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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.

Citizenship

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, please contact:

Citizenship Classes in Hmong
Thao Vue
(414) 930-9352
thao@hawamke.org

Citizenship Education Program
Paul Vang
(414) 930-9352
paul@hawamke.org

Mutual Aid

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the economic vulnerability of our Southeast Asian community that has always existed beneath the surface. We recognize that individuals and families need their basic needs met before they can be moved in their power. 

Throughout 2020 and into 2021, HAWA has procured and distributed: 

  • $25,000.00 in rent and utility relief for struggling individuals and families
  • $40,000.00 in food, rice and hygiene supplies for me

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. 

Our physical office locations have closed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, HAWA's advocacy services still remain available. Click here for more information. If you are seeking support outside of our office hours, please contact 24-hour WI Hmong Family Strengthening Helpline at 1-877-740-4292.

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.

U.S. CITIZENSHIP TEST CHANGES

New requirements for Citizenship are set to start December 1st! You should know that USCIS under the Trump Administration has changed the Civics Portion of the citizenship test.

Graphics above are adapted from the So Chin Youth Talk About

VIDEO GUIDES

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN VOTE

THOV DAIM NTAWV XAIV TSA 
(REQUEST AN ABSENTEE BALLOT IN HMONG)

REQUEST AN ABSENTEE BALLOT (ENGLISH)

ZEITINDAH KAN PHIT LAI I KAN KUAT LAI
(FILLING OUT YOUR BALLOT IN CHIN)

POV NPAV HAUV TSEV
(FILLING OUT YOUR BALLOT IN HMONG)

ယကနဲ၃်ပၠးသုလၢဘ၃်ဖၠ့ၢ်လီၤတၢ်ဖီ၃်တၢ်ဖးတၢ်ဃုထၢထီ၃်ထံကီၢ်ခိ၃်နၢ်
(FILLING OUT YOUR BALLOT IN KAREN)

Hmong American Women’s Association

Office Hours:
Monday to Friday
8:00 AM — 4:30 PM

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

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© 2021 HAWA, INC.