UW Women's Center

Stephanie Lin Hsu

Women of Courage

Stephanie Lin Hsu is a second-generation Taiwanese American and a feminist- activist-musician. Music making as a communal and connective act has been a part of her lifeblood since her childhood. Her path to fuse her passion for music and community with her background as a youth organizer led her to Yakima, WA in 2012. There, she founded Yakima Music en Acción (YAMA), a leadership development and social empowerment program. YAMA uses ensemble-based music training to center and strengthen the voices and roles of at- promise young people in the Yakima Valley.

Hsu creates space and advocates for resources to fuel YAMA’s growth, a role made possible by her active and ongoing collaborations with YAMA’s passionate team of Teaching Artists, community partners, young musicians, and their parents. Prior to launching YAMA, Hsu worked as an educator and organizer in New York, serving as a member of the faculty at CITYterm at the Masters School, an innovative lab school in Dobbs Ferry, and as a youth organizer with Chinatown Youth Initiatives in Manhattan.

In addition to the ongoing creativity demanded by running an organization and teaching daily, Hsu also feeds her own artistry as a vocalist and bassist in La Cantina—a female trio whose music focuses on justice and feminism—and as a violist in the Yakima Symphony Orchestra.

Hsu attributes her strength, resilience, and her active commitment to creative paths toward justice to her first-generation Taiwanese American parents, Anli Lin Hsu and Min-tsung Hsu, and the generations that raised them. Hsu received a Bachelor of Arts with high honors in Educational Studies, Sociology and Anthropology from Swarthmore College. She is also the recipient of the Rosengarten String Scholarship that she received as the Concertmaster of the New York Youth Symphony in its 41st Carnegie Hall Season and the Edward Said / Audre Lorde Scholar Activism Award.