I offer a broad range of workshops and courses.

I specialize in identifying urgent social issues that I integrate into longterm and short-term learning experiences at all levels.

Sehba Sarwar with students at Baker-Ripley Community Center (Houston); photo: Michelle Garcia

As a writer, educator, and artist, I am committed to global consciousness and social justice. Over the past three decades, I have designed adult and youth writing and multidisciplinary workshops. My training and experience in arts leadership, communities, and classrooms places me in a unique position to integrate cultural knowledge into courses and workshops that I offer universities, high schools, and non-profit organizations.

For eighteen years, I served as Artistic Director and Founder of an alternative arts organization prior to which I worked in public education. I have training in leadership, team building, strategic planning, conflict management, and implementation of equity and justice. I design and teach courses for adults and youth. My specialty lies in connecting real life issues to art-making and creating bridges that lead to better understanding between diverging communities.

Because of my multifaceted experiences as artist and organizer alongside my long-term history designing workshops, I have the knowledge and background to create a workshop that meets your needs.

If you’d like me to teach a workshop in your community or offer a talk on your campus, please contact me.

Created new initiatives to empower public school students

Sehba Sarwar alongside Pasadena Think Tank students receiving PUSD's 2023 Community Service Award

Pasadena Educational Foundation (PEF): Since 2019, I have been working closely with PEF and Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) to write grants and offer workshops that range from virtual sessions that target immigrant and refugee teens to offer long-term workshops such as the Student Think Tank that began as a virtual group and now functions in a hybrid format. I also serve as artist/writer and design professional development sessions for teachers who are participating in a California Civil Liberties initiative that I envisioned. In fall 2022, PEF hired me as a full-time employee, so I could deepen my work with them and the school district.  

READ MORE about my work through PEF and California Humanities with PUSD’s immigrant and refugee youth.

READ MORE about my work with PUSD’s youth leadership, the Student Think Tank.

READ MORE about my work with PEF’s Building Empathy /  California Civil Liberties initiative. 

ONGOING WORKSHOPS

UCLA Extension’s Writers’ Program: Since summer 2019, I have been creating and teaching creative writing workshops for the Writers’ Program since 2019. Some of the courses that I have designed and taught include: Storytelling for Social Justice, Flash Fiction and Nonfiction, Women of Color Workshop, Memoir Writing for Teachers, and many one-day workshops. 

To keep up with the courses I offer through UCLA Extension’s Writers’ Program, please visit their site.

 Because of my multifaceted experiences as artist and organizer alongside my long-term history designing workshops, I have the knowledge and background to create a workshop that meets your needs.

Recent Workshops

WORKSHOP

California Institute of Technology: I offered virtual community writing workshops for Caltech’s International Spouse’s Club through which beginning writers created text to break past the isolation caused by the lockdown; May – December 2020, Pasadena, California.

COURSE

California Lutheran University: I offered an undergraduate version of Storytelling for Social Justice that was scheduled to be taught as an in-person workshop, but due to the pandemic, I had to adapt the syllabus to offer virtually; Thousand Oaks, California, Fall 2020.

READING

Visiting Writer at Pasadena City College and offered a reading and conversation with students (three days before the pandemic lockdown in LA County), Pasadena, California; March 2020.

WORKSHOP

Houston Independent School District: As part of a Mid-America Arts Alliance Innovative Artist grant that I received, I taught a storytelling workshop for immigrant and refugee (Nepali-Bhutanese and Indian) youth at Westbury High School; January 2015, Houston, Texas.

COURSE

Mitchell Center for the Arts, University of Houston: I collaborated with history professor Dina Al-Sowayel, PhD to design and co-teach an undergraduate class, Art as Activism, through which students researched and interviewed artists who are based around the globe and are tackling social justice issues through their work. Classroom activity also included in-person and classroom visits by local and international artists; Fall 2014, Houston, Texas.

Sehba built student confidence by having us share our work in a safe, constructive environment. The course was structured in a way that encouraged technical and editing improvements. I left the course with work I can publish.

student, Writers’ Program, UCLA Extension

I wasn't able to comprehend how profoundly Sehba had affected me until I found myself impatient to write, often anxious just to get my hands on a pen...It seemed as though at every turn, Sehba was there to urge me on. Her deliverance of voice and reason kindled a flame inside me.

—Creative Writing student, Rice School/La Escuela Rice, Houston, TX.

I enjoyed the open, safe and friendly atmosphere of the course, where I felt free to experiment and engage in such an unfamiliar activity as storytelling. Sehba encouraged us very much to be courageous about our writing, trust ourselves and keep working. It helped a lot and gave me confidence in achieving the goal that I set for the course.

—participant, Storytelling Together,
Caltech International Spouse’s Club, Spring 2020
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CONTACT

I am an author and speaker, an artist, and a community and cultural activist.

If I can use my talents and passions to inspire you or your network to push boundaries and become involved in our communities, please connect with me. I offer a range of services including: readings, workshops, courses, or multidisciplinary performances/installations. I look forward to hearing from you!

Sehba Sarwar Art Car
Front hood of my art car, Digital Meets Pakistani Truck Art, featuring stickers of buraq images from Karachi; photo by Burnell McCray