County of Marin - News Releases - Speaker Series

For Immediate Release
September 01, 2021

Speaker Series Goal is Fostering Understanding

Building Bridges Beyond Bias begins online September 22

San Rafael, CA – A four-part online series starting in September is designed for Marin County residents from all backgrounds to learn more about each other and to foster social connections and understanding, and not only confront biases but explore beyond them. 

The free series is called Building Bridges Beyond Bias, and it’s presented by the Marin County Free Library (MCFL) and Age Forward Marin. The first 90-minute session is set for 6:30 p.m. September 22 and will feature Laura Eberly of Mountaintop Coaching & Consulting. Future speakers in the coming weeks are: Alejandro Lara of Canal Alliance; Tahirah Dean of Legal Aid of Marin; and Dr. Jason Lau of Sonoma State University and the Marin Child Care Commission.

artistic graphic with words Building Bridges Beyond Bias

Each Building Bridges session will begin with a presentation by the guest speaker and then split into small discussion groups before reconvening for a summary wrap-up. The series dates are September 22, October 6, October 20, and November 3.

Registration is required. Sign-ups are available on the MCFL website.

Age Forward Marin is spearheaded by Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Novato resident Gloria Dunn-Violin approached HHS Director Benita McLarin with a concept that evolved into the special speaker series. An experienced consultant in organizational development and behavior, Gloria teamed with the Corte Madera Library and the Age Forward initiative to design the Beyond Bias program’s  purpose and format, to assist in finding speakers, and to share the event with community partners focused on diversity and inclusion.

“Ideally, participants will attend all four evenings and have the chance to get to know one another,” said Shereen Ash, an Adult Services Librarian with MCFL. “If you are eager to learn about yourself and others, and value constructive, respectful interactions, please join us and encourage your friends and neighbors to come, too. More voices will create a richer conversation.”

MCFL, which dates to 1927, has a long track record of supporting equity measures in the county and offering enlightening educational programming. It maintains a webpage of events at all 10 MCFL branches. MCFL has enthusiastically endorsed the Marin County Board of Supervisors’ prioritization of social equity and the creation of the County’s Office of Equity. County departments are working to dismantle inequities and transform systems inherited through centuries of racial, social, and political injustices.

From within HHS’ Aging and Adult Services Division, Age Forward Marin focuses on making the county more age friendly a key goal for one of the state’s oldest counties in terms of median population age. The Age Forward plan establishes a universal practice of creating and adapting services, programs, policies, places, and spaces to be responsive to the needs of all ages and generations. Age Forward is a collective effort between County departments and local government, community leaders,  and residents including in Marin’s unincorporated areas.

Interested in other equity efforts and resources? Follow the Marin County Administrator’s Office of Equity.


Shereen Ash
Adults Services Librarian, Corte Madera Branch
Marin County Free Library

707 Meadowstreet Drive
Corte Madera, CA 94925
(415) 925-3515
Email: Shereen Ash
Library website