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Fong Tran

Fong Tran Poetry
STORY: I was raised by a single mother in a Vietnamese family of five, fleeing from the aftermath and resettlement of the Vietnam War. I'm a proud product of South Sacramento, however growing up this neighborhood under welfare and food stamps, did not allow me many opportunities to thrive as a young person. I was one of three students from my high school to get accepted and attend UC Berkeley. Therefore, I’ve relentlessly seek to support young people in my community to access higher education. I’m a dedicated youth advocate in my Sacramento hometown for over 8 years focusing on issues of college access, employment development and critical media literacy. At the core of me, all my work is informed by social justice, intersectionality, and the empowerment of youth.

“Sacramento community organizer & youth advocate by day. Spoken Word Artist & Social Butterfly by night. All my poetry is informed by my activism.”

COMMUNITY: I currently serve as the Program Advisor/Coordinator for the UC Davis Cross Cultural Center. I also serve as a chair member of the Sacramento APIA CAPITAL Coalition (Council of Asian Pacific Islanders Together for Advocacy and Leadership) and the South Sacramento Building Healthy Communities (BHC) Boys and Men of Color (BMoC) Initiative. I have a bachelor's degree in Social Welfare and a double minor in Education and Public Policy from UC Berkeley and a Masters degree in Community Development from UC Davis.

POETRY: I first started writing poetry through the June Jordan's "Poetry of the People" class in the UC Berkeley African American Studies Department. My writing emphasizes on giving voice to marginalized peoples and is deeply entrenched in the values of social justice and intersections of community struggle. I’ve performed for more than 100 events and featured at several such as Mahogany open mic series, Luna poetry series, UC Davis Sickspits, Sacramento Poetry Center and the Diaspora Vietnamese American National (DVAN) Poetry Festival. I've had the honor of sharing the stage with many incredible artists such as HBO Def Jam Poet Bao Phi, Andrew Lam, Mike “Mighty” McGee, Remi Kanazi, Mark Gonzalez, G Yamazawa and many more. I've performed all over the Nation including St. Olaf Minnesota, Mills College, University of Chicago, University of Denver, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, University of Pacific, San Francisco State University, Manila, Philippines and more.

SPEAKING/WORKSHOP: I've served as the keynote speaker for UC Irvine's first Southeast Asian Graduation, Gaby Grant Foundation Convening, and UC San Diego APSA Conference. I’ve also hosted several interactive workshops on various topics such as social justice, poetry as a tool of empowerment, ally leadership, masculinity among men of color, leadership styles, youth and social media, cultural identity/ intersectionality and other leadership development topics.