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Our Voices - Our Stories SF

  • Our Voices - Our Stories SF African American Art & Culture Complex, 762 Fulton Street San Francisco, CA, 94102 United States (map)

Our Voices, Our Stories SF amplifies and elevates the voices or women of color writers. 

Join editor Deborah Santana and the following authors as they read from our anthology All The Women In My Family Sing.

Event is free, but please register here in advance.

Contributor Bios

Dera R. Williams is an Oakland author who writes in the fiction, nonfiction and memoir genres. As a family historian she researches and writes about her family history and has mentored college students in genealogy. Dera has contributed to over a dozen anthologies and co-authored a fiction collection, Mother Wit. Her recent contributions have been to All The Women in My Family Sing and Where's My Tiara and the upcoming 2019 release of Two Languages, One Community. Dera is seeking publication of her childhood story collection, In My Backyard: Stories of Growing Up in Oakland while working on a historical novel and speculative fiction. Dera is a member of the AfroSurreal Writers Workshop and an alumni of VONA and Squaw Valley Writers. She is an editorial mentor with Chapter 510 Chapter Writing Workshop. Exploring the myth of family history in her writing, Dera honors the voices of her ancestors.

Meilan Carter-Gilkey is a writer-in-progress. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, mater mea, Mutha Magazine, The Tishman Review and the anthologies  “All the Women in My Family Sing” and “Who's Your Mama?: The Voices of Unsung Women and Mothers and elsewhere. In 2015, she won a James D. Phelan Literary Award. Meilan is a two time Voices of Our Nation Alum and she holds a MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Currently, she is working on a collection of personal essays. Meilan lives in the Bay Area with her family.

Michelle Mush Lee, Ed.M., is a poet and story-strategist who uses poetry to preserve the water of her story in this American desert. Mush’s presentations have been featured on HBO, PBS, AfroPop, and the National Asian American Theater Festival. Mush is a former Compasspoint Next Generation Leaders of Color Fellow and is frequently a featured speaker on racial justice, liberatory pedagogies and cultural movement work. Mush is the CEO of Whole Story Group, Inc., a training firm specializing in story-rich strategies for social change.

Natalie Baszile is the author of Queen Sugar, which is being adapted for television by writer/director Ava DuVernay of “Selma” fame, and co-produced by Oprah Winfrey for OWN, Oprah’s television network. Natalie has a M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA, and is a graduate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers where she was a Holden Minority Scholar. Queen Sugar was named one of the San Francisco Chronicles’ Best Books of 2014, was long-listed for the Crooks Corner Southern Book Prize, and nominated for an NAACP Image Award. She has had residencies at the Ragdale Foundation where she was awarded the Sylvia Clare Brown fellowship, Virginia Center for the Arts, and Hedgebrook. Her non-fiction work has appeared in Lenny LetterO, The Oprah Magazine, The, The Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 9. She is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Natalie lives in San Francisco.

Randi Bryant-Agenbroad, a graduate of Tuskegee University and The College of William & Mary, has spent her adult life writing training manuals for Fortune 500 companies and denying her dream of writing fiction. Age forty hit and so did her determination to finally go after her dreams. Since that point, she has started a popular blog,, published her first book titled Neversays: Things That You Should Never Say, and is working on 2 more. She lives in California, with her husband and two sons.

Tara Dorabji is a writer, storyteller, mother and radio journalist. Her work is published in Al Jazeera, Tayo Literary MagazineHuizacheGood Girls Marry Doctors (Small Press Distribution Best Seller)All the Women in My Family Sing, Center for Asian American Media, Mutha, and Chicago Quarterly. Follow her at

Kira Lynne Allen is poet, performer, collage artist, activist, and Certified InterPlay Leader. She is a four time VONA Voices Fellow, a Poetry for the People alumna, a phenomenal workshop facilitator and a motivational speaker. She is a contributor to All the Women in My Family Sing, Tayo Literary Magazine and Endangered Species, Enduring Values. She has more than a dozen poems in anthologies and two self-published chapbooks. Write This Second: A Poetic Memoir charts her journey from desecration to divinity; from addict and high school dropout to master’s degree recipient, in order to sound an alarm meant to reveal and disrupt the roots of rape culture by proclaiming our authentic selves. She has a BA in Creative Writing from Mills College and an MA in Transformative Arts from JFK University. Kira grew up in the Bay Area and raised two brave, brilliant, resilient daughters in Oakland, CA; where she still lives with her partner Kat.

Earlier Event: October 4
Book Reading and Panel Discussion