Life as Laboratory: Using Creative Play As Activism

Room 2215C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level
Friday, February 9, 2024
10:35 am to 11:50 am


In the age of increasing hate attacks, systemic oppression, pandemic isolation, and AI, how can writer-teachers strike back with creative interventions? From scavenger hunts to social media to comics, we’ll dive into divergent resources to creatively resist and harness the power of play as both teachers and writers. In this generative session, we’ll invite the audience to collaborate and create a map of creative teaching resources.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Outline_Life_as_Laboratory-_Using_Creative_Play_As_Activism.pdf



Gretchen Cion is a multigenre writer, filmmaker and educator who has taught in various environments, currently teaching girls and gender expansive youth through the Intuitive Writing Project and composition at San Francisco State. She holds an MA in English from SFSU and a MEd from Hunter College.

Celeste Chan (MA, MSW) facilitated LGBTQ history workshops for youth and cared for a ninety-five-year-old lesbian rights activist. She codirected Queer Rebels and toured the West Coast, Austin, and Brooklyn with queer/trans artists of color. A Hedgebrook and VONA fellow, she's now writing her family memoir.

Hasti Jafari is an Iranian playwright and cartoonist. They got their Bachelor’s from the University of Tehran and are currently working towards their MFA in playwriting from San Francisco State. They are a recipient of the Marcus Recruitment Award and were the playwright-in-residence at Ruth Asawa School of Arts.

May-lee Chai (翟梅莉) is an educator, community activist, translator, and author of eleven books, including the short story collections Tomorrow in Shanghai, a New York Times Editors' Choice, and Useful Phrases for Immigrants, winner of an American Book Award. She is a board member of the NBCC.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center