Activist Songbook
Classes & Workshops
Virtual Workshop

Our Music, Our Movement

with Byron Au Yong & Aaron Jafferis
August 28, 2021

This event occurred as part of the 21/22 Classes & Workshops season. This is an archived view.

Raise your voice!

21/22 Classes & Workshops

Free, but registration required.


Activist Songbook Composer Byron Au Yong and Lyricist Aaron Jafferis offer a free, virtual community gathering for folks looking to enhance their activism and resilience with the practice of collective song and mindfulness. During this three-hour intensive, we will discuss music and its role in activism and democracy, while also providing tools to create your own activist music practice.

Questions we will explore include:

  • How does music change people, history, and reality?
  • What draws you to songs that name and fight oppression, versus songs that claim liberation and create the new world we're stepping into?
  • How do you see music effecting political change, and how can it be a voice of democracy at large?

We look forward to raising our voices to counteract hate and injustice through thoughtful dialogue, inspiring connection, and healing energy.

This workshop will take place on Zoom and closed captioning will be available. This event is presented in partnership with Rights & Democracy Institute.


Our Music, Our Movement
Byron Au Yong, left; Aaron Jafferis, right.

Composer and musician Byron Au Yong was born to Chinese immigrants in Pittsburgh and raised in the Pacific Northwest; his upbringing informs his dedication to creating events where the American Dream and sustainability play vital roles. Au Yong holds degrees from NYU, UCLA and the University of Washington; he has been artist-in-residence with numerous organizations, including the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. He is the recipient of a Creative Capital Award and Time Warner Foundation Fellowship. He teaches in Performing Arts and Social Justice at the University of San Francisco.

Hip-hop poet and playwright Aaron Jafferis' musicals include TRIGGER and STUCK ELEVATOR with Byron Au Yong, and others, and his work has been produced by numerous theaters, including The Old Globe, American Conservatory Theater, and Sundance. He is the recipient of a Creative Capital Award, Richard Rodgers Award, Sundance Institute/Time Warner Fellowship, NEA Art Works Grant, NEFA National Theatre Project Grant, two MacDowell Fellowships, Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, and a San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award. A former Open Rap Slam champion at the National Poetry Slam Championships, Aaron is the founding artistic director of The Word hip-hop and poetry program in his hometown of New Haven.

Photo by Brigid Pierce, courtesy of Pilobolus.
Summer 2021

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