Check out this list of upcoming KPFA benefit events (and important co-sponsored events) – we’ll see you there!  Advance tickets are usually available via :: 800-838-3006 or Marcus Books, Pegasus Books (3 locations), Mrs. Dalloway’s, Moe’s Books, Walden Pond, DIESEL, A Bookstore, and Modern Times.

Reese ErlichOctober 9, Thursday, 7:30 pm

Reese Erlich, Inside Syria: The Backstory of Their Civil War and What We Can Expect
St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Avenue, Berkeley
Hosted by: Brian Edwards-Tiekert
Tickets and more information:

This vivid picture of Syria now, through on-the-ground descriptions and challenging interviews with rebel leaders and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, provides a much clearer understanding of the complex dynamics underlying the Syrian civil war, and why it is so crucial for the Middle East, the U.S., and the world. Through his many personal contacts inside Syria, the author reveals exactly who is supporting Assad and why. He describes the agendas of rebel factions. He depicts in stark terms the horrific plight of thousands of Syrian citizens unintentionally caught in the crossfire. Also described are the role of the Kurds, the continuing influence of powerful Iran, and the conflicted policies of U.S. leaders.

Erlich demonstrates how current actions in Syria can be most clearly understood by understanding that nation’s recent history, particularly the roles of such essential figures as T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), journalist Lowell Thomas Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al Banna, Zionist leader Chaim Weismann, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Saddam Hassan, and Hafez al-Assad.

“Reese Erlich’s reporting and investigative journalism around the world have been highly enlightening, and speaking personally, has been of great value to me in my own work…”—Noam Chomsky (from his Foreword to the book)

Reese Erlich is an award-winning journalist and author of four books on foreign policy, most recently Conversations with Terrorists: Middle East Leaders on Politics, Violence and  Empire. The Northern California Society of Professional Journalists in 2012 gave Erlich its best explanatory journalism award for his radio documentary, Inside the Syrian Revolution. Earlier he shared a prestigious Peabody Award. Currently Erlich reports regularly for National Public Radio, Radio Deutsche Welle, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation and CBS Radio News. His articles on the Middle East have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, GlobalPost, Atlantic Online, and Vanity Fair Online.

Brian Edwards-Tiekert is a host on UpFront, a KPFA public affairs show airing weekdays at 7 AM.

Vandana ShivaOctober 20, Monday, 7:30 pm

Vandana Shiva, The Rights of Mother Earth
First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley
Hosted by: Carleen Pickard
Tickets and more information:

Vandana Shiva is an internationally esteemed Indian environmental and anti-globalization activist. Trained as a physicist, she received an Integrated M.Sc.Honours Degree in Particle Physics from the University of Punjab prior to earning a PhD in the Philosophy of Science at the University of Western Ontario. In 1987 she founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, which led to the creation of Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seed, and the promotion of organic farming and fair trade. For the past two decades Navdanya has worked with local communities and organizations. She has steadily fought for changes in the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food, Intellectual property rights, biodiversity, biotechnology, bioethics, genetic engineering are fields in which she has contributed both intellectually and through grassroots campaigns.

She has written more than 20 books. The first, Staying Alive, helped redefine perceptions of third world women. She has served as an advisor to governments in India and abroad, as well as non-governmental organizations, including the Internatiuonal Forum on Globalization, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization, and the Third World Network.

She chairs the Commission on the Future of Food set up by the region of Tuscany in Italy, and is a member of the Scientific Committee which advised Prime Minister Zapatero in Spain. In addition, she is a councilor of the World Future Council.

Time Magazine has declared her “an environmental hero” and Asia Week has called her one of the five most powerful communicators of Asia. She has been the recipient of dozens of international awards

Carleen Pickard is the Executive Director of Global Exchange. She has earned an MA in Anthropology and Development from the University of Sussex, UK, and has worked in social justice organizations in London, Chiapas, San Francisco, Vancouver and Ottawa.

Molly AntopolOctober 23, Thursday, 7:30 pm

Molly Antopol, The UnAmericans
The Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley
Hosted by: Erica Bridgeman
Tickets and more information:

Molly Antopol was born in California and attended the University of California, Santa Cruz. She earned an MFA from Columbia University. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, she is currently a lecturer at Stanford. In 2013 she received a “5 under 35” award from the National Book Foundation

Erica Bridgeman is a veteran KPFA Public Affairs Producer.

Herbie HancockNovember 1, Saturday, 7:30 pm

Herbie Hancock, Possibilities: A Conversational Voyage With Herbie Hancock
and Greg Bridges
First Congregational Church of Oakland, 2501 Harrison St, Oakland
Hosted by: Greg Bridges
Tickets and more information:

Herbie Hancock is an internationally famous American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer. As part of Miles Davis’s Second Great Quintet, he helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary architects of the “post-bop” sound. He possesses a unique creative blend of jazz, blues, modern classical music (like Debussy and Ravel), and funk. Throughout his explorations, he has transcended limitations and genres while maintaining an unmistakable voice. His career spans five decades and includes 14 Grammy® Awards, including 2008 Album of the Year, River: The Joni Letters.

Hancock’s best-known solo works include “Cantaloupe Island”, “Watermelon Man” (later performed by dozens of musicians, including bandleader Mongo Santamaría), “Maiden Voyage”, “Chameleon”, and the singles “I Thought It Was You” and “Rockit”. Recently Hancock was named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the promotion of Intercultural Dialogue. In 2013 he joined the University of California, Los Angeles faculty as a professor in the UCLA music department where he teaches jazz music.

There are few artists in the music industry who have had more influence on acoustic and electronic jazz and R&B than Herbie Hancock. As the immortal Miles Davis said in his autobiography, “Herbie was the step after Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk, and I haven’t heard anybody yet who has come after him.”

Hancock is the 2014 Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University. Holders of the chair deliver a series of six lectures on poetry, “The Norton Lectures”, poetry being “interpreted in the broadest sense, including all poetic expression in language, music, or fine arts.” Previous Norton lecturers include musicians Leonard Bernstein, Igor Stravinsky and John Cage. Hancock’s theme is “The Ethics of Jazz”.

Greg Bridges, G1 Rhythm, is a radio dj and journalist living in Oakland. He can be heard at KCSM 91.1fm Tuesday nights 6 to 9pm, and Thursday nights 6pm to 2am, and at  KPFA 94.1fm Monday nights 8 to 10pm and also as a contributor to KPFA’s Hip Hop social affairs and music show HardKnock Radio. Greg has written for various publications including Jazz Now Magazine and Bayshore Magazine, and remains a constant presence on the Bay Area music and arts scene. 

John A PowellNovember 5, Wednesday, 7:30 pm

John A Powell, The Path to a Fair and Inclusive Society: Seeing the Other
in Me

St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Avenue, Berkeley
Tickets and more information:

john a. powell (lower case his choice) is an internationally recognized expert in civil rights and civil liberties as well as a wide range of issues including race, structural racism, ethnicity, housing, poverty, and democracy. In addition to being Professor of Law and Professor of African American Studies and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, Professor powell holds the Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion. He was recently Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University, and held the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties at the Moritz College of Law. Under his direction, the Kirwan Institute has emerged as a national leader on research and scholaship related to race, structural racism, racialized space and opportunity. He has been a leader in developing an “opportunity-based” housing model that provides a critical and creative framework for thinking about affordable housing, racialized space, and the many ways that housing influences other opportunity domains, including education, health, health care and employment.


powell challenges those of us who consider ourselves relatively evolved on issues of race and social justice to think far more critically about the basic assumptions and paradigms that frame our perspectives, animate our scholarship, and drive our advocacy.” —Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

The Path to a Fair and Inclusive Society: Seeing the Other in Me is a discourse on how we can work together to create political, economic, and social systems that support individuals in becoming compassionate, competent, and responsible members of the wider community. While justice and fairness are needed to support effective participation, how do we ensure that those who are excluded—whether it be by race, class, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or the like—belong and are included in the circle of human concern? In light of the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, there is an urgent need to address systemic structural inequalities that police the bodies of some members of society more heavily than others. This dialogue will enable us to inhabit the space of a South African proverb, Sawubona, which means “We see you.” By “seeing” the other beyond our differences, we can create community that supports the personal and socially transformative ways of living and being in an increasingly complex and segregated world. 

Professor powell has worked in Africa, where he was a consultant to the governments of Mozambique and South Africa. He has also worked in India, and done work in South America and Europe. He is one of rthe co-founders of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council, and serves on the boards of several national organizations. In addition, he has taught at numerous law schools, including Harvard and Columbia University.

Among his books is In Pursuit of a Dream Deferred (co-authored with Gavin Kearney and Vina Kay) and The Rights of Racial Minorities: The Basic ACLU Guide to Racial Minority Rights (with Laughlin McDonald). His latest book is the widely applauded Racing to Justice: Transforming Our Conceptions of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society.

Brian Edwards-Tiekert is a host on UpFront, a KPFA public affairs show weekdays at 7 AM.

jeff_chang_in_oakland November 10, Monday, 7:30 pm

Jeff Chang, Who We Be: The Colorization of America
First Congregational Church of Oakland, 2501 Harrison St, Oakland
Hosted by: Davey D
Tickets and more information:

Who We Be: The Colorization of America is an essential chronicle of the past five decades of American cultural history in which Jeff reveals exactly how the rise of Hip-Hop impacted today’s cultural politics, how Americans now view race, and how that view has changed over the past five decades. In a  narrative that moves from the 1963 March on Washington through the Obama election to the aftermath of the George Zimmerman trial, Jeff examines the role of artists in culturally desegregating America, including the multiculturalism movement.  While many viewed Obama’s election as proof we had moved beyond race, Who We Be shows the full paradox of the “post-racial era,”  including the darker tones of political debates reflecting deep pessimism, and social indexes showing rising rates of resegregation in housing and schooling.

Currently Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University, Jeff is continuing his long career specializing in culture, politics, the arts and music . 

Besides editing the book, Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-HopJeff co-founded CultureStr/ke and ColorLines. He was a Senior Editor/Director at Russell Simmons’ He has written for the The Nation, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Believer, Foreign Policy, and Mother Jones, among many others.

Jeff received a bachelor’s degree from U.C Berkeley and a master’s degree in Asian American Studies from the University of California at Los Angeles. In 1993, he co-founded and ran the influential hip-hop indie label, SoleSides, now Quannum Projects, helping launch the careers of DJ Shadow, Blackalicious, Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truth Speaker. He has helped produce over a dozen records, including the “godfathers of gangsta rap”, the Watts Prophets.The Utne Reader named him one of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World”.

Davey D is the Host of Hard Knock Radio (airing on KPFA 94.1 FM weekdays at 4pm) and Adjunct Professor, Afrostudies Dept, S.F.State University.

November 19, Wednesday, 7:30 pm

Bruce Cockburn, Rumours of Glory: A Memoir
Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St, Berkeley
Hosted by: Luis Medina
Tickets and more information:

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