Writing Workshop

Memory, Meaning and Memoir Workshop 2023

Friday, April 28th, 2023 at 5 pm on Zoom.

Memory, Meaning and Memoir Reading | The 26th United States of Asian America Festival

This event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is requested.

APICC is proud to present this live-streamed reading by artists, educators, veteran activists and writers of all levels from the AAPI community. They will share their stories and poems written in the course of a memoir writing workshop conducted by poet-playwright, Genny Lim.

The on-going, online workshops have met every week throughout the pandemic, providing a safe haven for building community through shared writing that excavates the truths buried by historic racism and deep, generational trauma.

These memoir pieces were written in response to weekly writing prompts provided by Genny Lim. The writers are proud to share their new work.

Participating Artists

Leon Sun, Leslie Yee Murata, Casimiro Tolentino, Susan Hayase, Grace Morizawa, Lynn Huang, Carole Chinn-Morales, Lisa Oyama, and Noah Kawaguchi

About the Artists

Susan Hayase is a long-time activist in the San Jose Japanese American community.  She played taiko from 1980 to 1990 with San Jose Taiko, and was involved in the grassroots movement for redress/reparations.  She is a co-founder of San Jose Nikkei Resisters, a multi-generational community organization in San Jose Japantown.

Lynn Huang is a dancer, aspiring writer, and GYROTONIC(R) trainer. Originally from New York City, she currently dances with Lenora Lee Dance and is also a 2023 AsianImprovArts fellow. 

Carole Chinn-Morales: Carole Chinn-Morales was born and raised in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Carole came to writing late in life, after retirement from teaching at City College of San Francisco. She is thrilled to belong to Genny’s writing group,  grateful for the chance to explore, listen to writers with diverse voices, and to discover her own.

Noah Kawaguchi is a musician and writer from Ohio. He plays the shakuhachi and often creates work that reflects his perspective as a mixed shin-nisei Japanese American from the Midwest. 

Lisa Oyama enjoys gardening, Japanese flower arranging, volunteering with various API organizations, and dancing when nobody is watching. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and dog, but will always be a Gardena girl at heart.

Leon Sun is a San Francisco based visual artist whose work was embedded in the social activism of the 1970s to the 1990s. He currently works mainly in silkscreen printing, inspired by the spirituality of Asian and indigenous cultures. Sun writes from his memories of growing up in Shanghai, Hong Kong and as an immigrant in America. He is also trying his hand at poetry and enjoys writing haiku. 

Casimiro U. Tolentino is a retired Judge and practiced as a civil rights attorney. He has taught AAPI history classes and enjoys reading, photography and continuing writing about AAPI history and issues. 

Grace Morizawa is a former elementary school teacher in Oakland and a former San Pablo principal. She is the education coordinator for the National Japanese American Historical Society, writing and teaching about Japanese American incarceration during World War II. After decades of teaching and dabbling in writing, Genny Lim’s class opened the door to add her voice to the increasing scene of Asian American stories.

Leslie Yee-Murata

Lover of Learning the Mysteries of Inner and Outer Space

The Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center of San Francisco announces and celebrates the 26th Annual United States of Asian America Festival.


Each year, the United States of Asian American Festival (USAAF) presents up to 20 different programs reflecting the artistic accomplishments and cultural diversity of San Francisco’s Pacific Islander and Asian American communities. USAAF showcases artists representing a diverse range of ethnic and cultural groups and aims to heighten the visibility of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) artists working in all disciplines – theater, music, dance, film, literature, visual arts, and more! Our goal is to nurture and empower these groups to be self-sufficient while providing the support they need to grow. 

Check out the FULL USAAF 2023 calendar of events at

This year’s USAAF is funded by the San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, California Arts Council, Zellerbach Family Foundation and startsmall

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