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.

RSVP NOW

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.

RSVP NOW


Valley of Hearts Delight - Women of the Canneries
May 15, 2017 
6:00 - 7:30pm

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.


    Rosie the Riveter
    June 25, 2017 
    3:00 - 4:30pm


    Rosie the Riveter, cultural icon of the United States, represents the American women who worked in factories and shipyards during World War II, many of whom produced munitions and war supplies. The munitions industry heavily recruited women workers, as illustrated by the U.S. government’s “Rosie the Riveter” propaganda campaign. Based in small part on a real-life munitions worker, but primarily a fictitious character, the strong, bandanna-clad Rosie became one of the most successful recruitment tools in American history, and the most iconic image of working women in the World War II era. Nowadays Rosie the Riveter is used as a symbol of female empowerment.

    Presenter by Greg Adler, San Jose Walks & Talks
    Greg Adler, a history and economics teacher founded San Jose Walks & Talks when he assigned his students a task of creating a historical walking tour of the city. 


    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. 



    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

    Women are still underrepresented in the so-called “hard” fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). As a consequence, women are also underrepresented in STEM-related industrial or academic leading positions and boards. Women in science are still paid less, promoted less, and win fewer grants. Meet Dana Bolles who beat all the odds and reached for the stars to realize her dream of working at NASA. 


    Presented by Dana Bolles, NASA Ames Bioscience Division
    Dana, who was born without arms or legs, has spent her entire life using a wheelchair. When she was a little girl, she dreamed of becoming an astronaut because, as she reasoned, no one needed a wheelchair in space. As a child in the 1970s and 80s, she did not have access to many support programs for people with disabilities, and as such she had to forge her own path. She did well in high school, and attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, for two years, before transferring to California State University, Long Beach, where she earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering. She then earned her MS in Rehabilitation Engineering and Technology from San Francisco State University. 




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