The Sit List: 5 ways to engage in Berkeley’s community

This week, support your local library; learn about the ethics of journalism; read Dan Rather’s graphic novel; listen to poetry; and look to the past. 

Roman Mars creator of 99% Invisible, hosts a fundraiser for the the Berkeley Public Library on Saturday. Photo: Pete Rosos

LIBRARY FAN Who doesn’t like their local library? Like many other institutions, libraries have been hit hard by the pandemic. Come out to support them in “Libraries are Central. Be a Fan!,” a fundraiser hosted by Roman Mars, creator of the radio show 99% Invisible. In this online event, you’ll get a tour of the Berkeley Public Library’s newly renovated Central Library spaces, as well as performances of music, dance, theater, poetry, and prose by authors and library lovers from Berkeley and beyond. Make sure to also check out their online auction. Come out and show some love to your library. Saturday, March 6. 5-6 p.m. Online auction is open for bidding until noon on March 7. Free to register.

ETHICAL JOURNALISM In these times, journalistic integrity has never been more important. Journalism has especially been scrutinized because of the consequences of dangerous misinformation. In “Writing and Righting the Wrongs of Journalism,” part of the Reimagining Democracy Town Hall Series at UC Berkeley, experts will discuss the ethics of journalism. They’ll talk about what journalism has gotten wrong and how can we make it right moving forward. Monika Bauerlein, the CEO of Mother Jones, Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and Michael Pollan, Berkeley Journalism professor, will lead a conversation on how journalism can take a critical look at itself and strengthen its values for the future. Monday, March 8. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Register in advance.

DAN RATHER Broadcast journalist and writer Dan Rather has been called a “tonic for disaffected millennials and conservative grandpas alike” by People magazine. Rather’s bestselling book, What Unites Us, a collection of essays about what it means to be American, is being released in graphic novel form. In “What it Means to Love America: Dan Rather on What Unites Us: The Graphic Novel, an event by the Bay Area Book Fest, Rather will be in conversation with Priya Clemens, the host of KQED Newsroom. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions to Rather on his book, his work, and his life. Tuesday, March 9. 6-7 p.m. Event admission is $20.

POETRY TALK If you’ve been waxing poetic, check out KPFA Radio’s conversation between poet Martin Espada and producer Dennis Bernstein. On Thursday, they will be discussing Espada’s new, acclaimed book of poetry, Floaters. Espada has written over 20 books as a poet, essayist, and translator. Offering commentary on anti-immigrant bigotry, Floaters refers to the name that border patrol agents use to describe migrants who drown trying to cross the border. The book “offers exuberant odes and defiant elegies, songs of protest and songs of love.” KPFA Radio 94.1 FM. Thursday, March 11. 6 p.m. Suggested donation $1-20.

OBJECT FEAR FUTURE You don’t need us to tell you twice: We are living in uncertain times. With disasters like the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, racism, and political unrest closing in on all sides, one way we can find solutions is looking to the past. In the Hearst Museum of Anthropology’s online exhibit, “Exploring Objects, Fears, and the Future,” you’ll see how previous civilizations used objects — like a crocodile statue, divination bag, Frankincense holder, masks, and compasses — to help them navigate the catastrophes and anxieties of their times. You’ll learn how these communities developed ways to resist the fear of evil, generate good fortune, and cope with death and tragedy. If they did it, so can we. History has its eyes on us.