Night of Ideas



Bay Area Theatre Cypher

San Francisco’s Favorite Evening of Talks and Performances, Night of Ideas, is Back In-Person for the 2022 Edition

Bay Area Theatre Cypher is a creative hub for multi-hyphenate hip hop theatre artists that prioritize equity, radical discussion, and social justice. We live at the crossfader of theatre and hip hop as a means to dismantle the traditional power structures found within the theater-making process by channelling the Hip Hop Cypher as a conduit for inclusive storytelling. We are an artist centric collective that creates film, live performance, and full length theatrical projects (virtual and in-person).


Bruce E. Cain

Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences @ Stanford University

San Francisco’s Favorite Evening of Talks and Performances, Night of Ideas, is Back In-Person for the 2022 Edition

Bruce E. Cain is a Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West. He received a BA from Bowdoin College (1970), a B Phil. from Oxford University (1972) as a Rhodes Scholar, and a Ph D from Harvard University (1976). He taught at Caltech (1976-89) and UC Berkeley (1989-2012) before coming to Stanford. Professor Cain was Director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley from 1990-2007 and Executive Director of the UC Washington Center from 2005-2012. He was elected the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000 and has won awards for his research (Richard F. Fenno Prize, 1988), teaching (Caltech 1988 and UC Berkeley 2003) and public service (Zale Award for Outstanding Achievement in Policy Research and Public Service, 2000). His areas of expertise include political regulation, applied democratic theory, representation and state politics. Some of Professor Cain’s most recent publications include “Malleable Constitutions: Reflections on State Constitutional Design,” coauthored with Roger Noll in University of Texas Law Review, volume 2, 2009; “More or Less: Searching for Regulatory Balance,” in Race, Reform and the Political Process, edited by Heather Gerken, Guy Charles and Michael Kang, CUP, 2011; “Redistricting Commissions: A Better Political Buffer?” in The Yale Law Journal, volume 121, 2012; and Democracy More or Less (CUP, 2015). He is currently working on problems of environmental governance.


Jeff Chang

San Francisco’s Favorite Evening of Talks and Performances, Night of Ideas, is Back In-Person for the 2022 Edition

Jeff Chang has written extensively on culture, politics, the arts, and music.

His first book, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, garnered many honors, including the American Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award, and was selected by Slate as one of the most important books of the past quarter century. It was updated in 2021 with co-author Dave “Davey D” Cook in a new edition for young adults, along with a new audiobook. He also edited the book, Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop.

Who We Be: The Colorization of America (St. Martin’s Press) was released on October 2014 to critical acclaim. It was published in paperback in January 2016 under the new title, Who We Be: A Cultural History of Race in Post-Civil Rights America (Picador). The book won the Ray + Pat Browne Award for Best Work in Popular Culture and American Culture and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Books For A Better Life Award.

We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation (Picador), was published in September 2016. It was named the Northern California Nonfiction Book Of The Year, and the Washington Post declared it “the smartest book of the year.” In May 2019, he and director Bao Nguyen created a four-episode digital series adaptation of the book for PBS Indie Lens Storycast.

You can find a list of all his books in print here. His next project is a cultural biography of Bruce Lee, Water Mirror Echo.

Jeff has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature and a winner of the North Star News Prize. He was named by The Utne Reader as one of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World,” by KQED as an Asian Pacific American Local Hero, and by the Yerba Buena Center for The Arts as one of its 2016 YBCA 100 list of those “shaping the future of American culture.”

With H. Samy Alim, he was the 2014 winner of the St. Clair Drake Teaching Award at Stanford University. He was named to the Frederick Douglass 200 as one of “200 living individuals who best embody the work and spirit of Douglass.” He helped to write the influential the Cultural New Deal alongside a number of artists and culture bearers.

He has been featured in the PBS documentary series, Asian Americans, Bao Nguyen’s movie, “Be Water”, and Lisa Ling’s “This Is Life.”

Jeff co-founded the May 19th Project, CultureStr/ke — now known as the Center for Cultural Power — and ColorLines.

As a journalist, he has written for a number of publications, including The GuardianSlateThe Nation, the New York Times, the San Francisco ChronicleThe Los Angeles Review of BooksThe BelieverForeign PolicyN+1Mother Jones, Salon, and Buzzfeed.

Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, he is a graduate of ‘Iolani School, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of California at Los Angeles.

Jeff serves as a Senior Advisor at Race Forward. He was formerly the Vice President of Narrative, Arts, and Culture there, and the Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University.


Community Music Center

San Francisco’s Favorite Evening of Talks and Performances, Night of Ideas, is Back In-Person for the 2022 Edition

Community Music Center makes high quality music accessible to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, regardless of financial means. Classes are offered on a sliding scale and some are completely tuition-free.

CMC students range in age from a few months to nearly 100 years old, and they enjoy classes in everything from Western classical to Chinese to Latin Music. Audience members enjoy events ranging from square dances to contemporary music performances. Last year more than 2,800 students of all ages studied at CMC and thousands enjoyed CMC performances.

Executive Director: Julie Rulyak Steinberg


Mathieu de Fayet

Chief Innovation Officer, Superblue

San Francisco’s Favorite Evening of Talks and Performances, Night of Ideas, is Back In-Person for the 2022 Edition

Mathieu de Fayet is originally from France and has been living in San Francisco for over ten years. Having worked in advertising for many years, he later made the transition into tech, being the head of Global Agency Operations at Google. Mathieu later became the VP of Global Strategic Partnerships at Niantic. He spent nearly a decade as a member of the founding team at Niantic, Inc. maker of Pokemon GO, where he worked with tech and media companies, cities, and major cultural institutions around the world to expand the company’s footprint and impact.

Currently, as the Chief Innovation Officer at Superblue, Mathieu brings extensive experience building and scaling businesses and ecosystems at the crossroads of technology, media, culture, and education. Mathieu spearheads the development of physical, virtual, and AR initiatives and partnerships that amplify and augment the experiences created by Superblue artists.

Additionally, Mathieu is on the board of Scenario, which is a social app that lets users capture, design, share, and play with 3D objects and use them to create interactive moments. Mathieu enjoys surfing and the outdoors, he is an avid adventurer and lives in SF with his wife and two young kids.


Jacqueline Fabius

Chief Operating Officer, Chief Impact Officer @ QBI - UCSF

San Francisco’s Favorite Evening of Talks and Performances, Night of Ideas, is Back In-Person for the 2022 Edition

Oversee operations and impact of science institute of 105 labs and manage 33M/Annual Revenue. Experienced international development program leader with substantial UN field experience. Founder and Board member of a progressive school catering to destitute children post-earthquake in Haiti, the Children of Haiti Project. Initiator of women’s economic empowerment trade and literacy workshops in Haiti.

• QBI: Secured NIH funding: $62M, consolidated DARPA grants: $36M, Negotiated Pharma funding: $3.8M, facilitated $6M in COVID-19 philanthropic funds.

• Demonstrated leadership of international cross-functional teams both in field and developed countries.
• Track record of stakeholder management in complex, high-risk environments – donors, Haitian Government, UN agencies, local NGOs, partners.
• Speak 5 languages: English, French, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Hebrew. Lived and worked in USA, Sweden, Chile, Haiti, France, Israel, Egypt.


Lil Milagro Henriquez

Founder and Executive Director @ Mycelium Youth Network

San Francisco’s Favorite Evening of Talks and Performances, Night of Ideas, is Back In-Person for the 2022 Edition

Mycelium Youth Network (MYN) provides high-quality Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (STEAM) programming with a focus on ancestrally-grounded climate resilience that is free or low cost to low-income youth in the Bay Area.

Our hands-on training blends the traditions and practices of local indigenous people and the technologies of today to empower young people with the skills needed to survive and thrive while facing the uncertainty of a climate-challenged world.



I love Mycelium Youth Network because we get to freedom dream a future that works for all of us. Too often, our system pushes us to accept the status quo and at Mycelium we consistently dream big and think outside of the box for some of the most pressing challenges of our current climate crisis.

My role in the zombie apocalypse would be as a knowledge gatherer who can also shoot a bow and arrow.


Debbie Lum

Filmmaker and Director of TRY HARDER! and Rachael Schmidt, documentary participant

San Francisco’s Favorite Evening of Talks and Performances, Night of Ideas, is Back In-Person for the 2022 Edition

Debbie Lum is an award-winning, San Francisco-based filmmaker whose projects give voice to the Asian American experience and other unsung stories. Her last film, SEEKING ASIAN FEMALE premiered at SXSW in documentary competition, was featured on This American Life, and is a perennial “fan favorite” of PBS’s Independent Lens series. For years she worked as a documentary editor; credits include A.K.A Don Bonus (winner national Emmy) and Kelly Loves Tony (nominated for Best Documentary by the IDA), which she also co-produced, among others. She also wrote and directed several short comedies, Chinese Beauty, A Great Deal!, and One April Morning. A mother of three, she is currently producing two documentaries that explore Asian Americans’ fixation on higher education: MY TIGER MOM and THE APPLICANTS.


Anuradha Mittal

Executive Director @ Oakland Institute

San Francisco’s Favorite Evening of Talks and Performances, Night of Ideas, is Back In-Person for the 2022 Edition

Anuradha Mittal, founder and executive director of the Oakland Institute, is an internationally renowned expert on development, human rights, and agriculture issues. Recipient of several awards, Anuradha Mittal was named the Most Valuable Thinker by the Nation magazine.

Since 2008, under Anuradha’s leadership, the Institute has unveiled land investment deals in the developing world which reveal a disturbing pattern of a lack of transparency, fairness, and accountability. The dynamic relationship between research, advocacy, and international media coverage has resulted in an amazing string of successes and organizing in the US and abroad.

Mittal has authored and edited numerous books and reports. Her articles and opinion pieces have been published in widely circulated newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Bangkok Post, Houston Chronicle, and the Nation. Anuradha has addressed the US Congress, the United Nations, given several hundred keynote addresses including invitational events from governments and universities, and has been interviewed on CNN, BBC World, CBC, ABC, Al Jazeera, National Public Radio, and Voice of America.

Anuradha currently serves on the board of the Environmental Defender Law Center(link is external), that she joined in 2020.


Julie Owono

Executive Director of Content Policy & Society Lab - Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and Executive Director of Internet Sans Frontières

San Francisco’s Favorite Evening of Talks and Performances, Night of Ideas, is Back In-Person for the 2022 Edition

Julie Owono was a Non-Resident Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab (2019-2020, 2020-2021).

Julie studied at the Paris Bar School, and holds a Master degree in International Law from La Sorbonne Law School.

She is the Executive Director of the Internet Sans Frontières (Internet Without Borders), an organization which works to preserve an open and free Internet, accessible to all without discrimination. There, her work is focused on Rights and Freedoms in the digital space, and develops the organization globally.

She regularly writes columns for various publications, including Al Jazeera where she addresses issues related to politics, law and innovation in the Gulf of Guinea. She often appears as a Gulf of Guinea expert on International TV channels like France 24, BBC World, Russia Today, Huff Post Live…

Non-Resident Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab


San Francisco Girls Chorus

San Francisco’s Favorite Evening of Talks and Performances, Night of Ideas, is Back In-Person for the 2022 Edition

San Francisco Girls Chorus prepares girls and young women from diverse backgrounds for success, on stage and in life, through rigorous, empowering music education, and enriches Bay Area cultural life through innovative vocal performance.


The vision of the San Francisco Girls Chorus is to produce performances of the highest artistic caliber; to provide music education for girls and young women from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds; to be a leader in the field through creativity and innovation; to give the girls and young women who participate in Chorus programs the skills, self-discipline and confidence to succeed in music and in life; and to instill in the choristers a lifelong love of music; and to communicate this passion through involvement with the greater community.

Under the direction of Artistic Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe, the San Francisco Girls Chorus has achieved an incomparable sound that underscores the unique clarity and force of impeccably trained treble voices fused with expressiveness and drama. As a result, the Chorus vibrantly performs 1,000 years of choral masterworks from plainchant to the most challenging and nuanced contemporary works created expressly for them in programs that are as intelligently designed as they are enjoyable and revelatory to experience.



Sharaya Souza

Executive Director & Co-Founder of the American Indian Cultural District

San Francisco’s Favorite Evening of Talks and Performances, Night of Ideas, is Back In-Person for the 2022 Edition

Sharaya Souza (Taos Pueblo, Ute, Kiowa) is an ambassador for promoting equitable resource distribution to American Indian communities, increasing Native visibility and political representation, and protecting and preserving tribal cultural resources in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sharaya serves on several local advisory groups including the Climate Council, SFAC Monuments & Memorials Advisory Committee, Aquatic Park & Pier Planning Committee, Presidio Activators Council, Housing Policy Committee, HRC Racial Equity in the Arts Working Group, United to Save the Mission, Environmental Justice Working Group, and the Human Rights Commission Community Roundtable.

Sharaya’s previous experience includes the American Indian Cultural Center, Twitter, California Native American Heritage Commission, the California Research Bureau, Office of Institutional Research, California Department of Water Resources, and working with Governor Brown’s Tribal Advisor. Her work in these areas included establishing the Native voice in tech, Native youth retention, nonpartisan research and policy recommendations, sacred site and tribal cultural resource protection, environmental review, government-to-government tribal consultation, land use mediation, helping tribal groups gain recognition as non-federally recognized tribes, and identifying Most Likely Descendants to repatriate Native American human remains.


Deanna Van Buren

Executive Director, Designing Justice + Designing Spaces

San Francisco’s Favorite Evening of Talks and Performances, Night of Ideas, is Back In-Person for the 2022 Edition

Deanna Van Buren is one of the national leaders researching, formulating, and advocating for restorative justice centers, a radical transformation of the criminal justice system. She is the design director and executive director of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, an architecture and real estate development firm innovating in the built environment to end mass incarceration.

Deanna’s professional career spans 16 years as a design lead in the offices of Eric R. Kuhne & Associates London, The Buchan Group Sydney, Michelle Kauffman Designs, and Perkins + Will on urban design, domestic, institutional and education projects in the Bay Area, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Recent work with her practice includes Restore, a multi-use hub for restorative justice and restorative economics, the Pop-Up Village, a mobile site activation tool, and The Hope Re-entry Campus. Deanna is a recent awardee of the Berkeley-Rupp Professorship Prize, The Royal Society of Arts Bicentenary Medal and the Women in Architecture Awards Honoring Pioneering Professionals. Deanna received her BS in Architecture from the University of Virginia, M. Arch from Columbia University and is an alumnus of the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Select a city