Nervous: Essays on Heritage and Healing
Sunday, 10/29/2023
2:00 - 4:00
James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center - 3rd Fl
Main Library

100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Contact Telephone

Jen SorianoRobyn Rodriguez and Alexis David lead us on an afternoon of reading and discussion about mental health care for Filipinx communities. Soriano will read from her debut book Nervous: Essays on Heritage and Healing, named a top 5 nonfiction debut of 2023 by Poets & Writers Magazine. The community discussion will cover questions including: Is there a common experience of Filipino historical trauma, and if so, how does it affect mental health? What does science tell us about transgenerational trauma and healing? What do we know beyond science about ancestral trauma and ancestral healing? How can we create culture and practice and policy shifts toward more and better mental health care for all of us? We’ll talk about these questions and more.

Soriano (she~they) is a Filipinx writer and movement builder who has long worked at the intersection of grassroots organizing, narrative strategy, and art-driven social change. Soriano has won the International Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction, the Fugue Prose Prize, and fellowships from Hugo House, Vermont Studio Center, Artist Trust and the Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat. Jen is also an independent scholar and performer, author of the chapbook “Making the Tongue Dry,” and co-editor of Closer to Liberation: A Pina/xy Activist Anthology. She received a BA in History and Science from Harvard and an MFA in fiction and nonfiction from the Rainier Writing Workshop. Soriano is also a co-founder of the cultural democracy institutions, MediaJustice and ReFrame. Originally from a landlocked part of the Chicago area, Soriano now lives with her family in Seattle, near the Duwamish River and the Salish Sea. Her debut book, Nervous: Essays on Heritage and Healing, is now available from Amistad/HarperCollins.

Magalit Rodriguez is a scholar, educator, community organizer, and a farmer-in-training and founder of the Amado Khaya Foundation and Healing House. Magalit Rodriguez is the author and co-editor of several books including Migrants for Export: How the Philippine State Brokers Labor to the World. She is professor emerita of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Davis. She is also the founding faculty director of the Bulosan Center for Filipinx Studies, the first of its kind in the University of California system focused on the Filipinx experience in the United States. Magalit Rodriguez's family runs the "Reimagination Farm," a healing sanctuary for social-justice-oriented people on 8 acres of land in Northern California. Reimagination Farm strives to establish a farm rooted in the principles of sustainability and regeneration, implementing intergenerational, ancestral land knowledge and farming techniques that draw on Hmong and Philippine ancestry.

David (she/her/siya) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) working as a Clinical Supervisor in San Francisco Unified School District.  She has a private practice in clinical consultation supporting BIPOC clinicians working towards licensure. She is a daughter of immigrants from Tarlac and Batangas, Philippines. David was born and raised in Yelamu, Ramaytush Ohlone Territory. She is a mother to three brilliant beings. She is an alumni of San Francisco State University for both her Masters in Social Work (MSW) and undergraduate studies in Asian American Studies and Criminal Justice. She has worked in various capacities in Education through school social work; crisis and mental health consultation; teaching Ethnic Studies and Filipinx/a/o Studies; working with youth and families in foster care and youth impacted in the juvenile justice system;  youth substance abuse treatment and prevention; youth development and community organizing.

David is one of the founding members of the Filipino Mental Health Initiative-San Francisco (FMHI-SF) launched in 2012 and leading therapeutic programming to the community in the SF Bay area. She believes that promoting mental and community wellness in the Filipinx community creates access points to collective healing and lays pathways of compassion for ourselves and one another.

Nervous: Essays on Heritage and Healing will be available for sale. For every book bought at this event, Soriano will donate $10 to FMHI-SF and $10 to the Amado Khaya Foundation.


Jen Soriano - Website | Jen Soriano - Instagram

Dr. Robyn Magalit Rodriguez - Website

Alexis David - Website

Co-sponsored by Filipino Mental Health Initiative-SF, The Amado Khaya Foundation, and Philippine American Writers and Artists, and hosted by the Filipino American Center and the James Hormel LGBTQIA+ Center at SF Public Library, with special thanks to Cristina Mitra, Abe Ignacio and Beverly Parayno.