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Everything Going Down for International Women’s Day in The Bay Area

Guest Post by Rebecca M. Farrar

While not an official holiday in the United States, more than 100 countries around the world celebrate International Women’s Day. In Russia, men give women chocolate and yellow mimosas, the flower, not the drink, and in China women are entitled to half a day off from work. Though I would certainly take equal pay and not being afraid to walk home at night alone over chocolate any day…

According to the International Women’s Day website, March 8 is a day to celebrate the “social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.” The holiday became official with the United Nations in 1975, though the first National Women’s Day was observed in New York in 1908. Rep. Maxine Waters introduced legislation in 1994 for the holiday to be officially recognized in the United States, unfortunately, it never went to vote, which is why we don’t get time off from work or receive yellow mimosas.

While the holiday may be celebrated worldwide with more gusto, this year the Bay Area offers an array of events honoring International Women’s Day. Whether you are a cinephile, foodie, activist, or entrepreneur, there are plenty to choose from. Here are some of my top picks for the week ahead in SF and East Bay:

San Francisco

Insurgent Voices: Striving to End Racism in America: hosted by the Women’s Building Speaker series.
An evening of theatrical excerpts and conversation with women, including Alicia Garza of Black Lives Matter, who have changed America’s social justice landscape.
Tuesday, March 6 from 7-9 p.m. at Marine’s Memorial Theatre
Cost: $60-$250

A Fantastic Woman (Una Mujer Fantástica): presented by RoxCine
An Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Film by Chilean director Sebastián Lelio following the life of a transgender heroine after her boyfriend dies unexpectedly.
Several screenings through March 8 at 9:30 p.m. at Roxie Theatre (3117 16th St)
Cost: $12

International Women’s Day in the Bay with Femmelectric and 1015 Folsom
The evening focuses on the richness of local dance music culture by featuring Bay Area women DJs and producers.
Thursday, March 8 from 9 p.m. through Friday March 9 at 2 a.m.
Cost: $10-$15 (proceeds benefit Alianza Nacional De Campesinas)

Catalyst Conversations with Elle Luna & Susie Herrick hosted by Women Catalysts.  Guided networking event and fireside chat with Your Story Is Your Power co-authors Elle Luna and Susie Herrick.
March 8, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at The Assembly
Cost: $22 (Ticket sales will support Pardada Pardadi Educational Society.)

International Women’s Day 2018 with Founders Embassy and Women in Tech
Includes a guided meditation, panel discussion, special guests, drinks, and snacks in celebration and gratitude for the work of women throughout history.
Thursday, March 8 from 5:30- 7:30 p.m. at Bespoke (Westfield San Francisco, 845 Market Street)
Cost: $10-$30

7 Days of Women in Food with La Cocine
Enjoy food of various female chefs highlighted at different Bay Area restaurants throughout the week.
Between March 3 through March 11, see full schedule on site
Cost: Prices vary by meal

What do the Women Say: Dismantling Patriarchy  hosted by Golden Thread Productions.  An event showcasing the work of leading Middle Eastern women artists working to expose and eradicate toxic masculinity at home, at work, and on the national stage.a
Thursday, March 8, 8-10 p.m. at Brava (2781 24th St)
Cost: $20

Diasporic Alchemy: Transforming Ancestral Traditions into Ritual Futurisms hosted by SOMArts Cultural Center
A group exhibition focusing artists who identify as immigrants, activists, LGBTQ, and people of color and their experience of the diaspora.
March 8, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at SOMArts Cultural Center (934 Brannan St)
Cost: Free

East Bay

Next Friday Street Festival: Art is Women with Oakland First Fridays.  The always awesome Oakland First Fridays Street Festival was postponed because of weather earlier in the month and making its ode to women designers, artists, and change makers with “Art Is Women.”
Friday, March 9 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. at West Grand Ave and Telegraph
Cost: Free

Women’s Day Festival  hosted by Sol Sisters, Inc. An expo-style event with workshops, vendors, and performances featuring women entrepreneurs and organizations.
Saturday, March 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Impact Hub Oakland (2323 Broadway)
Cost: $10

Songs by the Female Songs to the Female Orishas – Song Workshop by Bobi Cespedes (link:) with Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center.  Honoring the feminine deities from the Cuban Yoruba spiritual tradition through song with renowned singer and folklorist Bobi Céspedes.
Sunday, March 11 from 4-5:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center (1317 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley)

Women in Magic hosted by Oakland Magic Circle.  Panel discussion of six female magicians who will share their experiences in a male-dominated profession of magic.
Tuesday March 6 from 7-9 p.m. at Bjornson Hall (2258 MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland)
Cost: Free

Art of Embodying the Feminine Summit hosted by Lilith+McRae  An evening with a panel honoring passionate, ambitious women as well as celebrating modern images of powerful women in pop culture.
Friday, March 9 from 7:30-10:30 p.m. at 4799 Shattuck Ave, Oakland
Cost: $25-$50

SHEnanigans: SF’s 6th Annual Event to Celebrate Women’s History Month (link:) hosted by Gyal’s Network, SF Women’s Political Committee, Black Women Organized for Political Action, Women’s March SF, and more. A community collaboration and networking event to promote women creating a culture of women helping women.
Tuesday, March 27 from 6:00-8:30 p.mm. at Monroe (473 Broadway, San Francisco)
Cost: $15-$25

West Coast Premier: Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again play by Alice Birch and directed by Rebecca Novick
A play described as a “darkly comic manifesto exploring the myriad ways women are styled, shaped, and confined to fit society’s expectations”.
Runs March 1 through March 24 at Potrero Stage (1695 18th St, San Francisco)
Cost: $15-$35

Third Annual Religion and Ecology Summit with California Institute of Integral Studies Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion Program.  The third annual Religion and Ecology Summit showcases scholars, practitioners, environmentalists, and religious leaders to address the topic of gender at the intersection of religion and ecology.
Friday, March 13 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at California Institute of Integral Studies (1453 Mission Street)
Cost: $15-$50

Women’s History Month Comedy at Ashkenaz in Berkeley will feature a multicultural line up of (Indian-American, Venezuelan, Arabic-Irish, and Jewish) comedians: Eloisa Bravo, Priyanka Wali, Mary Carouba, and Lisa Geduldig
March 8, 8pm-930pm
Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center 1317 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, California 94702


Hope to see you at one, or all the events above…I am still trying to figure out how to attend five events in one night.

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