Amplify Madison – Hmong Women Leadership

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Hmong Women Leadership

An Amplify cohort has their photo taken at the YWCA in Madison, Wisconsin on March 1, 2019. Beth Skogen Photography –

Hmong Women Leadership is a cohort of two professional working women and one Ph.D student who are grass-root leaders and board members of The Hmong Institute, Inc (THI). The Hmong Institute was established in December of 2017 as an organization that works to empower community through educating, preserving, and promoting Hmong heritage. It is a community builder, cultural preserver, and educator for individuals, organizations, and groups that strive to serve and advance the Hmong community in Wisconsin. THI aims to be a resource for anyone interested in advancing the community inclusive of the Hmong heritage. THI is committed to ensuring individual desire to learn about Hmong heritage through educational and professional development opportunities. It provides culturally competent trainings, technical assistance, and consultation to those working and serving the Hmong community.

Hmong Women Leadership cohort’s vision for Madison, is that Madison honors the diversity and ethnicities of its people and empowers leaders to thrive and celebrate cultural heritage. We will use our Amplify Madison experience to create a safe space for people to learn, inspire others to share, and to be motivated to embrace their cultural heritage. We will also lead community dialogues to discuss, share, and honor diversities. We will create workshops to empower leaders to build capacity, to advocate, and to organize within their own communities. We hope that our work will inspire other communities to find ways to celebrate their own culture and identity. In doing so, Madisonians will understand that when they honor diversity and ethnicities, we can create leaders who will empower their own communities to thrive and succeed.

Get to know Hmong Women Leadership better

Please share about what sparked you all to submit your Amplify Madison proposal? What are some of the challenges you want to transform for yourselves and the Madison community?

Our motivation for submitting our Amplify Madison proposal came from a strong desire to preserve and promote cultural identity while living and working in Madison. For our cohort, preserving and promoting Hmong culture and heritage gets at the root of our identity. We recognize that what makes each of us unique is the beauty of our culture, our experiences, and our traditions. Because of this, we must work to preserve, honor, and promote diversity and ethnicity in Madison.

Please share about your experience collaborating across organizations for your Amplify experience – What are you learning about the nature of collaboration?

The Hmong Institute partners and collaborates with many other organizations for its work such as Edgewood College for the Hmong American Community Certificate program and previously with Badger Rock neighborhood Center for the Hmong Language, Cultural Enrichment Program, and United Way of Dane County for the Hmong Professional Networking event. We have learned that when we partner and collaborate with other organizations, we are able to reach a wider audience, complete our work more efficiently, and build a network of supporters. We are also able to build capacity and leverage for our organization as we work towards our mission and vision. Building partnerships and collaborating with other organizations is the best way to be successful in our work and in our organization.

What is your team’s vision for Madison

Hmong Women Leadership cohort’s vision for Madison, is that Madison honors the diversity and ethnicities of its people and empowers leaders to thrive and celebrate cultural heritage.

We believe that when the diversity and ethnicities of people are honored, it empowers leaders to help their own communities thrive and success. When diverse communities thrive and succeed, it will amplify Madison as the leader in cultural preservation and celebration.

What has been your team’s experience in preparation to your professional development experience? What are some of the expectations you already have about the event, conference or other similar you are about to attend?

In preparation for our professional development experience, we have coordinated with organizations and communities in Thailand and Vietnam and developed a detailed itinerary of what we will be doing in each day. We are very excited about our professional development opportunity. Although, it will not occur until later this year, we anticipate that it will be an experience of a lifetime. We intent to stay in the villages with the people that we are learning from. A couple of these village are in remote areas where that is no running water, electricity, and modern toilets. This may be a challenge for us since we are used to the comforts of running water, toilets, technology, and comfortable mattresses to sleep on. Despite the emotional, physical and, intellectual challenges that we may encounter, we know that this is an experience that will teach us many valuable things about our traditions, cultural, and identity. We will return with a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with the community in Madison.

What has been your team’s experience during your professional development experience? What are some of the key knowledge, skills and learning you are bringing back to Madison?

Team reflection coming soon!

What has been your team’s experience during your community engagement activities back in Madison? What are some of your key reflections and learning during this period?                         Team reflection coming soon!

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