Who We Are
The Berkeley Forum is a completely nonpartisan, student-run nonprofit that organizes debates, talks, and panels that are open and accessible to UC Berkeley students and our community. Since 2012, the Berkeley Forum has hosted more than 100 events and 6,000 attendees. From MythBusters co-host Jamie Hyneman to PayPal founder Peter Thiel, guests of the Forum have created opportunities for intellectual dialogue both within and beyond UC Berkeley. Our events have been covered by C-SPAN, CNN, FOX News, and the New York Times.
Our current semester includes a record 18 debates, panels, and talks. As our organization seeks to consistently reach new audiences and promote more viewpoints, our limitations as a completely student-run nonprofit have created barriers that inhibit these goals. With your support, we hope to overcome this through the following 3 initiatives:
1) Expanding the Breadth of our Lineup: Out-of-State and International Speakers Fund
While the Forum’s lineup has always sought to cover a range of topics and guests, factors of cost prohibit our Programming team from actively inviting out-of-state and international speakers. In order to expand the variety of our lineup for the Spring 2018 semester, $2000 of the money raised from this campaign will be used to establish a fund that actively works to invite a greater breadth of speakers.
2) Establishing our Presence in Unprecedented Venues: Community Venues Fund
As the Forum seeks to continuously expand its lineup and number of events, the organization needs access to a plethora of venues around and outside campus. However, the past year has seen a drastic limitation of our venue options. Off-campus and more community-based venues are available but expensive, with the average event costing over $500 per venue. By allocating $1500 to booking these venues, we can secure centrally located, easily accessible spaces.
3) Engaging Greater Audiences from the Berkeley Community: High School Outreach Program
The Forum’s growth also comes with increased audiences. We would like to catalyze this process by reaching out to local high schools, and hope to direct $500 of this campaign towards establishing an outreach program that allows younger students to easily access our events and talk with Forum members about their UC Berkeley experiences.
How Your Support Helps
Through your support, the Forum will:
Increase out-of-state and international speakers by 25% in our 2018 lineup
Host 2 to 3 more events in accessible community venues such as Hotel Durant, Berkeley City Club, and the Bancroft Hotel
Implement a High School Outreach Program in 2 to 3 local classrooms in Spring 2018
Being a nonprofit, the Berkeley Forum depends primarily on donations and limited university grants for support - resources that cover only a fraction of the cost of just a single event. Many times, Forum members pay out of their own pockets for events.
The Berkeley Forum is excited to expose our community to incredible ideas and diversity of thought, which is why your support is CRUCIAL.
The Berkeley Forum holds a panel on women in technology.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro speaks about housing rights, gentrification, and homelessness.
Robert Krulwich, co-host of NPR's Radiolab, takes the audience on a journey exploring the intersection of science and mystery.
To find out more about us and our events, visit us at forum.berkeley.edu and like us on Facebook.