFMOMA, University of Southern CA, the Getty Center (LA), Monterey Bay Aquarium, California Academy of Sciences and the Exploratorium.

HERstory 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. 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 and include 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.

Also bringing full star power to our stage, bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo is joined by fellow author, organizer and educator Mahogany L. Browne in a necessary conversation about social justice and equality on the heels of Acevedo’s collaboration on Browne’s recent book, Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice.

Others interested in diverse YA literature can meet sister-writer duo, Maika & Maritza Moulite, authors of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine and One of the Good Ones, as they 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.

Finally, talented teaching artists, makers and arts educators offer another avenue for youth to share their story. 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. In addition, 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.


Workshop: Know Your Name with Virgie TovarMarch 1, 7 p.m.

Panel: Celeste-Marie Bernier, Judith Butler and Isaac Julien in ConversationMarch 4, 12 p.m. A partnership with the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts

Presentation: Women of the Marin Headlands – March 7, 11 a.m.

Tahtahme Xero, Poet and Healer– March 8, 7 p.m.

Kim Shuck’s Poetry Night, One City One Book Edition – March 11, 6 p.m.

Know Your Name with Ali Blum, Artist – March 15, 7 p.m.

Author: Chanel Miller in Conversation with Journalist Robynn Takayama – March 16, 6 p.m.

Centennial of the Suffragist Portrait Monument in the U.S. Capitol – March 19, 12 p.m.

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

Ayelet Schrek, Theatre Maker and Educator – March 22, 7 p.m.

Panel: Guerrilla Girls: The Art of Behaving Badly with Frida Kahlo and Käthe Kollwitz – March 24, 7 p.m. A partnership with Chronicle Books

Panel: "Feel, What I Felt" Women Creators – March 30, 7 p.m.

Panel: International Transgender Day of Visibility – March 29, 7 p.m. A partnership with Mirror Memoirs

Kaytea Petro, Artist – April 5, 7 p.m.

Kim Shuck’s Poetry Night: One City One Book Edition – April 8, 6 p.m.

NO! The Rape Documentary and Director Talk, Aishah Shahidah Simmons – April 12, 7 p.m.

Ali Blum, Artist – April 19, 7 p.m.

Tyler Cohen, Cartoonist – April 26, 7 p.m.


Panel: The Power of Story with Career Girls – March 3, 2 p.m.

Authors: Maika & Maritza Moulite – March 9, 2 p.m.

Authors: Elizabeth Acevedo and Mahogany L. Browne in partnership with SFUSD – March 10, 2 p.m.

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

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

Workshop: Social Justice Signs with Alejandra – March 31, 4 p.m.

About HERstory

Join San Francisco Public Library for HERstory, a celebration of Women’s History Month, as we honor and acknowledge the contributions of women and the experience of being female today. The Library champions women as writers, artists and intellects, and is offering a spotlight on women’s achievements through a diverse and exciting array of virtual programs brimming with strength, activism, talent and absolute fierceness.

HERstory programs are sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

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.

# # # #

Jaime Wong she/her/hers

Public Relations Officer | San Francisco Public Library

100 Larkin Street | San Francisco, CA | 94102

(415) 214-2279 (cell)

February 17, 2021