News Briefs: Shanti, SFAF partner to screen 'Milk'

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday September 20, 2023
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Sean Penn, right, won an Oscar for his portrayal of slain San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk in the 2008 film "Milk." Photo: Bill Bray/Focus Features
Sean Penn, right, won an Oscar for his portrayal of slain San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk in the 2008 film "Milk." Photo: Bill Bray/Focus Features

The Shanti Project and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation are partnering to screen "Milk" in celebration of the film's 15th anniversary.

The event takes place Thursday, October 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street. The screening will be preceded by a fireside chat with gay activist Cleve Jones, a co-founder of SFAF and co-founder of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Jones, a long-term AIDS survivor, also wrote the 2016 memoir "When We Rise: My Life in the Movement" that was adapted into an ABC miniseries in 2017.

Released in 2008, the "Milk" biopic is about gay slain San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk and was shot mostly on location in San Francisco and the LGBTQ Castro neighborhood. It went on to win Oscars for actor Sean Penn in the starring role and for gay screenwriter Dustin Lance Black for best original screenplay. The film received eight Academy Award nominations, including for director Gus Van Sant, and for best picture. Actor Emile Hirsch portrayed Jones in the film.

Tickets to the special screening are free. To reserve a seat, click here.

LGBTQ family group to hold town hall

Our Family Coalition will hold its town hall and barbecue Sunday, September 24, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at San Leandro Marina Park in the East Bay city.

OFC is being joined by COLAGE, an organization for kids of queer families, and Openhouse, the LGBTQ senior nonprofit. According to an email to supporters, OFC wants to hear from LGBTQ families about how they are doing and how the organization can better meet their shifting needs.

Pretty Chef Catering will cater the cookout and vegetarian options will be available. Eating and serving utensils will be provided, along with beverage options. Attendees may want to bring snacks, chairs, blankets, and other items to make themselves comfortable, the email stated.

The event is free and on-site child care will be provided, as well as games for the whole family. The gathering will be held in a large group shelter area on the south end of the park next to a playground. The park is located at 14001 Monarch Bay Drive.

To register, click here.

Queers talk about workers' rights

Queer and trans labor organizers will hold a conversation about efforts to advance the rights and dignity of workers from picket lines to beyond at "Strike! Queer and Trans Tales from the Workers' Rights Movement," a virtual webinar Tuesday, September 26, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. (Pacific time).

Featured speakers will be Billy Yates of Pay Your Workers, JJ Wienkers-Alvendia of the Writers Guild of America West LGBTQ+ Writers Committee, Neha Cremin of Starbucks Workers United, and Tahtianna Fremin of Bridges4Life and the National LGBTQ Workers Center. TyrONE Hanley of the National Center for Lesbian Rights will moderate.

There will also be a performance by Pauline Pisano of the Kairos Center.

The event is free. To register, click here.

Castro cultural district board elections

The Castro LGBTQ Cultural District will hold elections for its advisory board during the Castro Street Fair Sunday, October 1, both in-person and online.

Prior to that, people can find out about the candidates who are running by attending a virtual town hall Wednesday, September 27, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., a news release stated.

The new advisory board members' terms will begin in January, the release noted.

For more information, go to

SFMTA seeks people for Muni committee

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is seeking members for its Muni Metro Community Working Group to help modernize the light rail system, which includes the K-Ingleside, M-Ocean View, the L-Taraval bus, and Castro Shuttle lines that serve stations in the LGBTQ neighborhood; and the historic F-line trolleys, which traverse Market Street from the Castro to the Embarcadero and Fisherman's Wharf. Other light rail lines are the J-Church, which goes by Mission Dolores Park; N-Judah; and the T-Third.

A news release stated that SFMTA staff will work with community working group members to discuss and consider the strategies and tradeoffs presented in the Muni Metro Capacity Study, which the working group will help shape. The capacity study will identify how much more rail capacity the city needs, in what timeframe, and where, to develop a comprehensive long-term strategy for expanding Muni Metro over the coming decades.

To learn more and apply for the committee, click here.

Girls Inc. to hold benefit gala

Girls Inc. of Alameda County will celebrate 65 years of inspiring teens at its benefit gala Saturday, October 14, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at BLOC15, 252 Second Street in Oakland, near Jack London Square.

As the Bay Area Reporter noted in a recent profile, Girls Inc. of Alameda County has helped teens, including trans girls, by teaching them skills and helping them navigate challenges they face in life. According to a news release, the upcoming gala, themed "A Limitless Future," will feature a special appearance by W. Kamau Bell, a stand-up comedian, TV host, and activist.

The gala will reflect on the nonprofit organization's past as well as its vision for the future. Alumnae speakers will include Danielle West, Genessis Cuevas, and Monica Manriquez, who will share their personal stories. Mari Waugh, vice president, chief talent, culture, and inclusion officer at PG&E, will deliver the keynote address.

"We are tremendously excited to celebrate our 65th anniversary with the community and our esteemed guests," stated Julayne Vigil, chief executive officer of the Alameda Girls Inc. affiliate. "Our mission has remained steadfast for all these years, and we look forward to many more decades of inspiring girls to reach their full potential."

Tickets are $325. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to

For more information about the organization, go to

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