A Grand gala for women’s empowerment

Women’s Empowerment Gala

Don’t let the term “gala” turn you off with visions of the fur-coated elite stumbling through a silent-auction maze. The Women’s Empowerment gala on May 1 toasts an at once inspiring and humbling cause that will capture your full attention with speakers who have overcome homelessness. A Celebration of Independence is the seventh annual gala to raise funding and honor graduates of the Women’s Empowerment program, which helps homeless women secure an occupation to support their families through an eight-week educational program. Beyond job training, the nonprofit affiliated with Loaves and Fishes offers self-esteem courses, health classes and support services to the women enrolled in its curriculum. Several graduates from the program will join local community leaders in the lineup of event speakers. Live music, a formal dinner and, yes, a silent auction, will be among the evening’s entertainment. $65. 5:30 to 9 p.m. Th 5/1. The Grand, 1215 J Street; (916) 669-2307; www.womens-empowerment.org.