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Hmong Women Summit returns to UW-Eau Claire


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Caitlin Lee

Cultivating authentic leadership skills through engaging and empowering women is the goal of the second Hmong Women Summit: The Authenticity Project, Showing Up 2017 (HWSTAP), which will be held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27-28, in the Davies Center at UW-Eau Claire.

The HWSTAP conference will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Friday and conclude Saturday evening. It will feature a host of guest speakers, including several Hmong women who have found success in the professional world. The workshops in the summit will focus on the “Showing Up” theme as well as the four competencies of authentic leadership, i.e., self-awareness, relational transparency, internalized moral perspective, and balanced processing.

Caitlin Lee, co-founder of the HWSTAP, says the summit’s large emphasis on authenticity and authentic leadership aligns well with the overall goal, which is to cultivate leaders who are engaging and able to foster positive relationships.

“We hope Hmong Women Summit is going to provide a space for a day and a half where we get to elevate and promote an often-time marginalized voice and help other Hmong women find their voice, which is unique to them,” Lee said.

Lee said making space for diverse voices is critical to moving communities forward, and that is the spirit in which HWSTAP was born.

Workshops will provide opportunities for meaningful dialogue in a group setting, and Lee said “The goal is to help participants learn to lead from where they are at, their authentic Hmong self.”

According to the HWSTAP website, the 2010 U.S. Census reported that Hmong men earn a median annual income almost $16,000 less than men in the U.S. The Census also notes Hmong women earn a median annual income $3,000 less than Hmong men. With issues like income disparity, the HWSTAP’s goal is to help empower Hmong women so they can take on leadership roles and contribute to their communities.

Lee said she has attended conferences where she has heard great things and was motivated to strive for success and leadership, but was not sure what steps to take following the discussions. Lee said HWSTAP prides itself on being different from other seminars by trying to ensure all who participate will leave the conference with a five-year action plan to positively impact their communities.

Lee said HWSTAP is not open only to Hmong women, although a large portion of the summit will focus on the Hmong community, but to all who would like to gain or sharpen leadership skills.

You can register for the event here. Registration rates for the two-day event are $100 for students, $125 for non-profits and $150 for professionals.


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