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PIcture of Piper Writers Studio Faculty Yvette Johnson

Let Your Memoir Be Your Resistance with Yvette Johnson

Date(s): Mondays, March 26 - April 9, 2018, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281
Craft Class, Generative Workshop
Genre and Form(s): Creative Nonfiction, Memoir

$149 Regular, $135 ASU Affiliate, $99 Student
About the Class: 

In this writing and discussion-intensive course, students will explore how their personal stories relate to current issues in the national narrative on anything from global warming, mental health, parenting, social justice, prison reform, and more, much more. As our country evolves around us, so too do our voices and the intimate trajectories we take in response to social changes. Bring your voice and your stories to the group.

Strangely, a good memoir is not about the author, instead a good memoir is the writer's opportunity to use their own life to provide a gift to the reader.

About the Instructor(s): 

Yvette Johnson is the Executive Director of the Booker Wright Project. She is also an accomplished filmmaker, writer, blogger, workshop facilitator, and speaker. She co-produced the feature-length documentary film, Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story, which had its 2012 world premiered in New York City at the internationally recognized Tribeca Film Festival. Not only did the film open to rave reviews, it also received numerous awards including the 2013 International Cinema in Industry: Documentary Gold Award, the 2013 FOCAL International Award for Best Use of Footage in a Factual Production, and the 34th Annual Telly Silver Award for Social Issues.

Over the years, Johnson has blogged about current events, her family, and her questions about bias in America, and in 2013, one of the world’s largest publishing companies, Simon and Schuster, purchased publishing rights to her story. Johnson’s widely anticipated book, The Song and the Silence about her upbringing, the town that first coveted, then eventually crushed her family, and of course, her grandfather, Booker Wright’s brave and defiant legacy was published on May 1, 2017.  

In her role as the Executive Director of The Booker Wright Project, Johnson has facilitated workshops on unconscious bias for various organizations including the Tempe Police Department and the Flagstaff Police Department. Johnson has also spoken extensively to different groups about the importance of rediscovering our shared humanity, the freedom that comes with recognizing our unconscious biases, and why it’s so dangerous to vilify those who once stood on the wrong side of history.