Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Write Now! SF Bay: Claim Ourselves, Connect with Each Other

November 22, 2020
1:00 pm
3:00 pm


View the recording.

A virtual presentation by the Oakland Asian Cultural Center in partnership with Asian Health Services and the UC Berkeley Public Service Center.

The San Francisco Bay Area is 60% people of color. How can we connect with ourselves and each other during this time of unceasing change? What can we learn from each other about the rich multicultural history of the Bay Area? Beyond the headlines are personal stories that help us truly see the overlooked, reclaim hidden histories, and support each other with compassion. Listen to the realities of these Black, Latinx and Asian Americans, and then share your own perspectives by submitting to Write Now!’s upcoming anthology: Essential Truths: The Bay Area in Color (Submissions open Oct 15-Dec 31).


Shizue Seigel, director of Write Now! SF Bay

Roberto Lovato, author of Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs and Revolution in the Americas

Sandra Bass, PhD, director of UC Berkley Public Service Center

Mark Harris, San Francisco artist and social activist

Dr. Sriram Shanasunder, Co-founder of UCSF HEAL Initiative

Specialty Mental Health Clinic of Asian Health Services

Readings and discussion by the panelists will be followed by a creative writing exercise where the audience can share their own essential truths as a person of color or an ally.

This workshop is presented in partnership with Write Now! SF Bay, Asian Health Services, and University of California Public Service Center. This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a partner of the NEH. Visit www.calhum.org

NOTE: The workshop will be hosted on Zoom and YouTube Live with a suggested donation of $10 to help support our presenters, organizers, tech and labor costs. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.


Shizue Seigel is a Japanese American writer born just after her family’s release from WWII incarceration. She’s led community writing projects for Centers for Disease Control/UCSF, National Japanese American Historical Society, African American Arts & Culture Complex, and others. She was written or edited six books, and her memoir and poetry have been widely published elsewhere.  She directs Write Now! SF Bay, which supports Bay Area writers of color through workshops, events and anthologies.

Recent Works:

CIVIL LIBERTIES UNITED, Pease Press, San Francisco, 2019. www.peasepress/com

“Who Do You Think You Are?”, L. D. Green and Kelechi Ubozoh, eds,

We’ve Been Too Patient: Voices From Radical Mental Health – Stories and Research Challenging the Biomedical Model, North Atlantic Books 2019

“Swimming in the New Normal,” Deborah Santa, ed, All the Women in My Family Sing, NTTB Press 2018.   https://aerbook.com/maker/productcard-3248263-3202.html

Write Now! SF Bay, fiscally sponsored by Intersection for the Arts, has supported civil liberties and social justice though community stories since 2015 under the direction of  Shizue Seigel, a third-generation Japanese American whose family was incarcerated by the U.S. government during World War II. Racism survives by suppressing stories. To increase compassion and community, we must claim and share all of our stories.

Submissions for a new anthology, Essential Truths: The San Francisco Bay Area in Color, are open Nov 15-Dec 31. More information to come at https:/ www.WriteNowSF.com

Write Now! SF Bay’s anthologies (https://www.writenowsf.com/buy-books):

CIVIL LIBERTIES UNITED: Diverse Voices from the San Francisco Bay Area

Edited by Shizue Seigel • Pease Press, San Francisco, 2019

300pp (with 60+ b/w images).     ISBN: 978-0-9904173-9-2

​200+ works of prose, poetry and visual art by 100 San Francisco Bay Area

writers/artists of color and allies responding to today’s erosion of civil liberties.


ENDANGERED SPECIES, ENDURING VALUES: San Francisco Area Writers and Artists of Color

Edited by Shizue Seigel • Pease Press, San Francisco, 2018

272 pp. (90 color pages).      ISBN: 978-0-9904173-4-7

150+ works of prose, poetry, art and photography by 70 creatives of color responding to the question “What keeps  your going in hard times?” https://www.writenowsf.com/endangered-species-anthology


Edited by Shizue Seigel • Pease Press, San Francisco,
140pp. (with b/w artwork)      ISBN: 978-0-9904173-2-3.

Exploring multiple layers of displacement in two San Francisco neighborhoods impacted by immigration, World War II incarceration and migration, redevelopment, and gentrification.

Out of print. Excerpts here: https://www.writenowsf.com/read


Roberto Lovato’s Unforgetting (Harper Collins) was hailed by the NY Times as a “groundbreaking memoir.” Lovato is an educator, journalist and writer based at The Writers Grotto in San Francisco. As a Co-Founder of #DignidadLiteraria, he helped build a movement advocating for equity & literary justice for the more than 60 million Latinx persons left off of bookshelves in the U.S. and out of the national dialogue. A recipient of a reporting grant from the Pulitzer Center, Lovato has reported on numerous issues—violence, terrorism, the drug war and the refugee crisis—from around the hemisphere and the world. https://robertolovato.com/

Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs and Revolution in the Americas

Roberto Lovato

Harper Collins (2020)

ISBN : 0062938479

Roberto Lovato’s memoir excavates family history and reveals the intimate stories beneath headlines about gang violence and mass Central American migration, one of the most important, yet least-understood humanitarian crises of our time. The child of Salvadoran immigrants, Roberto Lovato grew up in 1970s and 80s San Francisco as MS-13 and other notorious Salvadoran gangs were forming in California. In his teens, he lost friends to the escalating violence, and survived acts of brutality himself. He eventually traded the violence of the streets for human rights advocacy in wartime El Salvador. Upon his return, he channeled his own pain into activism and journalism, focusing on how trauma affects individual lives and societies.


Dr. Sandra Bass currently serves as Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Public Service Center at UC Berkeley. Upon receiving her doctorate in political science, Dr. Bass was appointed as an assistant professor of Criminology and Political Science at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she integrated service learning into both her undergraduate and graduate courses. In 2002 Sandra joined the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and in 2010 she was selected to lead the Foundation’s girl’s education, women’s leadership, and reproductive health program in Sub-Saharan Africa, and later was appointed the executive director of Teach With Africa, an organization focused on cross cultural learning for K-12 teachers in the US and South Africa. Sandra has published numerous articles and essays in academic journals and on various platforms, and has co-edited three volumes. She currently serves on the regional board of Multiplying Good, the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund, the Osher Center for Lifelong Learning Diversity and Equity Advisory Board. She is also a nonviolence trainer and educator. Sandra holds a BA from San Jose State University, and an MA and PhD from UC Berkeley, all in political science.






Mark Harris is an award-winning artist, activist and educator. He has combined his passions for art making and activism to create a unique visual vocabulary that he uses to engage his audience on critical issues facing society today. He has established a strong independent voice and is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most controversial artists. The Metro Silicon Valley News called his work “brilliantly subversive.” His evocative, elegant and dynamic creations have caught the eye of international and domestic art collectors alike. A native of Durham, N.C. Harris grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, but he now lives in San Francisco, California.




Social Media: MarkHarrisArt




Dr. Sriram Shamasunder, Co-founder, UCSF HEAL, is a doctor/poet who started writing poetry during college at UC Berkeley where he studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco, and co-founder of the HEAL Initiative, a health workforce strengthening fellowship working in Navajo Nation and 7 countries around the world.


Asian Health ServicesSpecialty Mental Health Services division provides mental health services to Medi-Cal clients in Alameda County since July 1, 2016. Their clinicians and staff work collaboratively with AHS medical providers, dental providers, and behavioral specialists to provide specialized services to children, youth and adults experiencing moderate to severe mental health illness, including: assessment, therapy, medication, case management, crisis intervention, hotline response, prevention and education, advocacy, support and referral services.

More about AHS’ Specialty Mental Health: https://asianhealthservices.org/specialty-mental-health-clinic/


November 22, 2020
1:00 pm3:00 pm
Event Category:


Oakland Asian Cultural Center

Coming to OACC? Plan your visit.

Get information about location, parking, and hours.

Primary Color
color 2
color 3
color 4
color 5
color 6
color 7
color 8
color 9
color 10
color 11
color 12