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Healing Around Race: Creative Writing Workshop #2

July 25, 2020
1:00 pm
3:00 pm

$5 – $15

Struggling to process and confront anti-Black and anti-Asian racism within your social networks? Explore the healing power of creative writing!

  • The July 25th workshop focuses on “Stand Together – Creativity and Social Justice”

Eth-Noh-Tec storytellers Robert Kikuchi Yngojo and Nancy Wang, poet Jennifer Hasegawa, poet/KFPFA journalist Dennis J Bernstein, poet/musician/KPFA & POO DJ Avotcja discuss how social justice informs their art.

Participants will be invited to engage in creative writing exercises around questions like: What arts do you resonate with and why? What are your creative outlets? If I could, this is the story I’d tell.

NOTE: The workshop will be hosted on Zoom and YouTube Live with a sliding scale fee of $5~$15 to help support our presenters, organizers, tech and labor costs. If you are interested in participating but are unable to afford the ticketing tier, please email programs@oacc.cc and we would be happy to work with you on making this event accessible.

This workshop is presented in partnership with Write Now! SF Bay, UC Berkeley Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, and Eastwind Books of Berkeley.

Recommended Readings from Eastwind Books of Berkeley.


Photos from left to right: Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo and Nancy Wang (Eth-Noh-Tec), Jennifer Hasegawa, Dennis Bernstein, Avotcja.


Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo are Eth-Noh-Tec‘s founding artistic directors. Since 1981, Nancy’s dance, choreography and theater experience synthesizes with Robert’s musical talents, composing and theater experience, exploding their duality into a unique and choreographed expression unlike any other. Combining stylized gesture and movements with their mutual vision of the interplay between the arts and humanities, the spoken word, and music, Nancy and Robert quickly became a dynamic creative partnership, recounting age-old Asian folktales and contemporary Asian American stories.  Together their performance style is a multiple of dualities: the Spiritual and the Human, the Eastern and Western, the Social and the Personal, the Traditional and the Experimental.
Together they perform around the world with several programs and workshops.  They have received various awards including ‘Artist of the Year’ by National Young Audiences, and NSN’s ‘Circle of Excellence’ and ‘International StoryBridge’ awards.  They are also the recipients of numerous grants.

Recent Works:

Nancy Wang, A New Pair of Wings, Parkhurst Borthers Publishers, 2016

Visit their online store for DVDs, CDs and more.

Jennifer Hasegawa is a poet and photographer. She’s sold funeral insurance door-to-door and had her suitcase stolen from a plastic surgery clinic in Paraguay. The manuscript for her first collection of poetry, La Chica’s Field Guide to Banzai Living, received the Joseph Henry Jackson Literary Award. Hasegawa’s work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, has appeared in The Adroit Journal, Bamboo Ridge, and Tule Review; and is forthcoming in Bennington Review and Vallum. She was born and raised in Hilo, Hawai‘i and lives in San Francisco.

Recent Works: La Chica’s Field Guide to Banzai Living, Omnidawn Publishing 2020

Dennis J Bernstein lives in San Francisco. is an award-winning poet and investigative reporter. He is the host and executive producer of Flashpoints on Pacifica Radio. He is the award-winning host/producer of Flashpoints, syndicated on public and community radio stations across the United States. Bernstein is the recipient of many awards including the 2015 Pillar Award in Broadcast Journalism. His essays have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Denver Post, Philadelphia Enquirer, San Francisco Chronicle,  the Boston Globe, Der Spiegel, and many more. He is the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom and Five Oceans in a Teaspoon.

Recent Works:  Five Oceans in a Teaspoon, Paper Crown Press 2019

Radio: Flashpoints, Mondays-Fridays, 5-6 pm

Avotcja (pronounced Avacha) has been published in English & Spanish in the USA, Mexico & Europe. She’s an award winning Poet & multi-instrumentalist. She’s a popular Bay Area DJ & Radio Personality & leader of the group “Avotcja & Modúpue.” She is featured on the CD Matter Is by the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra + voices.

Spoken word with Electric Squeezebox Orchestra:

“Matter Is” and “Soundly Metaphysical,” Matter Is, Electric Squeezebox Orchestra + Voices

Poetry online (see poem below):




Bebop, Cubop and the Musical Truth, Tuesdays  8-10pm in KPFA.org or KPFA-FM 94.1

La Verdad Musical (the Musical Truth), Fridays njoon-3pm on www.KOO.org or 89.5 FM

Monthly Open Mic:

Every 4th Saturday 3-5pm. The Music of the Word (La Palabra Musical)

YouTube performance Avotcja and Modupue – Concert at Bird & Beckett Books, Jan 5, 2020,  featuring Avotcja Jiltonilro, Sandi Poindexter (violin), Francis Wong (sax & flute) Jon Jang (piano), Sascha Jacobsen (bass), Raul Ramirez (Afro-Peruvian multi-percussion). Video by Lenore Chinn.

I Know We Can!!!

We have been here before

We’ve sang in the face of the Klan

And danced with feet all bloody

On the decks of Slave Ships

On the “Longest Walk”

On Freedom Marches, in Jail cells

And Concentration Camps

Oooops Ghettos

That we we’re supposed to call our home

We know this place

The Concrete Jungles, the Reservations

A curse of & by the uncivilized

Who have forgotten

The healing beauty of Grass & Trees

And the gift of clean Water to drink

And have lost their ability to love

We are familiar with

The senseless mayhem of perpetual War

The addictive lust for power

The intoxication of blood lust

And those who prefer

The inhumane sacrifice of their Souls

As they try to steal ours


We have been here before

We know the Hanging Tree, the rope

The rape of our bodies, our Cultures

The theft of our Songs & our Children

We have swam through the slime of misogyny

We’ve been here… we know

Racism, greed & stupidity have no conscious

And it is only a matter of time

Before the insatiable self-destruct

Before they devour each other

We’ve been through it all before

And we can get through it all again

We just have to be careful

Very careful…

The madness of this Narcotic is contagious

We must not get drunk on the stench of this poison

We have too much work to do

We must turn this suicidal Drug

Into fertilizer & let our tears

Fall down on deserts, glaciers & jungles

And run down the faces of

Good hearted people everywhere

I cry & I cry & I cry &

My tears come down like a Waterfall

An unending Waterfall for all the victims of


We have been here before & together we can heal!

I know we can!!!



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


July 25, 2020
1:00 pm3:00 pm
$5 – $15
Event Category:


Oakland Asian Cultural Center

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