Safety Seminar Planned To Address Concerns Following 'Recent Change In Social Climate'

In response to last week’s alleged gay-bashing of a man in Oakland—as well as recent reports of anti-immigrant incidents in San Francisco—community organizers will host a safety seminar on Monday.

The two-hour event will be held at the SOMArts Cultural Center and will address awareness while in public spaces, basic self-defense, and mental health.

According to Lenny Broberg, one of the event organizers, the free community seminar will address issues affecting people of color, women, and the LGBTQ community, although the doors will be “open to anyone feeling hurt or displaced following the recent election,” said Broberg.

“Our focus is to help to empower people, and maybe allay some of their fears so that they can take back some of the security that they feel they have lost,” he said.

Although Monday’s safety seminar is not being hosted in conjunction with the San Francisco Police Department, Broberg will take the first 20 minutes of the meeting to discuss how to deal with police agencies, how to report an assault or a hate crime, and how to follow-up with crime assistance programs.

Broberg will be followed by Ken Craig of Castro Community On Patrol. Craig, a grand master martial arts instructor, will lead participants through some basic self-defense maneuvers.

The last planned segment of the seminar will be led by Luke Adams, a relationship and sex therapist, and his colleagues at Bay Area Open Minds. Adams’ presentation will cover any grief, anxiety, or depression people may be feeling following the election.


“Having a mental health component was important for us,” said Broberg, “because it helps people to realize why they're reacting the way that they’re reacting. We want people to realize that they're not alone and that they're not isolated.”

When asked if any local politicians would be in attendance, Broberg said that he doesn’t want the event to be about local elected officials. “We want to keep the focus on the political climate and how it will affect people’s lives moving forward,” said Broberg.

According to him, if there is time at the end of the seminar, a brief question and answer will be held covering the presented material.

Photo: Ted Eytan/Flickr

“What I hope,” he said, “is that following this seminar, an organization steps up and hosts a town hall meeting where people can really vent and express their feelings.”

“This is going to be an ongoing conversation,” said Broberg, “and [Monday’s seminar] is a good first step to help people focus on their fears and some of the safety issues at hand.”

Broberg will be joined on Monday night by Sister Roma as the seminar’s other emcee.

“Many are emboldened by the rhetoric of the presidential campaign and feel that their hateful speech and violent actions are somehow justified and acceptable,” wrote Sister Roma, who created the Sisters' Stop The Violence Campaign in 1989. “Even right here in San Francisco.”

“I invite everyone and everyone,” wrote Sister Roma, “to join us for an informative and practical seminar about safety and the importance of San Francisco values.”

Monday’s safety seminar will be from 7-9pm and will be hosted by Bay Area Open Minds, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Castro Community on Patrol, SF Bay Area Leather Alliance, and SOMArts. If you’re not able to attend, Monday night’s safety seminar may be recorded; although, at the time of this story’s publication, that hasn’t been confirmed.

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Safety seminar planned to address concerns following recent change in social climate