Jason Bayani grew up in the Bay Area and is a graduate of San Francisco State University. He earned his MFA degree in Poetry at Saint Mary's College of California. He spent nine years working for Larkin Street Youth Services and, as an educator, has taught at Saint Mary's College, Southern Careers Institute in Austin, and New Haven Unified School District. He's also taught writing workshops across country. Jason is also a published poet having released his first book, Amulet, through Write Bloody Press and his second book, "Locus" is forthcoming in 2019 from Omnidawn Publishing. He's performed on stages across the world and performs his solo theater show, "Locus of Control" in venues across the US. He's a Kundiman fellow and is one of the founding members of the Filipino American spoken word troupe, Proletariat Bronze.
Mihee Kim is a nonprofit professional dedicated to social justice, with a background in fundraising and philanthropy in the health and education sectors. Though her earliest years were spent in New York and New Jersey, she came to the Bay Area with her family as a teen. Her career began in advertising, where she worked as a brand strategist serving clients in the health and higher education sectors. She then garnered experience as a fundraiser at a health clinic with wide-reaching policy and research implications regarding the effects of adverse childhood experiences on lifelong health. Most recently, Mihee was a Grants Manager at a family foundation focused on improving K-12 education and supporting vulnerable families in San Francisco. In addition to her work at KSW, Mihee is a liaison for donor circles concerned with race, gender, human rights, and improving the lives of aging populations at the East Bay Community Foundation. Mihee earned a B.A. in Media Studies from the University of California Berkeley. Her dedication to APIA artistic community and empowerment is also reflected in her work as an anti-oppression activist, interdisciplinary artist and writer.
Breanne Batara is a second-generation Pinay, born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She moved to the Bay Area for graduate school, and received her MA in Museum Studies from the University of San Francisco in December 2017. She comes to KSW with museum field experience, specifically in collections management, exhibition development and public programming. Back home, she was involved with the Filipino American National Historical Society, Seattle Art Museum and the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. Here, she has worked for the Oakland Museum of California and the Thacher Gallery at USF. She is excited to help coordinate this year’s APAture festival, and collaborate with the local APA community.
Paul Ocampo, President, is the Development Manager at Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus. He remains committed to the work of social justice. In 2006, he assisted Maxine Hong Kingston in editing an anthology of writings by veterans titled Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace. While attending graduate school in Arizona, he co-wrote a petition responding to SB 1070 and other anti-immigrant legislation and demanding universities in Arizona maintain the classroom as safe spaces for all students. He also co-directed a reading titled Out of Silence that featured Afghan women’s poems and essays found on the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. He comes to Kearny Street Workshop with a broad experience in education and the non-profit sector.
Robynn Takayama, Vice President, is a multimedia producer whose work has been presented through video, web, and gallery installation in San Francisco, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and Chicago. A graduate of the KPFA First Voice Apprenticeship, she contributed to national and local public radio programs and the Peabody-awarded documentary on Asian American history, Crossing East. Robynn is on the board of Freedom Archives, an educational resource that preserves the Bay Area’s radical history to understand our roots of resistance and produces Apex Express, a weekly magazine-style radio show featuring the voices of Asian and Pacific Islanders from all corners of our community.
Cristiana Baik, Secretary, is currently the Director of Development at Richmond Area Multi-Services (RAMS). She also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa, and holds fellowships from the Asian American Writers Workshop, Poets House, Naropa University, the Fine Arts Center in Provincetown, among other fellowships/residencies. She is an editor-at-large with Essay Press, and will take over the helms as one of the co-editors of The Conversant in 2018.
Lawrence Liu, Treasurer, is a CPA (inactive) with a focus in finance and accounting in the real estate industry. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, he started his career at Novogradac & Company, LLP, a firm with a primary focus on the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit industry and moved into private accounting afterwards. Lawrence is a Bay Area native and is excited to bring a finance and accounting perspective to KSW.
Amanda Chaudhary is a composer and performer specializing in contemporary and electronic music; an artist; and a developer of advanced software for creativity. She performs regularly around the Bay Area and beyond, both solo and with various bands and ensembles. As a board member and curator for various arts organizations, she is a supporter of emerging artists in new and experimental music. In addition to her musical work, Amanda maintains a deep interest in modern and contemporary art in several media as a creator, consumer and supporter. Her photography has appeared in solo and group shows as well as art publications.
Jenny Ton is the Director of Student Development at Fusion Academy San Francisco. Prior to her current work in education, she was the CEO and Co-Founder of ACMIST and Co-Founder and Creative Director of Retrofit Republic. Jenny was also a marketing consultant and lead organizer for Kearny Street Workshop’s APAture and Celebrate Your Body, contractor and consultant for Oakland Museum of California, community co-chair of NAPAWF Bay Area, and a proud arts advocate and community leader for environmental, socio-economic, and political causes. Jenny has over a decade of experience in the nonprofit, education, and private sectors and is a History of Art graduate from UC Berkeley.