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. He's performed on stages across the US and in Europe and is a veteran of the National Poetry Slam scene. He's a Kundiman fellow and is one of the founding members of the Filipino American spoken word troupe, Proletariat Bronze.
Rachel Lozada is a Filipina immigrant with over 30 years of experience in community organizing, coalition-building, health and behavioral services, non-profit management, grant writing, and public policy advocacy. Her involvements span a wide variety of arenas: youth and women organizing, HIV/AIDS care and prevention direct services, substance abuse support services, health advocacy, and community arts. Most notably, she has worked with GABRIELA national women’s coalition in the Philippines, and in the Bay Area with Filipino American Arts Exposition, Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, HealthRight 360, and APPEAL. The last two years she's been pursuing her passion for community-based and traditional arts as an apprentice weaver learning and teaching Filipino indigenous weaving. She also coordinates a tapestry weaving collaboration between Kalingafornia Laga and Manilatown Heritage Foundation. She has a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from California Institute of Integral Studies and a certificate in Drug & Alcohol Studies from City College of San Francisco.
Saint Mary's Fellow
Rebecca Samuelson was born in Hayward, California and still resides there today. She received her BA in English Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and is the first in her family to graduate from university. Her work has been published in Transfer Magazine.
Means of Exchange
Kimberley Arteche, Weston Teruya
Dara Del Rosario, Francis Calimlim
Michelle Lin, Kazumi Chin
Amanda Chaudhary, President, 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.
Paul Ocampo, Vice 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, Secretary, 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.
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.
Cristiana Baik 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.
Jenny Ton is the CEO and co-founder of ACMIST and the former co-founder, creative director, and lead stylist of Retrofit Republic. Prior to ACMIST, Jenny was also a marketing consultant for Kearny Street Workshop’s APAture, events 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 and private sectors as an expert in fashion and fashion styling, image consulting, strategic planning, branding, marketing, social media, community organizing, public speaking, event design and planning.
Alex Wang is a visual artist, curator, and educator currently based in San Francisco. He works as an art preparator at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Before coming to the Bay Area, Alex was an artist-in-residence at the Land Foundation in Thailand. He has been volunteering with Kearny Street Workshop since 2010, and currently serves on the board of directors. Alex holds an M.F.A. in Social Practice from the California College of the Arts.