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FORUM

Lay Coordinator: Jeff Pekrul 

Email: forum@uusf.org

Phone: 415-690-7441

FORUM PURPOSE STATEMENT
The forum brings together Unitarian Universalists of San Francisco and fellow citizens to gain a deeper understanding of the issues of our time and to hear powerful presentations that both inform and inspire.

Forum: About Us

UPCOMING FORUM

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SAN FRANCISCO'S ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON AFRICAN AMERICAN REPARATIONS

Sunday Forum with Professor James Taylor

Sunday, February 18 in the TSK Room 9:30 am PT/12:30 pm ET.

Unfortunately, Zoom will not be available for this Forum. Please join us in person.

Professor Taylor will speak on the work of San Francisco’s African American Reparations Advisory Committee, which advises the Board of Supervisors, the Mayor, the Human Rights Commission, and the public on the development of a San Francisco Reparations Plan. The plan will highlight ways that City policies have harmed Black lives. It will also include specific actions to address discrimination and inequities in areas like housing, education, transit access, and food security. The Committee is composed of 15 appointed members who work across several subcommittees.


Professor James Taylor is a nationally  recognized  and highly sought after  race and politics expert. A full time professor of Political Science at University of San Francisco. He  has published articles on subjects such as Father Divine's International  Peace Mission Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King  and Black Nationalism. Author of the book "Black Nationalism in The United States: From Malcom X to Barack Obama" and is  currently writing a book on People's Temple. A member of San Francisco African American Reparation  Advisory Committee, Professor Taylor serves as a political commentator on San Francisco, US  national ,California and U S Black politics on behalf  of the USF's Media Relations Office and appears regularly  on San Francisco News TV with KRON 4,FOX KTVU local and ABC 7.

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POLICE DEMILITARIZATION NOW!

Sunday Forum with John Lindsay-Poland

Sunday, February 25 in the TSK Room 9:30 am PT/12:30 pm ET.

This forum will only be held in person and will be accessible on UUSF's YouTube channel later.

What does police militarization look like in San Francisco and across California? Who does it impact? How do we change it? The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has been supporting communities across California in advocating for police demilitarization, with the help of a new state law that is bringing to light the extent of militarized policing in our cities. Learn about this new law and its impacts across California; take a closer look at San Francisco’s police militarization; and learn what you can do to confront state violence in our communities.


John Lindsay-Poland co-directs the California Healing Justice Program of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in Oakland, California, and coordinates the Stop U.S. Arms to Mexico Project of Global Exchange. He has written about, researched, and advocated for human rights and the demilitarization of US policy for 40 years. He co-authored the 2022 award-winning AFSC report, "Equipped for War: Exposing Militarized Policing in California" and. From 2015 through 2019, he was deeply involved in the Stop Urban Shield coalition, a successful campaign to end an annual DHS-funded vendor show and SWAT competition by dozens of police departments in the Bay Area and is the author of the books "Emperors in the Jungle: The Hidden History of the U.S. in Panama" and "Plan Colombia: U.S. Ally Atrocities and Community Activism" (both by Duke University Pres). 

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SF COALITION ON HOMELESSNESS

Sunday Forum with Jennifer Friedenbach

Sunday, February 11 in the TSK Room & Zoom 9:30 am PT/12:30 pm ET.

Jennifer Friedenbach is the Executive Director of the Coalition on Homelessness—San Francisco. During her tenure, she has achieved significant victories alongside homeless people and community members, including crafting Prop C: Our City, Our Home, a tax on corporations that pays for homeless housing and will double San Francisco’s efforts to address homelessness. These efforts have included the creation of a local housing subsidy serving hundreds of homeless families and adults, the acquisition of over 1,000 units of housing, the expansion of prevention efforts to halt displacement, and the expansion of substance abuse treatment. She has spearheaded numerous legislative reforms protecting the rights of homeless people and garnered public investments in programs that have saved countless lives. However, there is much controversy currently because of the noticeable rise in homeless encampments throughout the city, along with a rise in deaths due to fentanyl. Ms. Friedenbach will discuss these issues and explain some recent initiatives made by the coalition to address these latest concerns.

You can phone in at +1 669 444 9171. Meeting ID: 913 7429 2850, Passcode: 628034

A light breakfast available at 9am.

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REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS & PLANNED PARENTHOOD

Sunday Forum with Christian Garcia

Sunday, February 4 in the TSK Room & Zoom 9:30 am PT/12:30 pm ET.

Christian Garci will be speaking about Reproductive Justice and how we, as a community, can become active in ensuring all residents of the US have access to a full range of Reproductive Health Care.


Christian Garcia is VP of Government Relations and Communications of Planned Parenthood Northern California.

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YES IN MY BACK YARD (YIMBY) SOLUTIONS TO THE SF HOUSING SHORTAGE

Sunday Forum with Jane Natoli

Sunday, January 28 in the TSK Room & Zoom 9:30 am PT/12:30 pm ET.

Have you ever wondered why it costs nearly $1 million and four years to build a single affordable housing unit? In this talk, Jane Natoli from YIMBY Action will dive into what's preventing San Francisco from building the housing it desperately needs. We'll understand the impacts of low-density housing on the environment, homelessness, racial equity, and politics. We'll also explain why figures like Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson are so adamant about keeping the low-density housing laws that have led to racially discriminatory practices across the country. https://www.yimbyaction.org/  


Jane Natoli is the San Francisco Organizing Director at YIMBY Action. She came to YIMBY Action after serving on the board since 2018 and as a volunteer lead since 2017. Prior to joining YIMBY Action, she worked professionally in anti-money laundering compliance for companies such as Lithic, Stripe, and Wells Fargo. Jane serves on the board of directors for Equality California and is an Airport Commissioner for SFO. She was born and raised in Virginia, went to college at Iowa State, and called Minnesota home for a decade prior to moving to San Francisco. https://www.janenatoli.com/

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HUMANIZING IMMIGRATION

Sunday Forum with Bill Hing

Sunday, January 21 in the TSK Room & Zoom 9:30 am PT/12:30 pm ET.

After 50 years of practicing and teaching immigration law, Professor Hing advocates for the dismantling of the US immigration law and enforcement system. Relying on personal experiences and other reported examples, he will recount his experience interviewing children in border patrol detention, representing asylum seekers within a biased system, advocating against the deportation of longtime residents—some with a criminal history deserving of a second chance—and dealing with immigration judges who believe attempted rape is not persecution or threats to sick a dog on noisy children in the courtroom. He applauds those who are engaged in the disruption of the current system.


Bill Ong Hing is a Professor of Law and Migration Studies at the University of San Francisco and a Professor of Law and Asian American Studies Emeritus at U.C. Davis. He founded the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco in 1979 and helps direct the USF Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic. Professor Hing teaches Immigration Law and Policy, Introduction to Migration Studies, and Rebellious Lawyering.

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ISRAEL, PALESTINE & U.S. IMPERIALISM

Sunday Forum with Richard Becker

Sunday, November 19 in the TSK Room & Zoom 9:30 am PT/12:30 pm ET.

View Presentation Here

The world is in shock and anguish over the latest conflict in the Middle East, which has cost more than 10,000 Palestinian and Israeli lives, including 4000 children! Many of us know some background about the history of this region, but there are questions that need clarification:

· What are the root causes of this conflict?

· Is there any hope for an end to it?

· Can there be justice for all the people involved?

Richard Becker, the Western Regional Coordinator of the Answer—Act Now to Stop War and End Racism—Coalition, will speak to these questions. Richard has researched and traveled to Palestine and the Middle East for the past 50 years. He is the author of Palestine, Israel, and the U.S. Empire. A new edition is due for release by December 1st. Mr. Becker is a frequent contributor to Liberation News, the website of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. He has been an anti-war activist since the 1960s and a frequent speaker at our UUSF Forum.

Join us for an important discussion about this conflict and the possibilities for future peace.

You can phone in at +1 669 900 6833. Meeting ID: 925 6460 7793, Passcode: 2823

A light breakfast available at 9am.

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TWO YEARS ON THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO: HOMELESSNESS UP CLOSE AN PERSONAL

Sunday Forum with Dr. Robert Okin

Sunday, November 12 in the TSK Room & Zoom 9:30 am PT/12:30 pm ET.

VIEW PRESENTATION HERE


Dr. Okin will talk about what inspired him to write the book Silent Voices: People with Mental Disorders on the Street, his experiences on the street, what he learned from homeless mentally ill people about their lives, and what they were like as human beings up close and personal.  He’ll also discuss the causes of homelessness, including the role of governments at all levels in creating and perpetuating this humanitarian crisis, what has made it so persistent and what we as ordinary citizens can do to intervene.

Dr. Robert Okin attended college and medical school at the University of Chicago, internship and psychiatric residency at Bronx Municipal Hospital Center.  Following two years at the National Institute of Mental Health, I was appointed Commissioner of Mental Health for the states of Vermont and Massachusetts where I created scores of outpatient programs for very disabled psychiatric patients.  Shortly after this I spent 17 years as Chief of Psychiatry at San Francisco General Hospital and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at UCSF, followed by 2 years on the streets of SF meeting with homeless people in preparation for my book  “Silent Voices: People with Mental Disorders on the Streets.”  I have worked in 12 countries advocating for people in abusive mental hospitals.   I currently see psychiatric patients in private practice.

You can phone in at +1 669 900 6833. Meeting ID: 941 8050 0771, Passcode: 557795

A light breakfast available at 9am.

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