Civic Engagement

Civic engagement is about building power within the community, and at HAWA, we work to build power within our Southeast Asian women, girls and queer-fem folx through providing citizenship services, mutual aid and grass-roots organizing. It is through building capacity in these three areas that we promote the leadership of our women, girls and queer-fem leaders to help shape a world in which they can be free of violence and injustice.

Grass-roots Organizing

Before 2018, door-to-door canvassing and voter registration in the Milwaukee Southeast Asian community was almost non-existent. Issues of language and culture barriers made it difficult for mainstream organizations to connect with potential Southeast Asian voters. With the launch of our civic engagement work in 2018, HAWA has built the capacity to:
  • Knock on over 5,000 Asian American doors and have conversations in Hmong, Chin and Karen about local and national elections, as well as the Census and other relevant issues.
  • Register over 300 individuals in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 election cycles, including 35 brand new voters through our citizenship pipeline.
  • Call over 10,000 Asian American phone numbers and provide information on upcoming elections.
  • Pledged over 1,000 individuals to vote and fill out the Census in 2020
Our movement building work is only possible through the generous support of individuals, organizational partners and foundations.


For many in our Southeast Asian community, one of the most significant barriers to being civically engaged and building power is achieving citizenship. The various requirements of the naturalization process, such as english proficiency, knowledge of civics, as well as the expensive fees and the complexity of the application process, make the citizenship pathway prohibitively difficult for our community. 

That is why HAWA has provided the following free services for our community:

  • Naturalization application and paperwork assistance in five different Southeast Asian languages (Hmong, Chin, Karen, Burmese and Thai)
  • Small-group citizenship classes 
  • 1-on-1 citizenship interview preparation
  • Client advocacy for naturalization-related needs (navigating medical and legal systems related to application, USCIS correspondence and more)

If you or someone you know would like more information on citizenship classes in Hmong, please contact Thao Vue at (414) 930-9352 or email

Volunteers Needed

HAWA always has opportunities for volunteers who want to help build awareness and power within the Hmong community. We need passionate and committed individuals to help realize the hopes and dreams of our parents and grandparents as they fled the homeland and came to the U.S. Consider joining us in this movement, because progress won’t happen on its own, it will take all of us working together and advancing our cause.


The Hmong American Women’s Association (HAWA), Inc. is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1993 by a group of thirteen community women who had a strong passion to advocate, organize and share concerns reflected by women in the larger Hmong community.

24‑Hour Hmong Family Strengthening Helpline: 1‑877‑740‑4292