Authors in Conversation | All the Women in My Family Sing

This monumental and timely collection of prose and poetry raises the voices of women of color. The women in the anthology share stories of living with courage, navigating injustice, and the complicated negotiation of culture, family and society. Their voices represent the growing solidarity among women who speak truth, as in the #MeToo and racial equality movements. Join editor Deborah Santana and contributing authors in a presentation of All the Women in My Family Sing. In this dynamic event, the authors will read from their essays, answer questions, and sign books.

This program includes a wine reception.

Kelly Woolfolk is an attorney (LL.M., Berkeley Law) with a variety of work and life experiences. After her initial foray into the entertainment industry as an actor in Spike Lee’s School Daze, she began her career in the legal department of Virgin Records in Beverly Hills, a stint that led her to pursue her first law degree. Upon earning her J.D. from Howard Law, she worked first for the federal government and later represented private employers and clients in real estate and commercial transactions. Her favorite work as an attorney to date is as counsel for a television production company in Los Angeles, where her creative interests flourish. Kelly also consults with a community college in the San Francisco Bay Area and is looking forward to sharing her knowledge and experiences as an adjunct professor in the years ahead. Kelly lives in Oakland, California, with her son, Andrew.

Michelle Mush Lee, Ed.M., is a poet and arts and culture advocate who uses poetry to preserve the water of her story in this American desert. She moves from the intersection of mind, heart and spirit, and is propelled by learners do know. Mush’s presentations and storytelling have been featured on HBO, PBS and AfroPop, and at the National Asian American Theater Festival, the New-Works Theater Festival and the Brave New Voices Festival. She holds a B.A from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Ed.M. from San Francisco State University with a focus on equity and social justice. Mush is a former Compasspoint Next Generation Leaders of Color Fellow and is frequently a featured speaker on racial literacy, spoken word pedagogies and contemporary youth poetry movements. Mush currently serves as an advisory board member for the Alameda County Department of Education’s Integrated Learning Specialist Program and as a senior advisor of pedagogy at Youth Speaks, Inc. She is the founding CEO of Whole Story Group, Inc., a creative consulting firm specializing in story-rich strategies for social change.

Belva Davis is the first Black woman to work as a television news reporter in the western United States. During her impressive career of nearly four decades, Belva has been honored with eight local Emmys, a number of lifetime achievement awards including the International Women’s Media Foundation’s, and honorary membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. She is profiled in the Newseum, the world’s first interactive museum of news, and in the History Makers Library of Congress collection, both in Washington, D.C. She was one of the founding directors of the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. Belva Davis has also received four honorary doctorates, and archives have been named for her at San Francisco State University and the Indiana University Bloomington Black Film Center. Her memoir, Never in my Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism, was published in 2011.

Want Chyi has taught composition and creative writing across the United States and in Singapore. She has an M.F.A in fiction from Arizona State University and was the international fiction editor of Hayden’s Ferry Review. Originally from the Midwest, she now lives in the Bay Area and currently reads for Zoetrope: All Story.

Lalita Tademy is the New York Times best-selling author of three historical novels. Her debut, Cane River, was Oprah’s summer Book Pick in 2001, was translated into eleven languages and became San Francisco’s One City One Book selection in 2007. In 2015, Stanford University selected Cane River as assigned reading for all incoming freshmen. She has written two other novels, each released to critical acclaim — Red River, published in 2007, and Citizens Creek, published in 2014.

Deborah Santana is an author, seeker and activist for peace and social justice. She is a founder of Do A Little, a nonprofit that serves women and girls in the areas of health, education and happiness. In 2005 she published a memoir, Space Between the Stars: My Journey to an Open Heart. Santana has produced five short documentary films. She is mother to three beloved adult children: Salvador, a songwriter and instrumental artist; Stella, a singer/songwriter, and Angelica, an archivist and film producer. She is a leadership donor to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and has a master’s degree in philosophy and religion, with a concentration in women’s spirituality.