Sunday, December 2, 2018 - 10:00am to 6:00pm

The effects of human-caused environmental devastation have become impossible to ignore. The land we live on, the water we drink, and the air we breathe are under threat by relentless fossil fuel extraction and the toxic byproducts of profit driven mass production.  The suffocation of our natural world is paralleled in society at large.  Persistent poverty, racism and sexism are exacerbated by countless mass shootings, police violence, escalating wars, and the violence of an emboldened far right. While conventional politics often expect market forces or new technologies to solve the world’s problems, we know the real solutions will come from the collective action of everyday people, through the very struggles chronicled by historian Howard Zinn under the banner of “a People’s History.”

The Howard Zinn Book Fair is an annual celebration of people’s history, past, present and future. We gather together authors, zinesters, bloggers and publishers for a day of readings, panel discussions and workshops exploring the value of dissident histories towards building a better future. In the spirit of the late historian Howard Zinn we recognize the stories of the ways that everyday people have risen to propose a world beyond empires big and small. The Howard Zinn Book Fair is a non-sectarian left event that welcomes a wide variety of political traditions left traditions.


Saturday, November 17, 2018 - 12:00pm to 5:00pm

Building on the the 2017 conference, People Get Ready II will feature penetrating analysis of the current political landscape and the balance of power, along with exploration of effective strategies for beating back the Trumpist assault, advancing the work of grassroots movements, and building a more united and influential Left.

*** Panelists/speakers to be announced soon. ***

On January 14, 2017, just days before the inauguration of the disastrous Donald Trump regime, the The Center for Political Education hosted the People Get Ready conference in Berkeley. Billed as a gathering for “analysis, strategy and the fight for our future,” People Get Ready brought together 600 organizers, activists and community members. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Join California Historical Society for an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the San Francisco State Strike. A discussion will be initiated by leaders and participants of the Strike, as well as an artist who graduated from San Francisco State in Raza Studies and now teaches at State. U. C. Berkeley Professor Waldo E. Martin will moderate the discussion which will touch on what sparked the Strike, how it happened, and the impact it had and continues to have on San Francisco, California, and the country at large.

About our Moderator:

Waldo E. Martin Jr., the Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of American History and Citizenship at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of No Coward Soldiers: Black Cultural Politics in Postwar America (2005), as well as Brown v. Board of Education: A Short History With Documents (1998) and The Mind of Frederick Douglass (1985). He is a coauthor, with Mia Bay and Deborah Gray White, of Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans, With Documents (2012), and, with Joshua Bloom, of Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party (2013). With Patricia A. Sullivan, he coedited Civil Rights in the United States: An Encyclopedia (2000). Aspects of the modern African American freedom struggle and the history of modern social movements unite his current research and writing interests. He is currently completing A Change is Gonna Come: The Cultural Politics of the Black Freedom Struggle and the Making of Modern America.

About our Speakers:

Benny Stewart, served as Chairman of the Black Students Union at San Francisco State University, 1967 to 1969 summer, the conceptional / early negotiation period of development of the Black Studies Department, the Strike of 120 days, and the early establishment of the School of Ethnic Studies, of which the Black Studies Department was a major part.

He later spent 37-dedicated years working in the fields of community oversight of urban renewal process and community economic development in the San Francisco Western Addition District, (“the Fillmore”) and the Marin City Community in Marin County.

Starting as Deputy Director of Development, later becoming Executive Director, of the Marin City Community Development Corporation in partnership with BRIDGE Housing and the Martin Group he was proud of being on the development team that produced the $100 million award winning Marin City USA Project, that included 340 housing units, with 40% affordability, a 183,000 square foot retail shopping center, and a neighborhood affirmative action plan that provided 50% job hiring for local low income residents and 25% hiring of local minority and women enterprises.

Benny Stewart, retired in 2012, leaving over $3 million in the community’s agency bank account.

Dr. Ramona Tascoe came to San Francisco State University and earned a Triple-major B.A. in Behavior and Social Sciences. Tascoe took part in campus protests to create the Black Studies Department. The protests grew into the historic student strike of 1969, and in the midst of the struggle, Ramona Tascoe became one of the first strikers to be arrested.

Dr. Ramona Tascoe went on to earn her Medical Doctorate degree from the University of California, San Francisco in 1979. She later earned both a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Divinity degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate Theological Union, after which she was dually ordained under American Baptist and Progressive National Baptist Ministry.

Though she’s practiced as an internal medicine specialist in Oakland for decades, Tascoe has also put her unique mix of skills to work on behalf of communities around the world. She’s led medical missions to Kenya, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, India and Sri Lanka. And she’s worked extensively with Haiti’s Ministry of Health and the University General Hospital of Haiti, that nation’s largest public hospital.

Roger Alvarado was born in San Francisco in 1943, attended SF State College in the 60’s, and became involved with Student community programs in the mid 60’s. After a year as a volunteer, Roger began working for the Associated Students coordinating various Tutorial Program’s projects. During this period on the campus two significant issues, Black People’s Civil Rights Movement and the War in Vietnam, were directly impacting a large segment of the college. 18 months later, roger worked in the Mission District with youth around the 16th and Shotwell street neighborhood. Returning to S F State in the Summer of 1968, roger joined the Latin American Student Organization, one of several groups within The Third World Liberation Front.

The following May Roger helped organize the Los Siete Defense Committee. Seven young Latinos were accused of killing a policeman and a Defense committee was organized to provide the Mission area educational, nutritional and health services, as well as, information regarding, not only that incident, but also the relationship between the police and the various Mission District Communities. 18 months later, Roger left the Defense Committee and became involved with the La Escuelita Preschool and Kinder project in Oakland. Over the next few years the project was established as a Bilingual school with grades K through 6. Retiring as a carpenter, Roger lives in Oakland.

Penny Nakatsu is a veteran of the 1968-1969 Black Student Union-Third World Liberation Front-Black Student Union (BSU-TWLF) Strike at San Francisco State College. She was a co-founder of the Asian American Political Alliance (AAPA), a student organization promoting progressive political action by persons of Asian ancestry. During the Strike, she was AAPA's primary representative to the TWLF Central Committee. After the strike ended in March 1969, she was one of the students, as well as community members and scholars who developed the ethnic/Third World studies curriculum.

Jesus Barraza is an interdisciplinary artist pursuing an MFA in Social Practice and a Masters in Visual Critical Studies and researches the history of socially engaged Xicanx Art. He is a co-founder of Dignidad Rebelde a collaborative that produces screen prints, political posters and multimedia projects and a member of JustSeeds Artists Cooperative.

Image/Artwork: "Down with the Whiteness," Rupert Garcia, 1969.  Rupert Garcia produced this print in the midst of the longest student strike in US history: the SF State Student Strike.

Saturday, October 6, 2018 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Commemorate 50 years of student struggle for self-determination, Third World solidarity and an education that is relevant to the needs of our communities. 

We will gather across generations, with those who began the original twLF strikes in 1969 at Berkeley, to those who have continued to hold and sustain these projects over the past 50 years. 

This continual student movement has founded the departments of Ethnic Studies and African American Studies, as well as the Multicultural Community Center, the Center for Race and Gender, the Ethnic Studies Library, the American Cultures requirement and has inspired similar projects throughout California and beyond. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

A conversation with Dick Walker on his latest book, Pictures of a Gone City: Tech and the Dark Side of Prosperity  in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The San Francisco Bay Area is a jewel in the crown of capitalism—the tech capital of the world and a gusher of wealth from the Silicon Gold Rush. The Bay boasts of being the Left Coast, home of green cities, and the best place for workers in the USA. So, what could be wrong?

Join us to examine the dark side of this success: overheated, exploding inequality, and severe environmental damage—and how Pictures of a Gone City can help us build power and win in these changing and challenging times.

Dick Walker is one of those rare scholars who helps us understand the world in order to change it. A professor emeritus of geography at UC Berkeley, he has long been a resource for Bay Area activists seeking to understand where we live and work, its local dynamics and global context. Pictures of a Gone City—sweeping in scope and exquisitely detailed—examines the political economy and class structure of the region; displacement, internal migration and the growth of its cities; and its history of environmental and political organizing.

Join LeftRoots and the The Center for Political Education for an evening with radical geographer Dick Walker. He will be joined by on-the-ground organizers against gentrification, displacement, and exploitation by the tech industry in the Bay Area, including:

• Vanessa Moses, of Causa Justa Just Cause
• Alex Tom, of Chinese Progressive Association
• Divya Sundar, of ASATA – Alliance of South Asians Taking Action

You don't want to miss this important conversation on the political economy of the Bay Area and what grassroots community organizations are doing today to reclaim it for working people and communities of color.

Wheelchair accessible.

For more information, email or

Friday, September 14, 2018 - 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Celebrating 10 years of community defense, movement building and resistance.

For all those crossing borders, fleeing US-led wars, attempting to provide for, reunite with, and take care of our families, these days have been quite difficult. And each living breath an act of resistance to attempts to strip us of our dignity.

As trying as these times have been, they have also illustrated that we will fight to protect and defend one another. And we will win. Because grassroots organizing — strategy and resistance, connected to the struggles of all oppressed people, and following the leadership of those most impacted — is how we build power, and change the course of history. We resisted the Muslim Ban and freed our families at SFO. We fought back against militarization and ended Urban Shield. And we defended Arab youth and defeated Islamophobic attempts to shut down AROC programming in SF schools. Each time we fought and won, we did so understanding that our struggles are one, and are enemies are the same; that racism has no borders. And similarly, our solidarity must have no borders, and have no limits.

Join us as we continue to fight together for a new world. Not a world mirroring the genocide, slavery, internment, war and imperialism that this country was built on. A world mirroring our values, our commitments to defending and protecting each other from state violence, and all harm. And to fighting for all our freedoms to move, freedom to stay and freedom to return.



Angela Davis
Nadine Naber

DJ Emancipacion
Al Juthour Dabke Troupe


ILWU Local 10
Nancy Hormachea
Stop Urban Shield Coalition
Teachers 4 Social Justice

Celebrate 10 years of grassroots organizing, cross-movement building and community defense.  

Friday, April 20, 2018 - 9:00am to 11:30am
Learning By Doing flyer

Discussion and group dialogue on promoting social change through education and community service learning. View flyer to register. (PDF)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 5:00pm

Discussion with Liz Kroboth and Jade Rivera on the Public Health program's push for the American Public Health Association to recognize police violence as a public health issue.