Dr. Xiong is the Executive Director of Cia Siab, Inc. in La Crosse, WI. She has been a long-time member of the La Crosse community since her family resettled in the United States in 1987. She has a bachelor’s degree in Art and Philosophy, a master’s degree in Education from the University of La Crosse-Wisconsin (UW-L) and a Doctorate in Teaching and Learning from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with an emphasis in Language and Cultural Revitalization. Her research interests include International Indigenous People's Movement, Hmoob women's critical research frameworks, traditional Hmoob oral knowledge, Hmoob education, and globalization and its threat to diversity, Indigenous languages, and Indigenous cultures. Dr. Xiong is invested in the movement to end violence against Hmoob women and girls and work to (re)build a vibrate Hmoob community through Cia Siab, Inc.
Chai lives in Stevens Point with her husband Phong Vang and their four children. She has a bachelor’s degree in Human Services Management and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership. She holds a Family Development Specialist Certification from the National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice and the University of Iowa School Social of Work. Chai started off her work in community organizing with one of Madison’s most isolated neighborhood. This is where she realized her passion to fight for racial and gender equity. She has over 15 years of expensive experience working with low to no-income communities, especially the Hmong community. She currently serves as the Civic Engagement Director at Freedom, Inc. and also the Hmong Family Services Coordinator with CAP Services. Chai has received HND IMPACT Award in 2017 and Wisconsin Community Action Program Exemplary Community Action Staff Member Award in 2015. Chai is currently serving as a County Board Supervisor for Portage County’s District 9.
Kayleb is a community organizer at Freedom Inc., where they have been for 4 years. They were born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, where their Hmong refugee parents settled after their second migration in the United States. Kayleb works closely with Southeast Asian boys on ending patriarchy and works to increase the visibility of womyn, queer and trans leadership through photography, and videography. Kayleb has supported local campaigns in Dane County by showing up in solidarity with Black Lives and participating in direct action campaigns and documenting the work through photography.
Tammie currently serves as the executive director for the Hmong American Women’s Association (HAWA) in Milwaukee. HAWA continues to be one of the very few advocacy organizations in the country dedicating all of their resources to support Hmong women and girls, especially those impacted by gender-based violence. She also serves as the current chair for the Viv Ncaus: Hmong Women Giving Circle. It is the first Hmong women giving circle in Wisconsin that has also been nationally recognized by the Asian American Pacific Islander in Philanthropy for their commitment to community-based social justice work. Tammie also has experience in working with Asian refugee/immigrant communities in Milwaukee and developing their capacity through teacher professional development, parent training, literacy development, and social justice advocacy. She holds an M.S. in adult education and program planning.
Dr. Seilka Ducksworth-Lawton
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Hue Zong Yang
Zong, works at Hmong American Women’s Association as the Southeast Asian LGBTQ Advocate serving victims & survivors of violence and family rejection through case management. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Zong is an active member of ManForward, an organization dedicated to train and organize young men and boys to end gender-based violence in the Hmong and Southeast Asian community.
Zon is a Queer, Femme, Hmoob womyn born and raised in Wisconsin. She is the youngest of 11 children, born to refugee parents. She is the Director of Youth Organizing at Freedom Inc. She has worked on gender-based violence, queer and youth justice issues since the age of 16. Her most innovated work has been connecting youth to social justice movements through art, music, and dance. Zon works closely with Black and Hmoob youth and impacts over 50 youth weekly. She engages her community in conversations and workshops addressing anti-blackness and standing in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Zon has been actively involved in local campaigns and have been part of the planning team for numerous direct actions. Zon also manages a media team, documenting Black Lives Matter campaigns through photography and videography. Through her work, she hopes to raise the visibility of Queer, Trans, Black and Southeast Asian leadership and to make deep social changes within her community.
Dr. Maysee Yang Herr
Herr is an educational consultant and trainer well as a strong community advocate. She is a Wausau native who was an education profession at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for almost 10 years prior to moving to Kansas City in 2018. Her academic training includes critical discourse analysis and research methods along with curriculum development, educational psychology, and equity work. Dr. Herr’s background has opened opportunities for her to provide presentations all over the sate off Wisconsin and beyond on Hmong culture and parenting. Over the years, she has provided cultural competency training to leaders in a number of education institutions and internationally known companies. She served as campaign manager for City Council Member, Mary Thao. Most recently, Dr. Herr was an active leader on several boards and committees in Marathon County and at UW-Stevens Point with missions relating to diversity and early childhood. Dr. Herr continues to engage in community efforts through serving on the International Relations Council Education Committee and Wyandotte County Health Improvement Plan Language Subcommittee in Kansas City.
Pheng Thao works at the intersections of building community, organizing community, and mental health. He is committed to creating new masculine and male practices that will not marginalize women, girls, LGBTQ/gender nonconforming folks and limit boys and men’s full expression. He has done numerous trainings and technical assistances to several local, national, and international organizations on gender-based violence including domestic violence, sex trafficking, and sexual violence. He is the founder and director of ManForward, a local organization based out of the Twin Cities, MN, that works toward developing new practices of masculinity and manhood with men, boys and masculine identities to promote gender equity. Pheng also coordinates the Minnesota statewide engagement of the Men and Masculine Folks Network, a collaborative network of many community organizations and individuals. As a mental health practitioner, Pheng supports and works with LGBTQ and gender nonconforming youth; families and couples; men who have committed sexual violence; and founded a domestic violence Hmong men’s program called Txivneej Yawg. Lastly, he serves as a trustee on the MN Women’s Foundation and a 2018 Bush Fellow.