SAY MKE (Southeast Asian Youth Milwaukee)

SAY MKE Organizer Leadership Program of NINE Southeast Asian youth in Milwaukee, WI who are interested in organizing in their communities around violence prevention, and civic education. 

The purpose of the program is to build strong leaders who will champion safety and leadership within their community. SAY MKE program organizes and supports local projects that keeps the community safe and uplifts the safety and leadership of Southeast Asian youth girls.



Hi, my name is Emily Yang and my pronouns are she, her, hers. I have been a part of HAWA for about 3 years now starting with their youth program “Sisterhood” and “Our Sister’s Story”. This year, I came back as a Youth Leader and am now helping lead SAY MKE. I was a part of SAY MKE last year and decided to come back because I loved the sisters I created over one year, along with the topics and conversations we had, so how nice it would be to be able to do it all over again with even more girls with so much potential. What I envision for SAY MKE is just for the names of strong girls to be out in the world, creating a positive impact on our community! But SAY MKE isn’t just a youth program, it’s a support group and a sisterhood for young girls who never had that support system in their life and are now given the chance to. We try to create the best energy and make sure to be there for eachother!


Hello, my name is Analiya and my pronouns are she, her, hers. I am a part of HAWA’s SAY MKE youth program because I’ve always enjoyed helping others around me. It allows me to bring positive energy into the community. SAY MKE allows me to educate not only myself, but those around me on things like self love, healthy relationships, and confidence. HAWA is a safe space for me along with young women, girls, & LGBTQ+ members, which I admire a lot. I’ve been a part of HAWA since late 2019 and have enjoyed every moment I’ve spent with youth leaders. I’ve participated in SISTERHOOD, and OUR SISTER STORY, and this is my second year of being apart of SAY MKE.


Hi, my name is Valerie Yang and my pronouns are she, her, hers. I am a part of HAWA’s SAY MKE because I enjoy helping others. I want young women to understand that they are not alone, that they can rely on SAY MKE for support. Not only that, but also learn and educate others about violence against women and the LGBTQ+ community. Being a part of SAY MKE, we create a bond, we show our full potential to create a better and safe place for the younger generations.


Hi, my name is Faith, my pronouns are she/her/hers. I chose to be apart of SAY MKE this year because in my community, we Hmong women, queer, and trans people struggle with misogny, patriarchy, discrimination, objectification, and so much more. I believe that being in SAY MKE will allow me to learn about these major issues in the Hmong community. It’ll teach me how to educate others on how to overcome these obstacles. Not to just overcome, but to change these barriers in the future for girls and Queers & Trans folks to be able to thrive without having to hide themselves. SAY MKE is a safe space where I don’t have to worry about judgment, and I’m able to express myself freely. This family makes me comfortable and is full of positive energy. I was a part of SAY MKE last year, and because of how welcoming and educational this space was for me, I chose to be a part of it this year as well.


Hello, my name is Lilyan Thao. My pronouns are she, her, hers and I am a member of HAWA’s SAY MKE Youth Program this 2022. SAY MKE is a safe place for youth to develop self-love, sisterhood, and compassion. Through SAY MKE, I was able to build a sisterhood and confidence in my leadership skills through engaging activities and discussions around gender justice. Joining SAY MKE opened my eyes to reality, how there is still a time of kindness, confidence, and for voices to be heard. Attending HAWA’s SAY MKE Youth Program has to be one of the best choices I’ve made this year!


Hi! My name is Madison Cha, I go by Maddie and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I joined SAY MKE because I wanted to be part of a youth group that will help my voice and other girl’s voices be heard. I want to help other girls and people have their voices heard. I envision us girls coming together and helping fight injustice in our community. I hope us girls can help each other through our difficulties and problems. What I want other people to think of when they think of SAY MKE is a group of girls who come together to help protect and support each other as women and as a society. I hope more people get to know SAY MKE that way and help support our group.


My name is Evelyn Lee and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a part of HAWA to better educate myself on women empowerment, the LGBTQ+ community, SA and many more serious topics that occur in the world. This is my first year in SAY MKE and I want to use this opportunity to help the younger generation and older folks in the near future to better understand and end these problems. I also want to use this experience so later in the future I can use my voice to spread awareness to others.


Hello, I am Gao Sheng Thao, my pronouns are she/her/hers and I am a part of the HAWA’s SAY MKE Youth Program. I chose to be a part of SAY MKE because I want to learn more about the community that I am living in and the issues that women, girls, and Queer and Trans folks have to deal with in the real world. Being a part of SAY MKE taught me about issues that many people struggle with. I learned to always be open-minded about others because everyone goes through different things. SAY MKE is a place where you share your experience with other amazing girls and learn new things that were never taught to you. It’s also a place where you can speak your heart out and there is someone to listen to you. You can become an amazing leader one day.


Hi! I’m Alena Vue and my pronouns are she/her/hers. This is my first year at HAWA’s SAY MKE Youth program and I’m really enjoying it! HAWA’s SAY MKE has taught me so much about things that I would’ve never noticed before. I’m glad I’m a part of SAY MKE because this program makes me feel safe because I was raised in a community where men were always superior. I’m glad that I could connect with girls like me! So far, what I’ve learned from this program has taught me to always stand my ground and become a better person for me and my peers. Therefore, with SAY MKE I’m willing to spread awareness and let other Southeast Asian girls like me know that they’re not alone.

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