JANE TALKS


Jane Talks is a monthly speaker series named after We and Our Neighbors' founder, Jane Cilker. Each month will celebrate an era highlighting the progress and contributions of women in the past 125 years in the United States of America. Jane Talks Speaker Series takes place at:
We and Our Neighbors' 
San Jose Clubhouse
15480 Union Avenue
San Jose, CA 95124


Women's Clubs & Suffrage Movement
 January 23, 2017
2:00 - 3:00pm

In a time when women's rights were limited the General Federation of Women's Clubs, founded in 1890, held grassroots efforts to make sure the woman's voice was heard.  Through this newfound sisterhood the women were empowered to take on causes such as child labor, food safety regulations, women's right to vote and helped to establish 75% of libraries in the US. The GFWC took a leadership role in opposing assimilation policies, supporting the return of Native-American lands, and promoting more religious and economic independence. 

Presented by Kim Plater - Historian
California Federation of Women's Clubs
The  California Federation of Women’s Clubs (CFWC) is affiliated with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs  (GFWC) an international women’s organization dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service for more than 126 years. 

General Federation of Women
s Clubs

Clara Shortridge Foltz
 February 23, 2017
12:00 -1:30pm

 Ms Clara Shortridge Foltz (July 16, 1849 – September 2, 1934), a San Josean, accomplished many firsts including first female attorney admitted to the California Bar, first women to run for Governor and first female deputy district attorney in the United States. Foltz became a leader in the woman’s voting rights movement and pioneered the idea of the Public Defender. During a career that spanned 56 years, Foltz almost single-handedly pushed a great deal of progressive legislation for women’s rights in the voting and legal fields.

Presented by April Halberstadt
April Halberstadt is a research historian, Santa Clara County Historic Heritage commissioner, and the author of 10 books. She consults with the Saratoga History Museum. 



Julia Morgan - A Grand Architect
March 2, 2017
12:00 - 1:30pm

Julia Morgan was a renowned American architect in California who embraced the Art & Crafts Movement of architecture. Julia was the first women to graduate from UC Berkley with a degree in civil engineering and first female licensed contractor in California. She designed more than 700 buildings in California during a long and prolific career such as YWCA, Mills College, St. John’s Presbyterian Church (Berkeley, California) and Asilomar Conference Center and is best known for her work on Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California.

Presenter by Dr. Karen McNeil 
Karen McNeill is a historian based in Oakland. She has been researching and writing about Julia Morgan since 2000 and has published multiple articles on the subject. Her work focuses on women and gender in the architectural profession as well as how Progressive Era women used the built environment to expand their roles society as consumers, reformers, educators, and professionals. Dr. McNeill is currently completing a book manuscript on Julia Morgan. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Autry National Center, the Bancroft Library, and the University of California Humanities Research Institute.

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The 19th Amendment
April 19, 2017
2:00 - 3:30pm

The Nineteenth Amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1878 by Senator Aaron A. Sargent. Forty- two years later, The League of Women Voters was founded by Carrie Chapman Catt in 1920 during the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The convention was held just six months before the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, giving women the right to vote after a 72-year struggle.


Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo

Sponsered by League of the Women Voters
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

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Valley of Hearts Delight - Women of the Canneries

May ____, 2017 TBD


The first half of the twentieth century marked the boom years of the canning industry in San José.  The production boost during World War I put the Santa Clara Valley firmly in the lead of the fruit packing industry.  In the 1920’s the valley produced 90% of the California pack of fruits and vegetables, a percentage it would retain well into the 1950’s.  Increased mechanization and more efficient processes gradually replaced most hand-work in the cannery.  Labor and management tackled issues of seniority, gender, language, safety, wages and unionization.  

Presented by Dr. Margo McBane, Ph.D. Margarita Garcia M.A.
San Jose State University
As an historian, Margo McBane has shared her love of history in academia, public radio,  and authored numerous publications including "Labor Pains: The History of Women in California Agriculture" for the United Farmworkers of America. Currently a history lecturer at SJSU pursuing public history interests including local history projects: the history of Mexicans of Santa Clara Valley, 1920–1960; the history of northern California surfing, 1885–1960; and the history of the El Paso Chapter of the Southern Conference for Human Welfare, 1940–1950s.


    WACs, WAVES & WASPs - Women in War
    June 25, 2017  Tentative
    Presenter: TBD



    World War II transformed the United States Armed Forces from essentially all-male to mixed-gender forces.  Because of the severe need to free as many male soldiers as possible for combat, Congresswoman Edith Nurse Rogers introduced a bill in May 1941 calling for the creation of an all-volunteer woman’s corps in the Army. Women enlisted “for the duration plus six months”. They served not only in the Army (WAC), but also with the Navy (WAVES) and Coast Guard (SPARs).  Although never officially members of the armed forces, Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs) provided critical support for the war effort.

    Hollywood's Golden Era - Fabulous Females in Film
    July ___, 2017
    12:00 - 2:00pm


    Hollywood's Golden Era begun after the silent movie era through the 50s resulting in some of the most iconic women in film including Marilyn Monroe, Doris Day, Elizabeth Taylor, Sofia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall and Grace Kelly amongst others well known stars. 

    Presenter by Jan Wahl
      In her career as San Francisco’s favorite movie reviewer and film historian, Jan Wahl has interviewed them all from Gregory Peck to Ben Affleck and Meryl Streep to Renee Zellweger. Emmy winning producer, entertainment reporter and film critic, Jan Wahl wears many hats. San Francisco turns to Wahl for the scoop on Hollywood, celebrities and film lore and history. Jan’s hilarious, Mae West-ish delivery and her exhaustive knowledge of films and Hollywood insider information make Jan the most sought-after speaker in her field.



    Countercultures & Cults
    August 24, 2017
    7:00 - 8:30pm
    In the 1960s, the decade infamous for its anti-conformity, cutting edge youth embraced  the civil rights and peace movements. Later they turned inward, rejected traditional teachings and became intrigued by non traditional spirituality, including Hare Krishnas, Moonies and the People's Temple. Learn what personal and societal triggers helped to draw people to countercultures and cults sometimes rejecting their own families and much of mainstream society. Discover how We and Our Neighbors Hall figures in scenes from The Rainbow's Daughter, Rogers' novel about a San Jose search group led by a charismatic woman. 
    Presented by Lynn Rogers
    Ms. Roger is the author of 13 books, well reviewed by Silicon Valley Metro and other media. Awarded Woman of Achievement by Penwomen of America in both arts and letters in 2011, and professor of Creative Writing classes. 



    Women in Sports
    September____, 2017
    Presenter: 
    Time:



    Mother Earth & Her Greenbelt
    October____, 2017


    Presented by Melissa Hippard, Loma Prieta Sierra Club
    Melissa Hippard representing  the Loma Prieta Sierra Club which advocates for policies to protect our natural environment, support environmental candidates for public office, and provide opportunities for people who want to develop leadership skills to give back to the community and help the environment. Melissa is a resident of San Jose, has held professional positions in the Sierra Club (former Chapter Director), Greenbelt Alliance and Save our Shores, and is now with the Santa Clara County Parks Department. 




    Women in STEM
    November____, 2017


    Presented by NASA TBD



    Breaking the Glass Ceiling
    December ___, 2017
    Presenter: 
    Time: