San Francisco Bay Area Gala Inspires

November 18, 2022

Leila De Moss performing at the Bay Area gala.

Drawing close to 1,000 viewers, ALBA’s Bay Area gala on October 15 offered an inspiring mix of history, music, and activism. Richard Bermack moderated the online event.

Jeff Chang at the Bay Area Gala.

Activist Jeff Chang presented a powerful keynote address (video | full text), linking the struggle against racism and fascism today with the values and commitments of the men and women who confronted fascism some 80 years ago. Pat Riccards, Executive Director of Life After Hate (LAH), explained how the organization works to move potentially violent people into more peaceful lives. LAH received this year’s ALBA/Puffin Human Rights Activism award. The $100,000 award is among the world’s largest annual prizes and aims to keep alive the spirit of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade who fought in Spain to defend democracy.

Nancy Tsou at the Bay Area Gala.

ALBA associate Nancy Tsou presented a slideshow about the various Asian volunteers who joined the International Brigades, part of her deep research project with her husband Len. Last year, ALBA’s Board issued a statement condemning the rise of anti-Asian violence in the US.

The highlight of the day was the musical program led by Bruce Barthol, Peter Glazer, and Richard Bermack, ending with Salud! Salud! Salud! The band included Bruce Barthol on bass & vocals, Randy Craig on piano, Tony Marcus on fiddle & mandolin, Barrett Nelson on guitar, Dave Rokeach on drums, and Rachel Steiner, vocals. The dramatic dialogues were interpreted by actors Arthur Holden, Leila De Moss, and Barry Levitan.

The entire event is available for view on ALBA’s YouTube channel.