CLH: Voices of Hmong Week

May 13, 2024 | News & Events

At today’s Community Lunch Hour, we welcomed Ann Vang, co-founder of the “Hmong Sib Pab Sib Qhia — Help Together, Teach Together Fund,” and Cindy Yang, the Hmong Family Strengthening Coordinator at CAP Services. They discussed the significance of the fund and of Hmong Week, held from May 16-18.

Hmong Week was launched in 2019 by the founders of Sib Pab Sib Qhia and began as a partnership among local organizations like CREATE Portage County, Freedom Inc., and the Portage County Literacy Council.

One highlight of Hmong Week is “Success Looks Like Me,” which aims to show that success can have many different faces. The initiative showcases local individuals’ successes, focusing not on their educational backgrounds but on their professional achievements. This approach encourages the community to see that success does not always require a college degree. The themes and stories shift yearly, featuring people from diverse backgrounds and professions. Diana Vang, owner of Diana Brow House, joined the call to share her journey as an entrepreneur in Central Wisconsin.

The Hmong Week celebration has expanded beyond Portage County, with Wood and Marathon counties also participating. The goal is to grow this initiative throughout Wisconsin. Additional partners are invited each year to help plan and execute the week’s events, enhancing community involvement and support.

The discussion also covered the Sib Pab Sib Qhia scholarship, which offers awards for traditional students and non-traditional students, and through a Dream Development track, which supports non-academic goals like attending conferences or purchasing equipment. KaYing Vang has been both a Sib Pab Sib Qhia scholarship recipient and a scholarship donor through the Hmong American Education Fund. She shared how these experiences connect with the Community Foundation’s stated value of Compassion.

“Compassion is about celebrating the love that comes from giving and receiving—and acknowledging that our roles shift throughout time. We recognize that each of us can engage with generosity in our own way, cultivating a community where no one stands alone. Our responsive work, rooted in mutual respect and inclusivity, not only strengthens our current ties but also sows seeds of hope for a more compassionate world.”

– Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin

KaYing’s experiences highlight how giving and receiving are cyclical experiences for individuals and communities. Across all these stories, we see the diverse paths to success and local support for the Hmong community in Portage County, reflecting our community’s values of connection and commitment.

Take action and engage with our Hmong leaders:

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