Contact Information

Riki Rafner

The Commonwealth Club Presents: Alicia Garza, Darnell Moore, Tam O'Shaunessey & Katie Sowers in Honor of LGBT Pride Month

SAN FRANCISCO (June 6, 2018)—The Commonwealth Club will host special events in honor of LGBT Pride Month on both “The Michelle Meow Show” and INFORUM this June. The programs will feature activists and leaders in the LGTBQ community:

  • June 7 at 12 noon: Alicia Garza, Special Projects Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance; Co-founder, Black Lives Matter
  • June 13 at 6:30 p.m.: Darnell Moore, Author, No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America; Editor at Large, Cassius; Co-managing Editor, The Feminist Wire; Editor, The Feminist Wire Books (a series of University of Arizona Press); Writer-in-residence, Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice at Columbia University; Co-founder, YOU Belong
  • June 14 at Noon: Tam O’Shaughnessy, Co-founder and Executive Director of Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego.
  • July 17 at 12 noon: Katie Sowers, Assistant Coach of the San Francisco 49ers

Alicia Garza on “The Michelle Meow Show” 6/07/18:

In conversation with co-hosts Michelle Meow and “Week to Week’s” John Zipperer, Garza will discuss her life and the important issues of interest in the LGBTQ and the Black Lives Matter movement. Garza is an Oakland-based organizer, writer and public speaker. She is currently the special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States. Garza, together with Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors, founded the Black Lives Matter (BLM) network, a globally recognized organizing project that focuses on combatting anti-black sentiment, state-sanctioned violence and the oppression of all black people. Garza’s articles and interviews have been featured in Time, The Guardian,, Essence, “Democracy Now!” and The New York Times. Garza has received the Harvey Milk Democratic Club’s Bayard Rustin Community Activist Award, the Centre for Media Justice’s Jeanne Gauna Communicate Justice Award, the Sydney Peace Prize.

Darnell Moore, Coming of Age Black and Free in America, 6/13/18 on INFORUM:

Darnell Moore will discuss the intersection of faith, sexuality, blackness and gender. Moore is an award-winning author and activist who is a prominent leader in the Black Lives Matter movement. His writing centers on racism, feminism, pro-queer of color and anti-colonial thought. Moore’s has contributed to The Huffington Post, Ebony magazine and other publications. Moore endured severe traumas, including child abuse, narrowly escaping being burned alive at 14 years old by homophobic neighborhood children, and suffering a near-fatal heart attack at 19 years old. He received a B.A. in social and behavioral science from Seton Hall University, an M.A. in clinical counseling from Eastern University, and an M.A. in theological studies from Princeton’s Theological Seminary.

Tam O’Shaughnessy on “The Michelle Meow Show” 6/14/18:

In conversation with Michelle Meow and John Zipperer, Professor Emeritus of San Diego State and education advocate Tam O'Shaughnessy will discuss her work as the CEO and co-founder of the Sally Ride Science non-profit, its absorption by UC San Diego, and the issues of interest in the LGBTQ community. She co-founded the Sally Ride Science organization, a nonprofit that promotes both STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) literacy, with her partner Sally Ride—the first American woman in space—and associates Karen Flammer, Terry McEntee and Alann Lopes. O'Shaughnessy has served as both COO and CEO of the Sally Ride Science organization. Prior to this, she was a professor at San Diego State University and a high school biology teacher. This environment cultivated O’Shaughnessy’s interest in understanding how younger people learn, thus prompting her to earn a Ph.D. in school psychology from UC Riverside. O’Shaughnessy also is a former professional tennis player. She received her Bachelors from Georgia State University and her Ph.D from UC Riverside.

Katie Sowers, Assistant Coach, San Francisco 49ers on “The Michelle Meow Show” 7/17/18:

Katie Sowers will discuss her life, experience in sports and more. Sowers is currently the assistant coach for the San Francisco 49ers and is the first openly LGBTQ coach in the NFL. She originally worked with the 49er's wide receivers as part of the organization’s 2017 Bill Walsh Minority Fellowship. Prior to this, Sowers spent the offseason working closely with the Atlanta Falcons assistant head coach and wide receivers coach Raheem Morris and was responsible for organizing, conducting and concluding practice drills. Additionally, she spent nine months as a scouting intern with the Falcons. Sowers was the athletic director of the city of Kansas City between 2012–16. She is a former member of the 2013 United States Women's National Football Team and played in the WFA (Women’s Football Alliance) for eight years. Sowers earned a Master’s in kinesiology with an emphasis in pedagogy from the University of Central Missouri in 2012.

About “The Michelle Meow Show”:

Michelle Meow, the current board president of SF Pride, is a talk show host who has interviewed political figures, community activists and media personalities: Margaret Cho, Melissa Etheridge, Maria Bello, Chaz Bono, Ellen Page, Lily Tomlin, Julianne Moore, Susan Sarandon and Wanda Sykes, to name a few. Her radio show can be heard on Progressive Voices Network M-F 4pm PST, Sundays at 12 noon. The “Michelle Meow Show” TV program is moving to KPIX, where it will air on the weekends. For more information, visit The Commonwealth Club launched its new programming partnership with Meow to expand the range and depth of programs at the Club dealing with issues of interest to LGBTQ audiences.


Founded in 2000, the INFORUM division of The Commonwealth Club produces Bay Area events where attendees meet thought leaders in entertainment, tech, food, design, pop culture and politics. INFORUM produces individually curated events designed to provide its audience members with cutting-edge content and a hands-on educational experience. The organization hosts dozens of events each year, including headline interviews, happy hours, public forums, debate discussions and post-program socials. Events typically sell out—from 250-person talks to keynote speakers who draw more than 2,500 people. INFORUM was named San Francisco magazine’s 2015 “Best of SF - Speaker Series.” For more information, visit

About the Commonwealth Club of California:

Founded in 1903, The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation’s premier public affairs forum, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with more than 25,000 members. Based in San Francisco with a second office in San Jose, the Club hosts nearly 500 speeches and discussions each year on issues of regional, national and international significance. The Commonwealth Club’s weekly radio broadcast airs on more than 230 public and commercial stations across the country. The Club’s podcasts are downloaded more than 3 million times each year. The Club’s videos also appear on the California Channel, C-SPAN and YouTube, where they have been viewed millions of times. For the past 11 decades, the Club has fostered free speech and civic dialogue on a wide range of topics, addressing key issues in society, culture, politics, the economy, national security and more. For more information, visit