Authors, Activists and Leaders Featured in Women’s History Month Programs at the Library

Herstory in text logo with book covers

SAN FRANCISCO – This March, get inspired by HERstory, San Francisco Public Library’s celebration of Women’s History Month, honoring and acknowledging the contributions of women and the experience of being female today. Our lineup of free programs and panels, both virtual and in-person, center around women as groundbreakers, feminism, the women’s movement and much more.

Programs for Adults and Youth

During HERstory, journalist Stephanie Foo discusses her new memoir What My Bones Know with New York Times best-selling author Esmé Weijun Wang. Dr. Seema Yasmin and Zahara Noorbakhsh share their collection of riveting, stereotype-shattering stories of Muslim women past and present. Author Robin Lowey moderates a panel featuring Jewelle Gomez, Crystal Jan and Carla Trujillo, all of whom are featured in Game Changes: Lesbians You Should Know. Meet four Black women making an impact in the fields of science, arts and public health—those are just a few of the fantastic free programs the Library has planned.  


Additionally, the Chinese Center at the Main Library showcases an exhibit with a rare and unusual look at the history of Chinese women in the U.S. Starting in 1848, many Chinese women immigrated to America to pursue a better life, gain personal freedom and further their education. For 165 years, they endured exclusion laws and discrimination. They struggled in the American legal system, fighting for the right to immigrate, live with dignity, receive a public school education and marry freely. The exhibit highlights the ordinary women who fought for their rights, and in doing so, helped shape a new world for Chinese American women in San Francisco and in the rest of the country.

SFPL’s celebration of women leaders, inventors, artists, mothers, daughters, sisters and human beings includes many performances and participatory women-led and focused events. Find information about the programs, a HERstory booklist and related exhibitions can be found below.

Youth Programs

Panel: Black Joy and Friendship — March 9, 10 a.m., streamed live on YouTube

In partnership with Career Girls

Meet four phenomenal Black women making an impact in the fields of science, arts, and public health.  

Adult Programs

Maxine Dunlap and History of Gliding in the Bay Area – Tue., Mar. 1, 6 p.m., Virtual Event 
Learn about women gliders’ achievements and the history of gliding in the San Francisco Bay Area as presented by aviation historian Gary Fogel and aviation researcher Madison Cicchitto.

Stephanie Foo and Esmé Weijun Wang in Conversation – Thur., Mar. 3, 6 p.m., Koret Auditorium/Streaming   
An evening with memoirist Stephanie Foo and Esmé Weijun Wang, discussing Foo’s book What My Bones Know.

Risa Iwasaki Culbertson of Papa Llama -- Mon., Mar. 7, 7 p.m., Virtual Event 

Meet Risa Iwasaki Culbertson, artist, owner and chief creative behind PapaLlama, a local stationery and home & wearable goods company. Learn about her small business journey and what inspires her artwork as she leads us in a fun art project. 

Earth Stories Screening and Filmmaker Conversation – Wed., Mar. 9, 7 p.m., Virtual Event   
A partnership with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Parks Conservancy 

Twelve women from across the country came together to create short films about their personal connection with nature and bringing awareness to issues of equity and justice. Q&A with filmmakers after the screening.

Poem Jam – Thur., Mar. 10, 7 p.m., Virtual Event 

Kim Shuck brings together HERstory poets devorah major, Maw Shein Win, Natasha Dennerstein and Susan Dambroff.

First Ladies and Women’s Rights – Fri., Mar. 11, 12 p.m., Virtual Event  
Hear about the activism of Eleanor Roosevelt, her deceivingly recessive successors, wartime empowerment, enforced domesticity, the deceptive “doldrums” of the Women's Movement and “Second-Wave Feminism” in the 1960s. 

San Francisco Chronicle’s Shwanika Narayan – Sat., Mar. 12, 1 p.m., Virtual Event 

SFPL’s Magazine and Newspaper Department talks to Shwanika Narayan of the San Francisco Chronicle about her work as a Race and Equity and Business reporter.

Lesbian Game Changers – Tue., Mar. 15, 6 p.m., Koret Auditorium, Main Event

Author Robin Lowey moderates a conversation with Jewelle Gomez, Crystal Jang and Carla Trujillo—three women featured in the book Game Changers: Lesbians You Should Know About

Discover The Bohemians with Author Jasmin Darznik – Wed., Mar. 16, 7 p.m., Virtual Event  

Presented by San Francisco Public Library History Center  

Enjoy an evening with Jasmin Darznik, who discusses her latest novel, The Bohemians, which shares the history of San Francisco’s infamous Montgomery Block, also known as the Monkey Block, a four-story artist colony that once stood in the location of the Transamerica Pyramid. 

A Wombfulness Gathering -- Sat., Mar. 19, 10 a.m., Virtual Event 

Black wom(b)en in conversation about Black wom(b)an creativity, personal and collective ancestral legacy, the things we still carry and/or have discarded and why. Featuring special guests.

Chef and Cookbook Author Michelle Polzine -- Tue., Mar. 22, 7 p.m., Virtual Event    

Michelle Polzine, chef and owner of the now-closed 20th Century Café, and one of San Francisco’s best pastry chefs, shares her cookbook, Baking at the 20th Century Cafe: Iconic European Desserts from Linzer Torte to Honey Cake (Workman Publishing), and about her time in the cafe. 
Financial Healing with the Money Witch Jessie Susannah Karnatz and Author Mia Birdsong -- Sat., Mar. 26, 2 p.m. Hormel LGBTQIA+ Center Reading Room   

Jessie Susannah Karnatz, author of Money Magic: Practical Wisdom and Empowering Rituals to Heal Your Finances, and Mia Birdsong, author of How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family Friendship, and Community, discuss financial healing at the crossroads of politics and spirituality.


Exhibition: HERstory II: The Legal History of Chinese American WomenMarch 19– June 2, International Center Exhibit Space, 3rd Floor

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.

February 18, 2022