MILWAUKEE, Wis. (April 18, 2017) — More than 1,000 community leaders, professionals, advocates and youth from across the country gathered in Milwaukee from April 21-23 for the 18th Hmong National Development Conference.
The event event theme for the event hosted by Hmong National Development, Inc. was “Power of the Past, Force of the Future.” The convening engaged in critical conversations regarding key issues impacting the Hmong American community.
There were more than 150 presenters from around the country for over 50 workshops spanning education to leadership development with topics including community activism regarding several high profile cases involving Hmong Americans in Wisconsin, the role of civic participation to uplift the community, and opportunities to advance the community through social entrepreneurship and economic development.
Speakers included Steve Ly, Mayor of Elk Grove, Calif., Kashoua Kristy Yang, recently elected Judge of Milwaukee County Circuit Court-Branch 47; and Susan Pha a city council member of Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Since its founding by Hmong community leaders in 1993, HND has served as a voice and advocated for the Hmong American community in Washington, DC. HNDC continues to be the largest convening of Hmong leaders from across the country, even drawing international attendees. The last time the conference was in Wisconsin was in 2009 in Appleton.
“It has been almost a decade since the conference has come to Wisconsin,” said Bao Vang, HND President/CEO. “In that time there has been significant change in both the Hmong community as well as our country as a whole. The conference will not only bring national attention to many of the challenges the community has faced in Wisconsin, but also highlight and amplify the incredible accomplishments Hmong Americans in Wisconsin and across the country have achieved. In today’s political climate, it is crucial now more than ever to bring attention to the numerous ways that immigrant and refugee communities continue to strengthen and revitalize towns and cities across the country.”
Hmong National Development, Inc. (HND) is a national, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization whose mission is to empower the Hmong community to achieve prosperity and equality through education, research, policy advocacy and leadership development. Founded in 1993, HND is the leading national policy advocacy organization for the Hmong American community. For over two decades, HND has provided local Hmong non-profits with capacity building and technical assistance, advocated for legislation which impacts our communities across areas of health, education and economic development, and most notably is recognized for our Hmong National Development Conference. www.hndinc.org