Justin Jee-Zen Lin

Senior Facilitator; Facilitation Fellow, Spring 2019

Country of origin: I was born in the USA and my family is from Taiwan.

Date started with Soliya: 2015

Field of work: Professionally, I work in the fields of conflict and crisis prevention, mitigation, and resolution at a range of levels. Over the past three years, I have focused on the California prison system, working directly with incarcerated people, courts, law enforcement agencies, local governments, and communities. Facilitation is one of the key tools I use and I have learned an incredible amount from this work.

One accomplishment you're proud of: I was very proud to be asked to be the 2017 keynote speaker for the city of Paradise, Ca’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations. I invited a team of friends and colleagues to speak with me and better represent the racial and gender composition of the primarily Black American coalition that fought for civil rights in the 50s. My accomplishment wasn’t in the speaking but in the hard work of building relationships, personal and professional, to gain the community trust for the invitation.

What about Soliya inspires/motivates you to be involved? The moments where students bravely share something personal or insightful that opens the minds of everyone listening, myself included.

What can you be found doing when not working/facilitating/training? Hanging out with my family, pokehunting with my nephews (yes, people still do that), and cooking with friends and family—eating is the key. I’ve also started building a food and culture website and hope to have some content by the summer: www.tsabudo.com. *Tsabudo is a chinese expression meaning“close enough” that my mom uses while teaching me to make her dishes. In a past life, I used to be a mixed media artist that focused on clay sculpture and a whitewater rafting guide.  

Favorite food: Various chinese home foods I grew up preparing with my family. Specifically, dumplings (and of course potstickers), zong-zu (chinese sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves, tied, and steamed), and chinese fried spring rolls. I loved gathering around a table with my grandmother, my granduncle, my mother, aunt, uncle, sisters, and cousin to prepare the food from scratch.