Sahra V. Nguyen

Writer | Director | Filmmaker

Life is far from linear & closer to infinity.

Sahra Vang Nguyen is on a mission to explore stories at the intersection of diversity, culture, and human potential. Her recent documentary, "Deported," which she sold to NBC News, explores the global fight to end deportation. Whether it's behind the camera producing, directing, and filming, or in front of audiences speaking on topics including race and uplifting underrepresented voices in media, Sahra proves to be a Renaissance woman of the Millennial generation whose talents can't be boxed in. 

Read her latest interview with NYLON Magazine here.

Sahra Vang visits universities, colleges, conferences, venues, and events as a keynote speaker,  motivational speaker, and workshop facilitator. 

Visit Sahra's Booking Page for more info on workshops and keynote speeches: here.

Poetry Performances

sahra nguyen - keynote motivational asian american speaker

The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Berkeley
University of Massachusetts, Boston
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Minnesota
University of Cincinnatia
University of Oregon
University of Florida
Cornell University
Northeastern University
Tufts University
Cal Poly Pomona
Boston College
Pomona College
Oberlin College
Scripps College
Common Ground, Santa Ana
Tuesday Night Cafe, Los Angeles
Third San Francisco Vietnamese American Poetry & Art Festival
Sulu Series New York
Sulu Series Washington D.C.
Pacific Links Foundation, San Francisco
Kundiman Verlaine Series, NY, NY
Nobles & Grenough, Boston, MA
Asian American Arts Initiative, Philadelphia
Nuyorican Poet's Cafe

Speaking Engagements

Keynote Speaker at Cornell University’s Women of Color Conference 2011
Topic: Power & Conflict Behind Intersectional Identities

Northeastern University
Topic: Redefining Success From the Perspective of a Daughter of Refugees

University of California, Los Angeles
Topic: Constructed Memory, Narratives and the Refugee Experience

Northwestern University, Chicago
Topic: Asian Americans in the Media, Narrative & Content Making


University of Florida
Residency featuring four workshops:
Exploring Intersectional Identities through Creative Writing
Oscillation of Asian American Politics, Identity, and Model Minority Myth
Defining Your Voice, Purpose, and Authenticity in the Age of Personal Branding
History of Graffiti and Spray Painting Workshop

Tufts University
Topic: Exploring Intergenerational Conflict Through Personal Poems

Scripps College
Topic: Pursuit of Happiness: Choosing Joy in a Culture of Fear

University of Massachusetts, Boston
Topic: Creative Writing: Building Compassion and Understanding Intergenerational Differences through Persona Poems

National AAPI Literary Arts & Performance Poetry Festival, DC 2013
Topic: Selfie Nation: Exploring the Dimensions of Poetry through Movement, Tone and Intonation

In Their Words

“Sahra Nguyen’s guest lecture/performance in my 150-person Asian American studies lecture was electrifying and thought-provoking. While I had some sense of the emotional power of her performances, I was not expecting her to also lead the students through such rigorous and historically informed critical interrogations of Southeast Asian refugee experience, as well as such sophisticated and compassionate engagements around her poetry. Sahra’s passion for art and politics inspired and energized an entire room of young undergraduate students, most of whom are science majors generally unaccustomed to thinking critically about art, poetry and culture. Sahra’s presentation registered the political and creative investments that inform her poetry and art: memories of the refugee condition, the narrowing of culture and imagination by consumerism and commodification, the possibility of revolutionary politics, and youth culture as a vocabulary through which to express those politics.”

Grace Kyungwon Hong | Associate Professor | Asian American Studies Department | University of California, Los Angeles


“Sahra is an ANOMALY. She stays on the grind and gets more done in a weekend than most suckas do in a lifetime! Now when suckas are like “I’m gonna……” I’m just like STFU Sahra already did that.”

SWAT | Graffiti & Multi-disciplinary Artist | ALA Collective


“Sahra Vang is fresh. The bravest voice I’ve heard in years, she embodies what Bruce Lee called ‘being water.’ On stage, we follow her journeys from Asian American Warrior Woman taking on Hollywood’s blatant typecasting to shy daughter of fishmongers struggling for acceptance and Knowledge of Self. I am constantly enthralled by Sahra’s sense of musicality and the freedom of movement she employs in all of her live performances. Her vision spills across the pages through visual and vocal collages–her paintings a further expression of how damn unstoppable this woman is. Her palette is so bright I’d call her talent neon, but we can’t afford to squint: she’s just too beautiful to watch soaring.”

–Simone Jacobson | Independent Curator | Editor of Words. Beats. Life: The Global Journal of Hip Hop Culture | Founding Co-Director of Sulu DC | Poet & Performer


“It’s always cool meeting fellow Vietnamese American artists, but knowing someone as brave and exciting as Sahra is an absolute joy. Street-smart, sly, political and full of heart, she’s the embodiment of what a progressive artist should be. She proves that you can be hip and cutting edge while still giving a damn about the world. When I hear cynical voices decry the death of poetry or art, I think of Sahra’s urgency and the unique beat she dances to, and I know the future is breathing—alive and well.”

Bao Phi | HBO Def Poet | 2x Minnesota Grand Poetry Slam Champ | 2x NYC Nuyorican Poets Café Poetry Slam Champ | Organizer at The Loft


“Sahra is truly phenomenal! It was a great inspiration to meet and host her last year when she visited UIUC campus to present a workshop and perform. Her talent with performance poetry, weaved in with her Asian American identity and vision for social justice is wonderfully empowering.”

–Connie Chuang | Student Organizer | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Sahra Nguyen’s ability to have critical conversations around identity and purpose, while focusing on meaningful expression, is both a breath of fresh air and inspiring. I am immensely grateful for the extra time she spent working with our students to tailor the conversation around topics relevant to their experiences here at UF.  It is not an understatement to say that she left Gainesville with many fans.”

–Alexander Cena | Director of the Office of Asian Pacific Islander American Affairs | University of Florida


“As a young college student aspiring to carve my own path in life, Sahra Vang is an inspirational woman to work with. She’s not afraid to speak up and do things in her own authentic way. She inspires me to stay true to myself, work passionately, and never stop hustlin’ to reach my goals!”

- DeeDee Barrido | Student Organizer | University of Florida

“Sahra Vang is an excellent role model as a creative being and an entrepreneur. She uses her skill set to not only to create but also to educate. I’ve been inspired by her to continue on my own path, regardless of the expectations of others.”

- Candice Luc  | Student Organizer | University of Florida

“Spending an entire weekend learning and growing with Sahra Vang was such an amazing experience. Not only is she a great person, but she is also a very experienced professional who has an enormous skill set she is more than willing to share. She empowers me to embrace who I am and work hard to achieve my goals.”

- Nashrah Ahmed  | Student Organizer | University of Florida