Organizational News

news & events > organizational news



Today on Your Call: What Can We Do To Keep Our Streets Safe From Gender-Based Violence? features Julie Baltzley, the Case Manager at San Francisco Women Against Rape, Delilah Rumburg, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) and Michelle Seivers, the Site Director for Hollaback! San Francisco.


Eryn Mathewson speaks with Janelle White, Talia Taylor, Isa Nakazawa, and Richard Wright about Congressman Todd Aiken's controversial comments about "legitimate rape," and a women's ability to "shut down" a pregnancy caused by such. Then Kate Raphael covers Chevron's involvement in the environmental degradation of the Nigeria, Ecuador and Angola. Activists, Emom Okon, Luz Trinidad Andrea Cusangua, and Sizaltina Cutaia talk about how they are working to hold Chevron accountable


Malihe Razzazan talks with Susan Abulhawa, author of Mornings in Jenin, a powerful narrative of the Palestinian refugee experience. Preeti Shekar speaks with Cambodian human rights and feminist activist Mu Sochua, and Kate Raphael talks to Janelle White about sexual assault prevention and next weekend's Walk Against Rape.


Kate Raphael talks about the Nonprofit Industrial Complex with current and former leaders of San Francisco Women Against Rape. Plus, Sara Jaka explores art and activism with musicians Betsy Rose and Melanie deMore, who will be performing together at an upcoming benefit for Code Pink Women for Peace." ~ KPFA Website


In recognition of International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2006 and a recent United Nations report on violence against women Kate Raphael interviews Janelle White from San Francisco Women Against Rape; Joy Duenas from the Gabriela Network focusing on issues affecting women in the Philippines and Asia Pacific and Athena Colby, author of a study on human rights abuses in Haiti about the recent U.N. study on violence against women. Later on in the show, Safi Wa Nairobi has a special report on the trial of eleven women from the Raging Grannies arrested in Philadelphia last July for attempting to enlist.


The Ongoing WAR at Home
by Tom W. Kelly

As national attention (and money) focuses on war in Iraq, there is also an ongoing war here at home...SFWAR, an acronym for San Francisco Women Against Rape. To assist this worthy cause, SALE Productions -- a new local theatre company -- is donating 100% of the net proceeds from their upcoming production of the powerhouse drama Extremities. Starring television actress Lisa Guerrero, this intensely provocative script by William Mastrosimone runs Wednesdays to Sundays at SF's intimate Noh Space theatre from November 19 to December 19.

Extremities is every woman's worst nightmare come true...with a twist. Farrah Fawcett starred in the famous movie version, but the stage play is even more powerful, yet mercifully lightened by much-needed moments of comic relief. In the play, during an attempted rape, a woman captures her attacker and proceeds to torture him. Her roommates return home and struggle to determine who is guilty of a crime, the woman or her would-be rapist. "The problem is to get people in jail," producer Saget discussed the controversial nature of the play, "But in Extremities, it might get her in jail. Or even if he is imprisoned, he might get out of jail eventually and come back for her."

SALE Productions consists of local theatre artists and partners Jon Gale and Brad Saget (S-aget and g-ALE became SALE). "This is our first official production together through SALE Productions," Saget explained "Though we've both separately produced other programs in the Bay Area through business ventures." Gale has acted in commercials and film projects as well as local theatres including the New Conservatory, Theatre Rhino, and the Cable Car. Saget has appeared in various commercials as well as performed the duties of stage manager.

The volatile Extremities hit close to home with both producer's families. "A long time ago, my sister had been assaulted," Gale stated, "And I wanted to do something for her. She kicked the s*** out of the guy and managed to get away with some scrapes. But she was a mess emotionally." At this time in Indiana, there was little-to-nothing in place for emotional support. Gale added, "My sister filed a police report, and they essentially told her to get over it. Anybody who's been sexually assaulted should have more than that. She turned to her family...there was nothing else available at the time." Luckily, here in the Bay Area there is SFWAR.

The beneficiary of 100% of the net proceeds from the entire run of Extremities, SFWAR provides resources, support, advocacy and education to strengthen the work of all individuals, and communities in San Francisco that are responding to, healing from, and struggling to end sexual violence. "SFWAR means it when they say 'all individuals'." Gale expanded with "Many people don't realize it, but they also help gays, transsexuals, straight men. They provide a place to go, a safe-haven, a shelter." SFWAR believes that "no single individual, organization, foundation, or business alone can stop the epidemic of sexual assault, but by responding as a whole community, we each bring our piece of the solution." More info at

Television star Lisa Guerrero has appeared in over 200 commercials as well as dozens of television shows including a starring role in Aaron Spelling's Sunset Beach, and guest appearances on In the Heat of the Night, Cybil, Matlock, Line's, Frasier, and the George Lopez Show. She was the former Monday Night Football sideline reporter and has worked as the update anchor for "The Best Damn Sports Show Period" for Fox Sports. Soon, she will be the host for "ESPN Hollywood" debuting in January 2005.

Guerrero comes to Extremities through Jon Gale. "I worked with Lisa on the musical Grease a few years ago in Los Angeles at the Westminster Playhouse. She was fun to work with, and we've been close friends ever since." Gale adds, "Just for this project, she's moved to the Bay Area. After the show, she'll return to Los Angeles with her new husband Scott Erickson, a major league baseball player, a pitcher. Actually they celebrated their honeymoon right before launching into the final rehearsals for Extremities. It's been an amazing reunion. I never thought with her busy schedule that she could do it. But I was lucky to catch her between projects."

SALE Productions is committed to providing Bay Area audiences with thought-provoking theatre that is both strongly-written and entertaining. And they hope to provide an ongoing venue for an ever-expanding roster of Bay Area talent. And in the process, the proceeds from their shows will always give something back to the Community. "We feel," Saget noted, "that sometimes smaller organizations don't get the help and awareness of the community." Director Linda Lowry is an actor, director and teacher who lives and works in SF and NYC. As a member of AEA, SAG, and AFTRA, she has acted on both the East and West Coasts. In addition to Lisa Guerrero, the cast includes SF actors Jon Gale, Desiree Rogers, Laura Jane Bailey, and Alex Alexander. The production team consists of set designer Jedd DeLucia, set construction by Dave Garner, lighting designer Stephen Siegel, and poster, program, and postcard design by Perkolate.

Playwright William Mastrosimone's Extremities won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play and The John Gassner Award for Playwriting and later was made into a film. Mastrosimone has most recently written a play titled The Afghan Women, which he notes is similar in tone to Extremities.

"It's in our own's everywhere," Gale summed up. "This play is a way to put a face to a reality where most people say 'it would never happen to me.' They just don't know." Excellent theatre can challenge preconceived notions, inspire reform, provoke action, and/or provide healing. Extremities does it all! Check out this amazing drama, not just for the theatrical tour de force but also to support the worthy SFWAR.

Donations for SFWAR are much appreciated. If unable to attend, please consider sending a check payable to "SALE Productions c/o SFWAR" to SALE Productions, 2261 Market Street #113, SF, CA 94114.

Extremities opens November 19 at the Noh Space (part of the Artaud Project on Potrero Hill), 2840 Mariposa Street, SF and continues Thursdays to Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets for the Opening Night Gala are $35 and for the remainder of the run are $25. To order tickets or for more information, call (415) 621-7978 or go to

click here to return to top of page

Starbucks grant aids school mural program
By Kathleen Sullivan
San Francisco Chronicle, July 2, 2004

. . .The other recipient in the city was San Francisco Women Against Rape, which received a $15,000 grant. . .

The group will use the money to fund its "Students Talking About Nonviolent Dating" program, which teaches students in 30 middle schools and high schools about sexual harassment and sexual assault. It conducts support groups -- with male facilitators for boys and female facilitators for girls -- to talk about relationships and dating, and trains students to become "peer educators" who talk to other students.

In the last five years, schoolchildren in San Francisco have transformed walls -- on school buildings, community centers, even a shipping container -- into works of art by taking part in mural workshops sponsored by a nonprofit group known as Kid Serve.

The group will be able to continue its work during the 2004-2005 school year with the help of a $50,000 grant from the Starbucks Coffee Co. "It means we've got a program next year," said Josef Norris, 39, the group's director and supervising artist. Norris said the grant, along with money from the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, will enable Kid Serve to conduct 14-week "mural residencies" in seven public schools.

Under the residencies, students conduct site inspections, create "community needs assessments," and design and create permanent, outdoor murals. So far, school kids have created about 30 murals, some painted, others done in mosaic tile. A map on the group's Web site -- -- provides a map showing their locations.

It also features color photographs of the kids and their murals, including:

Kid Serve was one of 12 organizations awarded grants under Starbucks' "Grants for Giving" program, which recently awarded $375,000 to nonprofits serving children and families in Northern California.

The other recipient in the city was San Francisco Women Against Rape, which received a $15,000 grant.

The group will use the money to fund its "Students Talking About Nonviolent Dating" program, which teaches students in 30 middle schools and high schools about sexual harassment and sexual assault. It conducts support groups -- with male facilitators for boys and female facilitators for girls -- to talk about relationships and dating, and trains students to become "peer educators" who talk to other students.

Nisha Anand, the group's development director, said the 30-year-old volunteer organization is bracing for possible cuts in funding from government agencies, but couldn't live with the idea of cutting back its youth programs.

"This is the real way to prevent sexual assault, through educational programs for youth," said Anand, 27. "We had to look for outside funding."

The group also offers adult education, operates a 24-hour telephone hot line, and provides counseling to rape victims.

click here to return to top of page

Report Back:
A Youth Commission Hearing On Sexual Harassment

On Thursday April 1, 2004, the Youth Commission had a hearing at City Hall in San Francisco to deal with the issue of sexual harassment at school.The Youth Commission facilitated the hearing in an effort to find out more about the prevalence of sexual harassment and what schools, the district, and city officials can do to stop it. Many organizations were represented at the hearing and there to comment. Some agencies who presented include: Tyna Hector, Teen Education Director at SanFrancisco Women Against Rape, SLASH (Student Leaders Against SexualHarassment), The San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, EqualRights Advocates, Peer Resource, and The Department of Health.

The hearing, innovative and youth-run was very informative covering issues like the lack of training for teachers and administrators in dealing with cases of sexual harassment and the rights of students under Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. Further, the dire need for a uniform response from SFUSD to better support students in preventing and addressing sexual harassment was a dominant topic.

Within the Teen Education department at SFWAR, we have a Peer Ed Program where youth get trained to do sexual harassment and sexual assault prevention with their fellow classmates. As we have this component of the organization, the best part of the hearing was listening to a group of students in the Peer Resource Program at Mission High tell their experience doing presentations to fellow students about sexual harassment. The students also talked about the common occurrence of sexual harassment at school and how the problem deserves attention.

The hearing was definitely a step forward in recognizing the rampant incident rate of sexual harassment in schools and what needs to be done to help end it. However, I also left feeling that more young people,and more teachers and school officials from across the city have to be a part of the conversation to truly begin to tackle this serious problem on a larger scale.

click here to return to top of page