Our 2020 Summer Bridge program is a great way for all of us to stay connected while exploring and lifting up issues that impact our communities, our country and ourselves. The program is free to all current OLLI members. Gatherings are held on Zoom. 


OLLI Engages: Organizing for the Election

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown into sharp relief the consequences of an attack on science and government itself. Many among us are looking to the November 2020 election as an opportunity to mobilize for change. But, how? To what policy ends? In concert with whom?

This four-week discussion group led by Brian Murphy, president emeritus of De Anza College, will provide an opportunity for OLLI members to talk together about the election, to hear from organizers in the field about opportunities for engagement, and to share about their own experiences as election organizers. RSVP for the link to join. You will use the same Zoom link each week. All meetings take place from 1-2:30 PM.

  • Week 1 (July 15): Democracy in Peril: What’s at Stake?  Our first meeting presents an overview of the sharp differences between the political parties, their very different policy agendas and constituencies, and their differing views of democracy. Readings for Week 1.
     
  • Week 2 (July 29): The Demographics of the Election: Who Votes and Who Seeks to Vote?  What national electoral alliances are required for a democrat to win, or a republican to win? What does this mean for choosing where to put ones political energy. Week 2 readings and viewings: 
  • Week 3 (Aug. 12): Organizing and Elections: What are the concrete ways we can act before and during the election season?  What are the opportunities for volunteering and the organizations seeking volunteers?  What have been our experiences with this kind of work? We'll be joined by Ethan Stone, of Swing Left East Bay, and Andrew Kim of Flip the West, representatives of two organizations focused on increasing voter participation in the 2020 election.
     
  • Week 4 (Aug. 26): Down Ballot: What’s at Stake Below the Presidential Vote?  What California races and propositions are in play, to which ends?  What is the proposed Proposition 13 amendment, and who is on which side? Lenny Goldberg of the California Tax Reform Association will join us to discuss Prop 15 which establishes a split roll for property taxes — protecting the residential property tax rate and amending the corporate tax rate that had been provided under Prop 13.

Brian Murphy is President Emeritus of De Anza College and an associate in Berkeley's Center for Studies in Higher Education. Murphy taught political theory and Urban Politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara University, and San Francisco State University, where he directed the San Francisco Urban Institute. Learn more.


OLLI Reads: How to Move Forward

OLLI Reads is an opportunity for OLLI members to engage with texts that deal with the incredible moment in which we now inhabit: a moment full of tragedy, and one also full of possibility.  We will read both nonfiction accounts and fictional renditions of events that will instruct us in how to move through an increasingly complex world. All meetings take place from 1-2 PM. RSVP for the link to join. You will use the same link for all four meetings.

  • Week 1 (July 22): We will read Ta-Nehisi Coates’s incredible memoir/letter to his son, Between the World and Me — a work that was important in 2015, and somehow even more resonant now. 
     
  • Week 2 (Aug. 5): We will approach Ibram X. Kendi’s answer to the question, “What will you write next?” How to Be an Antiracist. In addition to reading the book, watch this recent TED interview with Kendi
     
  • Weeks 3 & 4 (Aug. 19 & Sept. 2): We will devote ourselves to Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, an amazingly prescient fictional account of what the world might look like in those distant 2020’s.  

Facilitated by OLLI @Berkeley Curriculum Coordinator, Matt Shears, OLLI Reads is an opportunity for OLLI members to engage with texts and each other in order to take our conversation beyond the Zoom room and out into the living world.  

Matt Shears has taught courses in the humanities at schools including the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Washington State University, and California College of the Arts. He received his Ph.D. from UNLV, where he was a Schaeffer Fellow, and his M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers Workshop. A practicing writer, Matt's most recent book is called Dear Everyone.


Vital Aging Workshop

How does one achieve a happier older adulthood? What are the tools required to build mental and emotional flexibility, nurture a sense of humor, face reality, get help if you can, keep doing the things that bring you joy and be kind and patient with yourself and others?

How does one achieve a happier older adulthood? What are the tools required to build mental and emotional flexibility, nurture a sense of humor, face reality, get help if you can, keep doing the things that bring you joy and be kind and patient with yourself and others?

Join us for three workshops — July 14, Aug. 11 and Sept. 1, from 3:30-4:30 PM — as author and OLLI member and 4th Age Salon co-lead Sara Orem presents current research and experiences on selected topics, and invites members to share stories, suggestions, solutions, resources, or whatever they see as useful to the current discussion. RSVP for the link to join

  • Week 1 (July 14): Build both mental and emotional flexibility 
  • Week 2 (Aug. 11): Nurture a sense of humor
  • Week 3 (Sept. 1): Keep doing what brings you JOY

Sara Orem has been interviewing older adults about vitality for nearly five years. She is a writer of memoir and non-fiction, and a practitioner of positive psychology. The workshops are based on Sara's medium.com series Six Keys to a Happier Older Adulthood