Xong Xiong, Executive Director
Dr. Xong has lived in the La Crosse area since her family resettled in the United States as refugees in 1987. She holds an Ed.D. in Teaching and Learning from the University of Minnesota Duluth, as well as Master's Degree in Education and a Bachelor's degree in Art and Philosophy and from the University of La Crosse-Wisconsin (UWL). Xong has nearly 14 years of experience working in the field of domestic abuse victim services. She started her work in DV advocacy at the New Horizons domestic abuse shelter in La Crosse, working mainly with women of color. In 2016, she founded Cia Siab, Inc. to continue the DV/SA program for the Hmoob community in La Crosse when the HCCA Board voted to discontinue them. Xong is credited for designing a culturally appropriate DV program model for the Hmoob community in La Crosse County, and is an active and engaged member of the community.
Linda Xiong, Associate Director
Linda completed a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a certificate in Hmong & Hmong-American Studies at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. In her work as a Youth Advocate at the HCCA and Cia Siab, Inc., Linda has been a strong advocate for social justice. She brings the skills she learned by starting a dance program mentoring and fostering a safe space for Hmoob girls to learn about their culture and history to her work with elders. In addition to her mentorship and leadership roles for young Hmoob girls, she wants to critically explore creative ways to preserve Hmoob language and Hmoob epistemology through the integration of elder and youth programming and community organizing in and outside of Cia Siab, Inc. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, especially Hmoob music. Her current obsession is BTS.
Maggie (Yer) Xiong, Social Justice Director
Maggie’s PGP’s are she /her /They/ them/theirs, she received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree Women Gender and Sexuality Studies with a minor in Ethnic Racial Studies at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. In 2018, Maggie was nominated and received the 2018 Student activist award from the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies. She is currently working on organizing conversation with the local school boards on supporting assembly bill 34, the Hmong Migration Education Bill. In her free time, Maggie likes to relax and read, as well as be a dog whisperer and hang out with her 3 dogs, Entei, Nala and Panda.
Pater Ly-Tong Pao, Sexual Assault Advocate/Coordinator
Before Pater became the Sexual Assault Coordinator, she worked as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for WIC. She has a passion for helping others and it is the core of who she is. Her favorite thing about assisting others is knowing she can make a difference and seeing the various strides of progress in those she supports. Pater also facilitates the HMoob womxn support group, Paj Ntaub Circle, to provide a safe space for womxn and build sisterhood. Outside of work she is a wife, and a mother to five loving children. Her free time is limited, but she enjoys rollerblading, biking and long walks. She also started collecting plants and is now a plant mom to more than 30 green babies. Don’t ask her for their scientific names. She only knows them by the name she’s blessed them with---and that changes daily.
Pelli Lee, Volunteer Coordinator
Pelli has been working with Hmoob youth for over seven years and is very passionate about mentoring and building future leaders. He is married to Joua Moua and they have a beautiful little daughter together named Ariyah. Pelli is currently on the La Crosse School Board. On his days off from work and meetings, he like to go on walks with his family around the Industrial Park area, oftentimes stopping to get ice cream on the way back. Currently, his life revolves around his family, and he is excited to see Cia Siab, Inc. grow because he believes in the people and its mission!
Vandali Vang, Community Engagement Coordinator
Vandali is a student at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, majoring in Public Administration and minoring in Communication Studies. Vandali found her passion for social justice at the age of 16 while interning at the Hmong Cultural & Community Agency. She is working to make a difference in her community by helping them become more empowered, knowledgeable, and motivated to be more civically engaged. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her dog, going on hikes, and canoeing.
Sam Xiong, Elder Program Coordinator
Before Sam came into this role of Elders Program Coordinator he was a Youth Advocate. He encourages young Hmoob people to grow and reminds them that change is okay. Sam has attended multiple trainings to help him understand oppression and injustices. He has attended the men’s training through Manforward related to masculinity and patriarchy practices that cause harm, as well as training in in support and advocating for the LGBTQ+ community. He continues to work on creating safe spaces where young Hmoob children can go and build relationships and learn. Being part of Cia Siab, Inc. it challenges him dig deeper into the roots of patriarchy and hold himself, along with other men and boys, accountable for their actions.
Gao Chee Vang, Youth Advocate
Gao Chee participated in youth program when she was in Middle and High School. Being part of programming led her to grow a strong passion in advocating for her Hmoob sisters and her Hmoob community. As a Youth Advocate at Cia Siab, Inc. Gao Chee wants to create a safe space for young girls can be their authentic self. She aims to grow and heal this gender justice work. In her free time, she enjoys watching Netflix, k-dramas, and playing video games.
Maiv Ntxawm (Yer) Xyooj, Youth Advocate
Maiv Ntxawm is a queer Hmoob person who uses they/them pronouns, they are the youngest from a family of 11. Their experience as a marginalized youth led to their passion of advocating; in the process of working and going to school, Maiv Ntxawm found that they enjoy working with youth. As a Youth Advocate at Cia Siab, Inc. Maiv Ntxawm always strives to grow and heal, to the best of their ability they try to learn along side the youth. In their free time, they find themselves mostly reading, writing and learning about miscellaneous information.
Pong (Phooj) Xiong, Youth Advocate
Pong (Phooj) Xiong is a student at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse currently studying Education. He is on the executive board of Hmong Organization Promoting Education (HOPE) at the university advocating for Hmoob students and student voices on campus. Outside of school he has been a long-time Cia Siab, Inc. volunteer helping out at our events and programs. He enjoys working with young people and especially enjoy interacting with Hmoob youth.
Maij Xyooj, Community Resource Coordinator
Maij Xyooj graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with an MLIS and MA in Women’s and Gender Studies in May 2017. Trained as a librarian, Maij is interested in the intersection of social justice and library and information science (LIS) as well as approaches for community control and empowerment in LIS. In her free time, she likes to run, travel, and spend time with her niblings.
Lee Xiong, SheHLUB Project Manager
Lee Xiong recently moved to La Crosse after graduating from Michigan State University with her Masters in Arts in Student Affairs Administration and Higher Education. Lee’s passion in supporting the Hmong community stems from her interest in understanding how Hmong women practice and disseminate knowledge through visual, verbal, and other cultural forms of knowing. Aside from being at Cia Siab, Inc., Lee can be found at UW-La Crosse where she helps provide college access support for low-income and first-generation students through the TRIO Upward Bound program. When she is not busy with students or working on a community project, she is making art.
Jamie Knudson, Office Administrator
Jamie grew up in this area, she currently lives in Onalaska with her family. She has 2 children a son 17, and daughter 15. Jamie has been involved in non-profit work in one way or another for over 10 years through various agencies. She has 17 years accounting experience, with 7 of those being in the non-profit area. Jamie is one of the co-founders of our agency, her passion for numbers and people have been a wonderful asset to our agency. When not working, Jamie enjoys anything outdoors, whether it be fishing, ATVing or just being out in nature. Jamie is also involved in helping her son’s high school soccer team with accounting needs.
Khong Xiong, Maintenance Coordinator