Can we have civil civic discourse in these fractious times? Manny Yekutiel, activist and owner of the cafe, bookstore and civic events space Manny’s, passionately believes so.
Manny opened his “people-powered and community-focused meeting and learning place” in San Francisco’s Mission District on Election Night, 2018, to encourage civic engagement. He’s since hosted hundreds of events — initially in person, now virtually — on topics ranging from politics to climate change, criminal justice reform and LGBTQ rights.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, (Monday, Jan. 18), those events include six online sessions about the January 6 U.S. Capitol Insurrection with new Black gay Congressmember Ritchie Torres and other notable speakers.
Past speakers have included Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, former President Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe and, during their campaigns, Georgia’s new US Senators, Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.
Gay and Jewish, Manny says still loving and respecting his politically and socially conservative orthodox family — despite most of them voting for Trump twice and his father’s rejection when Manny came out — has helped Manny learn how to encourage civil dialogue among people holding different opinions.
Manny talks about all this and much more on this week’s Out in the Bay with host Eric Jansen. He’s intelligent, inspiring, caring and compassionate. He’s on fire!