Hmong American Women’s Association Moves Into The Pabst Mansion
The Hmong American Women’s Association or HAWA has a new home at the Pabst Mansion. The group says the new space will help them with their mission of investing in the safety and leadership of Southeast Asian women, girls, queer, and transgender people in Milwaukee.
Leana Yang, the Outreach and Education Director at HAWA, says this is a huge opportunity and accomplishment for the group. "For HAWA to exist over 25 years, this is the first time ever that we get to say that it’s women who really made this happen, we get to say that we own this home and therefore we get to invite our community members into something that also belongs to them," Yang says.
Tammie Xiong is the Executive Director of HAWA. She says it was important for their new home to be accessible and a place that can feel like a home to all. "I think more than anything, we were really looking for a really central location that had really super easy access to downtown," Xiong says. "But then ... would also be accessible to a lot of the communities that we were serving that live largely on the south side and the north side."
The Pabst Mansion provides a playground, parking lot, and lots of space that will allow HAWA to expand its public services and civic engagement. HAWA has kicked off a capital campaign, HAWA Roots Down, in the hopes of raising funds to make renovations to the new space and continue to support their work. "This is really an opportunity, a critical opportunity for us right now, to build roots, solid roots in Milwaukee," Xiong explains.
HAWA is still offering services during the process of relocating. "We're still keeping our availability open specifically for community members. Because it's crucial, right? Especially right now ... that's also why having this space means so much to us. So that we are able to really let community know that we too are family. We plan on staying here," says Yang.