Hmong American Community Certificate Program

In partnership with The Hmong Institute, The Hmong American Certificate Program is designed to help you understand the history, refugee experience, culture, and challenges of the Hmong American communities. Through these workshops, you will have the opportunity to meet Hmong presenters of different experiences, and engage in activities and discussions that will help you sharpen your knowledge and skills to serve Hmong clients or interact with Hmong individuals, leaders, youth and women. Participants who complete 4 out of the 5 sessions will earn a program certificate. CEUs are available for each session. Participants also have the option to earn, for an additional cost, graduate level credit from Edgewood College.

Who Should Attend?

This Certificate Program is for anyone interested in improving services with and for the Hmong community. Whether you work in education, health-care, legal services, law enforcement, government, nonprofits or for-profits, or you are just a conscientious and concerned individual, this certificate program will strengthen your ability to work with Hmong Americans.


Program participants will be equipped with the fundamental knowledge of Hmong society: history, belief system, family/clan structure, rituals/customs, the ever changing roles of youth, elders, men & women, and current issues facing the Hmong in Wisconsin.

Program Details

8:30am-2:30pm

October 19 | October 26 | November 2 | November 15 | November 16

$259.00 to participate in a one-day workshop. Registering for the entire series will save you money! Additional costs are associated with taking the series for graduate-credit at Edgewood College.

For more information, please email the Office of Diversity at diversity@edgewood.edu or call 608-663-3274

Program Structure

10/19, History: Why did the Hmong come to America?

Increase your knowledge of the role of Hmong people during the Vietnam War and why the Hmong joined the CIA’s Secret War. Learn about the Hmong refugee experiences, hear difficult stories and meet Hmong elders.

10/26, What is unique about the Hmong Clan, Kinship & Family Structure?

Gain a better understanding of the demographic of the Hmong in Wisconsin. Learn more about the unique role of the Hmong clan, kinship, and family structure. You will meet and hear from clan leaders.

11/2, What are the roles of Hmong elders, men, women & youth in Hmong society?

Hear about the traditional roles of elders, men, women, & children and how these roles have evolved over time. During this seminar, you'll be able to identify strategies and guidelines for empowering the Hmong society in decision making and better understand boundary issues unique to elders, women and children. You will meet and hear from youth and women.

11/15, Hmong culture, traditions & the challenges of practicing in Wisconsin.

In this seminar, you'll learn about Hmong New Year, and wedding & funeral traditions, as well as learn more about the Hmong culture. We will also explore health issues in the Hmong community, the role of higher education, and the unique challenges and opportunities for Hmong in Wisconsin.

11/16, Hmong music, arts & crafts.

The last seminar will explore the cultural role and influence of music & the arts in the Hmong community. Learn more about traditional Hmong music through experiential learning and hands-on opportunities to play traditional instruments. You will meet and hear from local Hmong musicians.

Mai Zong Vue

Mai Zong Vue

Course Instructors

Mai Zong Vue, MSSW, is the Board President of The Hmong Institute, as well as a cultural trainer and folklore performer, including Hmong poetry, song and storytelling. Mai Zong arrived in Wisconsin as a teenager and received her MSSW from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has over 25 years of experience serving refugees and the Hmong American communities on various capacities, including as a community activist, nonprofit board member and is the co-founder of the Hmong Language & Culture Enrichment Program (HLCEP). Mai Zong has received numerous awards for her work for serving the Hmong and refugee communities, which included the YWCA of Dane County’s Women of Distinction, Authentic Hmong Leaders from the Hmong Authentic Leaders Program, and Trailblazer from the International Women’s Day.

Shoua Chang Yang

Shoua Chang Yang

Course Instructors

Shoua Chang Yang, is a community leader and talented Hmong artist known in the United States for his artistic skills and musical talents. Mr. Yang is a local Hmong musician who is an expert in playing over seven Hmong instruments, including five kinds of flutes, qeej (bamboo reed), xim xaus (two-string violin), nplooj (leaf), ncas (jaw harp), etc. His artistic skills and talents won him First Place at the Hmong International Arts and Music Competition in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in the mid 1990’s. Mr Yang is referred to as the "King of Hmong Folk Music" and has performed at the Hmong New Year, educational events and the annual Hmong Gala Dinner in Madison.

Mayhoua Moua

Mayhoua Moua

Course Instructors

Mayhoua Moua is currently the Executive Director of the Southeast Asian Educational Development and is the founder and President of Moua Consulting Group, LLC. Moua has over 25 years of experience in the non-profit social services sector and has dedicated much of her life to closing cultural gaps and eliminating language barriers. She has been recognized and received awards for her work in the Wisconsin Woman Magazine, Wisconsin Historical Society, Portraits of Hmong Women, Milwaukee Business Journal, Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, Hmong Woman of the Year 2010, The Vatican II Award by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and the Catholic Herald.

Nengher Vang

Nengher Vang

Course Instructors

Nengher Vang, is an Assistant Professor of Transnational American History in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he teaches the Vietnam War, US foreign relations and empire, Hmong American historical and contemporary issues, and other courses in American and world history. He is an affiliated faculty in the Race and Ethnic Studies program, co-creator of the Asian American/Asian Studies Minor, and co-advisor to the Oral History Wisconsin Farm Project on the UW-Whitewater campus. He serves on the editorial review board of the Hmong Studies Journal and has published articles on Hmong American politics, social movements, and culture/religion in Hmong Studies Journal, Social Movement Studies, and other academic journals.

Thai Vue

Thai Vue

Course Instructors

Thai Vue is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin United Coalition of Mutual Assistance Association, Inc., a coalition of 10 Mutual Assistance Associations across Wisconsin. He joined the La Crosse Area Hmong Mutual Assistance Association, Inc. in 1986 as the Executive Associate Director and assumed the role as Executive Director in 2005 until 2010. Vue was elected to the Board of Education of the La Crosse School District in 1993 and was also appointed by Governor Tommy Thompson to the Wisconsin Equal Rights Council that same year. In 2004, Vue was appointed by Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle to the Wisconsin Public Health Council in and re-appointed to this role by Governor Scott Walker in 2014. Vue developed the Wisconsin Hmong 18 Council, Inc.’s Hmong Mediation Training Course and has also developed the Hmong Cultural Training Program for Employers.