Say Yang

Cultural Advisor (Former Member)


Through her devotion for civic participation and potential to inspire change, Say Yang has worked creatively on initiatives that effect and influence social change in many communities through voluntarism, organizational involvement and electoral participation throughout the Twin Cities.

Her early experiences of urban culture began with the migration of her family from Phanat Nikhom Refugee Camp in Chonburi Province of Thailand to urban areas of Syracuse, New York and Minneapolis, Minnesota. She grew up in the Twin Cities hearing her brothers’ 90’s gangsta rap music, watching them break on cardboard in the basement of their home and admiring their street fashion of dickies, flannels and jerseys. These early influences lead Say to the cultural movement of Hip Hop Culture and participation with the Twin Cities Battle League, Minnesota Hip Hop Coalition and other initiatives of Hip Hop influence.

Say currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she worked as the Communications and Community Outreach Coordinator for Hennepin County Community Works programs and attends college at Metropolitan State University focusing on the Social and Cultural Analysis of Urban Life. She is also actively engaged with South High School community groups P.U.S.H (Parents United for South High) and Site Council, a policy making body for South High.

In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors, spending time with family and friends and supporting community events that work to address social issues and community change.


SSMT Statement

"In the Fall of 2014, I started my individualized studies in Social and Cultural Analysis of Urban Life at Metropolitan State University. I became very interested in global work and the migration of people interconnected with urbanization. This began my search for Hmong American driven initiatives that worked with Hmong people in Thailand and/or Laos. From a coffee shop conversation at Blue Moon Coffee Café with my good friend Tou Saiko Lee, I learned of the Street Stops and Mountain Tops project. After a few follow up meetings, the conversation manifested to my involvement with the project. I decided to join this project because it was a good fit for my continue education and also provided an opportunity for strengthening the connection of Hmong people between rural and urban living. I am excited be apart of a project that will teach different ways of self-creation and expression through the elements of Hip Hop. I have seen over the course of my lifetime how the elements of Hip Hop have given people a sense of liberation and freedom to express. I bring to this project my commitment to the continuation and expansion of possible work that can be done and is needed."