Tammie (pronouns: she/her/hers) currently serves as the Executive Director for the Hmong American Women’s Association (HAWA), in Milwaukee, WI, a grassroots social justice organization led by Southeast Asian women and queer fem women that is dedicated to ending gender-based violence against Southeast Asian women, girls, and LGBTQ folks. She has dedicated over 14 years to providing advocacy for Southeast Asian women and girls in Milwaukee through literacy development, parent education, community education, domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy, and leadership development of Southeast Asian girls. Tammie’s current leadership roles include serving on the WI Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse and as a Commissioner for the City of Milwaukee Commission for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
Tammie is deeply passionate about building fierce, engaged, socially conscious young Southeast Asian women that will use their gifts to impact the world. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in English/Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Masters of Science in Administrative Leadership with Emphasis in Adult Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
In her free time, Tammie enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and baking.
Leana (pronouns: she/her/hers/Queen, anything said with love) a mother, working full time as the Outreach & Education Director at HAWA. She is a survivor that speaks on Women empowerment and embodies being an unapologetic, Hmong Queer Fem Leader in Milwaukee. Leana is dedicated to uplifting Women in the community and values the safety of SEA Women, Queer Folks, and young girls. Her goals are providing the knowledge and connecting resources for our community, so SEA Women, Queer, Trans and young girls can live in a world free from all forms of violence.
Outside of work, Leana enjoys quality family time with her son, partner and dog at home. In addition, she enjoys working out, writing, and reading.
Zong, (Zoo) is the Queer Justice Director at Hmong American Women’s Association. With eight years experience in non-profit community work and learning from Hmong Women and LGBTQ leadership, Zong has been a part of both local, national and international efforts to end gender-based violence against Southeast Asian Women, Girls and LGBTQ people. In his role, he develops and runs youth empowerment programs and supports victims & survivors through case management in the areas of: domestic violence, sexual assault and family rejection.
Zong graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. In addition, he is a long time member of ManForward, an organization dedicated to mobilize Southeast Asian young men and boys to end gender based violence and deportation. He loves, and believes in community transformation in order to build a better world for the most impacted communities.
In addition to his work at HAWA, Zong is an artist and community organizer. His art and organizing work is centered on ending gender-based violence through local advocacy and visual creativity throughout the upper Midwest.
Paul serves as the Civic Engagement Director here at HAWA. He is a former science educator and is passionate about helping to build power within the Southeast Asian community by engaging in conversations with people at their doors, hosting educational events that are open to the public, as well as educating elected officials on the southeast asian population here in Milwaukee.
Nouchee (she/her/hers) is the Manager of Advocate at the Hmong American Women’s Association. Nouchee graduated from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities with a Psychology major and a double minor in Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies. It was there that Nouchee began her work to end gender-based violence by volunteering and working with non-profit organizations. Nouchee is passionate about ending gender-based violence and being an ally to different communities to work towards collective liberation. Nouchee creates a welcoming and safe environment for all victims/survivors and leads her work with compassion, empathy, and open mindedness. Outside of HAWA, Nouchee enjoys playing volleyball, singing, dancing, and spending time with family.
Payeng (she/her/hers) is the Southeast Asian Youth Advocate at the Hmong American Women’s Association. She is passionate about supporting and uplifting the stories and voices of women, girls, and LGBTQ+ members. As the Youth Advocate, Payeng is dedicated to providing a safe space for healing, building, and self-love so that SEA girls and LGBTQ+ youth can thrive in a world free of violence.
Kathy is the Administrative Manager at HAWA who oversees the Admin Team. She graduated from Mount Mary University with a major in Justice and a minor in History. Her goal and value is supporting all Southeast Asian women and LGBTQ+ people with anything they need to be free from violence, where they can thrive and be independent, strong leaders. Outside of HAWA, she enjoys spending time with her family, watching Asian dramas, and traditional Hmong and Thai dancing.
Thao is the Community Building Coordinator at the Hmong American Women’s Association. She majored in both Business Administration and Sociology at Mount Mary University. As the Citizenship coordinator, she organizes and facilitates the citizenship classes and assists clients and students in filling out their naturalization paperwork with a goal to help as many Permanent Residents as possible to achieve U.S. citizen status.
Outside of work, she enjoys watching Asian dramas, movies, T.V. shows and anime.
Vina serves as the Development & Special Projects Coordinator at HAWA uplifting the mission, vision and values through special events and community engagements. She values elevating the voices of women, girls and LGBTQ folks and hopes to become a resource for them in their pursuit of life. Vina attended the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities where she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in communication studies. She continued her education and received her Special Events Management Certificate at the Milwaukee Area Technical College.
Outside of work, she spends her time reading sci-fi novels, and playing board games with her family.
Youa (she/her/hers) is the Community Resource Coordinator at HAWA where she engages and connects community to resources with the goal of empowering women, girls and LGBTQ+ folks to become independent and powerful. Youa graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with her bachelors in business administration, majoring in Human Resources Management. In her free time, she enjoys singing and spending time with her family and any self-care activities that nurtures her mental health.
Emily (she/her/hers), attends Rufus King High School and has been a part of HAWA for 3 years. She is the Youth Leader for our youth group SAY MKE here at the Hmong American Women’s Association. She helps facilitate sessions and works on many projects for our youth. Emily is passionate about creating a safe space for young girls to uplift and support each other as sisters! Outside of HAWA, Emily enjoys spending time with her friends and family, babysitting, watching movies/shows, and baking.
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.