Team announcement

Lyrical Opposition Appoints Shabnam Afshar as Secretary for its Board of Directors

Lyrical Opposition Appoints Shabnam Afshar as Secretary for its Board of Directors, Lyrical Opposition

Social awareness nonprofit Lyrical Opposition has announced the appointment of Shabnam Afshar as Secretary of its Board of Directors. Shabnam brings more than 10 years of therapy experience, and her approach to empowering her clients to overcome their struggles will help to guide her in her new role.

Shabnam has been attending LO events for many years, as a friend of the board’s now-vice chair Shannon Price. She started out just wanting to support Shannon, but LO’s mission quickly resonated with her and she has become more and more involved as a supporter.

“In this climate, there's so much protesting and voicing out, which is great, but I feel like art speaks to people in just such a deeper way,” she says. “Fighting social injustice through art, I just wish there was more of that. Because using art therapy, or even music, really helps people to open up more. Maybe we're not comfortable talking about our feelings, but we are totally comfortable talking about music or a piece of artwork.

An Iranian-American, Shabnam is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist who runs her own private practice. She is also a Mental Health Therapist across five schools in the Fremont Union High School District in San Jose, California. She has a Masters in Counselling Psychology from Palo Alto University.

In her free time, Shabnam has learned to develop habits that support her overall wellbeing, such as working out, playing sports, eating well, getting enough sleep, and devoting time to her faith. She also enjoys spending time with her dog, and her favorite movie is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. She describes herself as a functioning coffee addict, and she hopes to one day own a record store where people can hang out and listen to music while they get their coffee fix.

More announcements from Lyrical Opposition

New!Team announcement

Meet Lyrical Opposition's Program Director: Lacy Nguyen

Meet Lyrical Opposition's Program Director: Lacy Nguyen

Lyrical Opposition program director Lacy Nguyen is using her poetry and spoken word art to bring medicine to the souls of people in marginalized communities. Lacy is hugely active in the spaces of social injustice and racial inequality, drawing on her experience as an Asian American in her work leading LO’s Lyrical Assembly initiative. Lacy first got into poetry while she was at college. She used poetry to help her process some of the trauma she was going through and ended up finishing second in a poetry slam in Seattle, where she’s from. “I realized, this is a tool that I can use to process a lot of trauma and almost write my story into existence. With Asian women, we don't have a lot of media representation, so I started taking creative writing classes and got into poetry even more.” Lacy was largely raised by her single mother, which she believes fuelled her passion for being an advocate for others. A key focus for her is reinstating traditional Asian values and practices. “If you hear stories of our parents in neighborhoods in Vietnam, it was a communal sense of collectivism. In the village, people take care of each other,” she says. “But that’s been replaced by a cutthroat attitude of mistrust, which is a result of capitalism and American systems of success. “In my own journey, I've had to learn about those things. I'm trying to have a worldview where I come back to that sense of taking care of my village.” Lacy first encountered LO when she was interning in a church in 2019. She started working with Lyrical Assembly, the program she now leads, focusing on creating safe spaces outside of white supremacy and what she describes as the heteropatriarchy. Her work drove her to write more and view her writing as a tool of resistance and healing, which became increasingly important for her with the recent increased visibility of anti-Asian hate. “It's been really hard to deal with that. There's a level of violence that comes with the visibility of a marginalized group only in the context of their death and trauma. I think that perfectly sums up what's going on for us right now as Asian people and Asian women because it's really hard when no one cared about you before. And now, when it feels like there’s a new video every day of one of your people getting attacked, I don't know how to handle it.” Lacy’s work is one of her passions, and she describes herself as “boring” without it. She loves traditional Asian food and likes to spend her time connecting with nature. “It’s a really big way of recentering for me. Being outside or going on walks, even just going to a park and sitting on the grass and connecting with the earth physically, is really healing. It's very recentering for me, and I believe creation speaks back to us. So whenever I'm out and trying to make sense of the world, I believe the grass is actually healing me.”

Team announcement

Lyrical Opposition Introduces Fego Navarro to its Stable of Artists

Lyrical Opposition Introduces Fego Navarro to its Stable of Artists

Social awareness nonprofit Lyrical Opposition has added Salvadoran American Fego Navarro to its stable of artists. Fego is a rapper and actor from San Francisco, CA, who met LO founder Cross Allan in 2016 after performing at a spoken word event at the San Francisco Christian Center more than two years ago. He says the meaning behind the Lyrical Opposition shows is what encouraged him to become an official LO artist. “I was doing shows prior to that, and what I noticed is that it was so intentional; when they do shows everyone was really actively listening,” he says. “It wasn't like everyone's just drunk and high. It was like, ‘Whoa, I've never done a show like this. It's not to say those shows aren’t fun too, but I saw that LO was very intentional with the themes with the community there. I felt really at home from the beginning.'” Fego featured in the 2012 song Them Days with Common Folk Nate, which premiered on MTV U and was #1 on Snoop Dogg’s online show Underground Heat in 2013. Among his acting credits, he appeared in the 2012 film Sin Padre, which won the audience award at the San Francisco Latino Film Festival. His most recent film credit is a movie titled Love Cecy, which premiered on HBO Latino Film Festival in 2017. Fego began experimenting with music as a teen, where he would freestyle raps with his friends after church services. His musical appreciation had been nurtured by his mother, who played a wide range of music, from Cumbia to soul, while he was growing up. He is releasing his first EP in April 2021. Fego is a big foodie, particularly when it comes to tacos. He grew up as a fan of Tupac and the Lakers in the NBA, which can surprise some people given he was born and raised in San Francisco. He spent part of his childhood in El Salvador and hopes to be able to travel to Europe with his music, once travel can resume to pre-pandemic levels.

By clicking "Continue" or continuing to use our site, you acknowledge that you accept our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. We also use cookies to provide you with the best possible experience on our website.