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Freemen's got talent

FREEDOM INC. T-SHIRT FUNDRAISER


T-shirts are $15 each.
1. Email: kpang@aboutfreedominc.com to place an order
2. Pay & pick up @ 601 Bay View, Madison, WI 53715

We appreciate all of your support and donation. All funds raised will go towards Freedom Inc's various programs.

Freedom Pho

Thank you to all the love and support from our friends, family, and community members. We were able to serve more than 140 people and raised enough money for all the youth to get a free bowl of pho! Please click here to see the photo album: Freedom Pho

Current news

Freedom Inc.'s Kabzuag Vaj Received a White House Champions of Change Recognition: Walking a Thin Cultural Line

Pictured: Freedom Inc. staffers Meng Vang (l-r), Kabzuag Vaj, Pahua Vang, and True Thao

Kabzuag Vaj is a pioneer of sorts. She came to the U.S. from Laos via Thailand when she was six-years-old as a refugee sponsored by a church as so many Hmong were sponsored back in the 1970-1980s.

The Hmong community was a patriarchal society in which the elders and men came first — much like the rest of American society — and the women came later and last in almost everything. Vaj, who was honored in October with a Champion for Change recognition for her work in the area of domestic violence by the White House, realized early on that she didn't fit into that patriarchal system as a young lady living with her family in Bayview.

Read more here: The Capital City Hues Part 1 and Part 2

History

Freedom, Inc is a grassroots organization with a vision of creating and building a world we want to live in. Starting as the Asian Freedom Project in 2000, it created youth-led collective learning groups to organize and mobilize on issues that affected their daily lives. In 2003, Freedom, Inc became an official non-profit organization. Since then, our work has grown to include people from other communities. Our mission is to engage low- to no-income communities of color to end violence against women folks, gender non-conforming folks, and young folks, which bring about deep social, political, cultural, and economic change. We organize around the root causes of violence, creating new definitions and solutions, and empowering all community members as agents of change to inspire and restore power of those most affected. We do this through leadership development and community organizing, in ways that are language-gender-generation and culture-specific to women, gender non-conforming, and youth, in African American and Southeast Asian families.

Our Community is our Campaign

Freedom Inc's motto is that we are not campaign driven. Our community is our campaign. As long as we develop strong leaders in the community, we do not need any particular legislation to pass. What we want is to build a community in which we want to live in.

Freedom Inc's collective belief is based on the structure of a flower. The Freedom Inc. board serves as the stem that holds the organization up financially and as an advisory board.

The community serves as the center of all our programs. Each program is a petal that grows from the community's needs. In a sense, the community tells us what programs we are going to work on. For example, Nkauj Hmoob was created to provide Southeast Asian girls a space in the community to express themselves and grow as leaders. However, as the group expanded to include more African American girls, we realized that we needed to create a new program for these girls in respect to their cultural background and experiences. Thus, Black Beauties was created based on the needs of the African American community. Organically, that is how each of our petal are born.

The current petals are all the different projects ran by Freedom Inc. right now. These programs are run by youth staff and supported by junior youth staff. Junior youth staff consists of High School students who are trained by the youth staff in hopes of leading the groups in the future.

House Champions of Change Recognition:
Walking a Thin Cultural Line (11/3/11)

Pictured: Freedom Inc. staffers Meng Vang (l-r), Kabzuag Vaj, Pahua Vang, and True Thao

Kabzuag Vaj is a pioneer of sorts. She came to the U.S. from Laos via Thailand when she was six-years-old as a refugee sponsored by a church as so many Hmong were sponsored back in the 1970-1980s.

The Hmong community was a patriarchal society in which the elders and men came first — much like the rest of American society — and the women came later and last in almost everything. Vaj, who was honored in October with a Champion for Change recognition for her work in the area of domestic violence by the White House, realized early on that she didn't fit into that patriarchal system as a young lady living with her family in Bayview.

Read more here: The Capital City Hues Part 1 and Part 2

Champions of Change @ the Whitehouse


Watch Kabzuag Vaj @ 50 minutes

Wisconsin State Journal (10/20/2011)

A local Hmong leader is being recognized at the White House on Thursday in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Kabzuag (pronounced Kaj-u-wa) Vaj is co-founder and co-executive director of Freedom Inc., a Madison nonprofit organization that works with poor and low-income communities of color focusing on the root causes of violence against women and children.

"It's kind of surreal because we don't know too many people who get this type of award," said Vaj, 37, Wednesday by phone as she arrived in Washington, D.C.

Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, will join Lynn Rosenthal, White House adviser on domestic violence, in hosting 14 leaders who are dedicating their professional lives to ending domestic violence on a local level.

Read more: Wisconsin State Journal

PBS - The Poverty Tour (10/12/2011)

Monica: So, so to start off with asserting that housing is a human right for me comes from the premise that living is a human right. That we all agree that we have the right to live, there's no way to live without adequate housing. It's just not possible.

The Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign and Madison Take Back the Land will both be spotlighted on the Tavis Smiley PBS TV show this week. Each night of the week the Tavis Smiley show will be looking at a different theme from the tour. Each show will feature an 8 - 10 minute video segment (produced by Media Mobilizing Project with the Smiley team) based on footage from the tour. It's in these video segments that CAEC and Madison TBL will be spotlighted.

Watch the video here: PBS - The Poverty Tour

A Public Affair - WORT radio (9/27/2011)



Freedom Inc. youth organizers speaking about popular education

Hmong Townhall Meeting
Dissecting the Impact of Gov. Walker's
Buget Repair Bill on the Hmong community
(4/27/11)

Pictured: Hmong youth leaders and team members who made this townhall meeting possible.

The Hmong community in the Madison area gathered on March 27 at the Urban League building on South Park Street to analyze the negative impact on the Hmong families of Wis. Gov. Scott Walker's Budget Repair Bill, express their thoughts on it to local officials in attendance, and to agree on the next steps to collectively do afterward.

Spearheaded by prominent local Hmong adult and youth leaders, the town hall meeting noticeably included many Hmong elders who don't speak nor understand English, and Hmong youth who don't speak nor understand Hmong. Mai Zong Vue and Cheng Vang provided translations both ways

Read more: Asianwisconzine

GRIT tv (3/17/2011)



Read the article here: Kabzuag Vaj & Monica Adams: Beyond the Labor Fight in Wisconsin

Family Strengthening Project:

FSP's goal is to put an end domestic and sexual violence. This project provides services domestic violence and sexual assault victims and survivors across the life span. We currently provide advocacy, outreach, referral, direct services and support services to victims/survivors and their families. If you or any one you know is in an abusive relationship and wants to get help please call Freedom, Inc and ask for an advocate. Our services are free of charge and confidential.

Health Justice:

Freedom, Inc. is working to build and sustain healthy neighborhoods in Madison. The Health Justice Project is working to address the structural inequalities that have caused large disparities in health outcomes-- e.g. obesity (65% Hmong teens are obese) and diabetes by increasing access to affordable nutritious and culturally appropriate food.

PLUS: People Like US

People Like Us (PLUS) is an organizing group designed to build, decolonize and liberate the identities of: same gender loving, stud, gay, boi, womanist, two spirited, gurl, femmes, fish, LGBTQ… and other self-identifying queer youth of color. PLUS take a very culturally specific approach in doing this work; recognizing queer identity is very much influenced by race and culture. There is a Southeast Asian Queer specific space, and an African American Queer specific space, where the uniqueness of these identities are explored, and leaderships of these communities are developed. PLUS builds queer youth of color leaders and organizers, who can then work on issues they are facing in their personal lives, as well as in the larger society.

PLUS African American: PLUS AA focuses specifically of the issues queer African American youth face. They use culture, media, hirstories, share stories, view and create art to create a dialogue and narrative around their struggles. Not only does this group develop a strong analysis of power and access, but learns to politicize self-love, and recognize it as key to the liberation struggle. This group draws heavily on the wisdom of queer Black folks and ancestors before them Alisha Muhammad is the youth organizer, and Monica Adams is the adult organizer for the group.

Please contact Monica Adams or Alisha Muhammad or Shaquita Griffin for additional program information.

PLUS Southeast Asian: PLUS SEA Is a collective of queer Southeast Asians and SEA allies that come together to discuss about issues that affects queer SEA. They aim to challenge cultural and social norms that deprive queer Southeast Asians conditions of equality and justice. Through the emphasis of learning, sharing and embracing the self, family, culture and community PLUS SEA empowers queer Southeast Asians and allies to create positive social change.

Please contact Meng Vang for additional program information.

Viv Ncaus Dance Troupe:

Viv Ncaus Dance Troupe was founded in 2007. Our mission is to lessen the generation gap between the Hmong elders and the younger generation by teaching the Hmong culture, tradition and language through Hmong dancing to young girls. The goal is to have mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters and daughters to come together to sew Hmong clothes for the dance troupe.

Please contact Zon Moua for program informations.

Black Beauties:

Black Beauties is an organizing group designed for Middle and High School Black girls. The girls discuss issues they are facing in their personal lives and also in their communities. In the group they: share stories, have culturally specific trainings, use art and theater of the oppressed, and popular education… to learn and grow as leaders. The girls use their trainings and skills to work on issues within their communities, that affect their communities. The group meets weekly on Tuesdays at 6pm at the Northport Community Center. Shaquita Griffin of Freedom, Inc is the organizer of the group.

Please contact Shaquita Griffin for volunteer and program informations.

Freemen:

Freemen is a Southeast Asian boys/teens organizing program and was founded in 2007. Our mission is to build strong male leaders that can create social change, at home, in the community and in their own lives. Freeman addresses root causes of violence against women and children thru addressing patriarchy and male privilege. Freemen programs include political education, organizations skills, LGBTQ issues, domestic violence, outreach, and leadership development.

Please contact True Thao and Kong Thao for volunteer and program informations.

Nkauj Hmoob:

Nkauj Hmoob is a South East Asian girls/teens organizing program and was founded in 2004 by Chai Moua. Our mission is to build strong female leaders that can create social change, at home, in the community and in their own lives. Nkauj Hmoob's programs include political education, organizations skills, LGBTQ issues, domestic violence, outreach, and leadership development.

Please contact Pahua Vang and Zon Moua for volunteer and program informations.

Freedom Pho Fundraiser

(Click the image above to go to the photo gallery)

Freedom Inc.'s Freedom Pho Fundraiser event on December 5, 2011 from 6-8 pm at Bayview Community Center was a success!! We served over 140 people from the community!

We appreciate the donations and the collective effort everyone has put forth to raise money for our Freedom Inc. youth groups--Black Beauties, PLUS SEA and AA, Nkauj Hmoob, Viv Ncaus, and Freemen.

Freedom Inc. Townhall Meeting

(Click the image above to go to the photo gallery)

Freedom Inc. held a townhall meeting in repsonse to Governor Scott Walker's budget bill in mid 2011.

Contact us for comments/suggestions

Address:
Freedom Inc.
601 Bay View
Madison, WI 53715
Phone: (608) 661-4089
Email: Freedom Inc.

Thanks to our funders:

Copyrights:

Coding originally done by DzineBlog
Altered and upated by: Pang Khang
Photos by: True Thao

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Your contribution will help Southeast Asian and African American students and teens learn about their culture, history, language and build stronger brother and sisterhood. Many of our member are from low-income to no-income families.

100% of your contibution will be used for the program.