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Blugolds on list of Wisconsin's most influential Asian American leaders

| Judy Berthiaume

Photo caption: Dang Yang, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, is included on Madison365’s list of Wisconsin’s 34 most influential Asian Americans. Yang is a longtime leader on campus and in the community.

Madison365, a nonprofit online magazine, has included Dang Yang — a leader on University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s campus as well as in the greater Eau Claire community — on its list of Wisconsin’s 34 Most Influential Asian American Leaders.

Yang, director of UW-Eau Claire’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, is involved in numerous equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus and in the Chippewa Valley.

The publication notes Yang’s long history of supporting people of color as they pursue higher education.

As director of UW-Eau Claire’s OMA, Yang leads a team that provides direct services for students of color, supports universitywide efforts in equity and inclusion, and collaborates with stakeholders on strategic initiatives to foster a welcoming climate across campus. He previously was involved in similar efforts at UW-Stout and at the Chippewa Valley Technical College.

Also active in the Eau Claire community, Yang was among the leaders who helped launch the Chippewa Valley Transformation Project, a local antiracism and inclusion effort

Yang’s research interests have included examining student leadership development among students of color and exploring how dominant cultural narratives perpetuate inequities in higher education and its impacts on students of color.

Yang earned his bachelor’s degree in communication from UW-Eau Claire and a master’s degree in multicultural college teaching and learning from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

You can learn more about Yang in this Blugold Spotlight.

Also on the Madison365 list is another UW-Eau Claire graduate, Dr. Kaying Xiong, now the executive director of student services for the Eau Claire Area School District. After earning a degree in elementary education from UW-Eau Claire, she taught first grade and then English as a second language in Eau Claire schools. In 2001, she became the first Hmong principal in Wisconsin when she took her position at Locust Lane Elementary School.

The Madison365 list includes leaders from the Hmong, Chinese American, Japanese American, Pacific Islander, South Asian and other Wisconsin communities throughout Wisconsin.

“These are richly diverse communities with roots that represent a massive geographic area,” the publication states. “The people we are highlighting are elected leaders, business leaders and community leaders, doing difficult and important work, often in the face of discrimination and literally generations of oppression.”