Screen Shot 2021-04-16 at 11.00.57 PM.png

Social Justice Director

Position Vacant

Click here for position description and how to apply.

Elleen Thao, Community Empowerment Coordinator


Elleen (elle-in) received her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies, from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Through her studies, organizational involvements, and identities, she has grown a passion to serve people of disadvantaged backgrounds. Elleen wishes to utilize her strength, talents, and skills to intersect the Hmong community with resources that will create equity and equality. During her downtime, she enjoys traveling, listening to audiobooks, and painting.

Cia Siab Inc L2.png

Pater Ly, Sexual Assault Program 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 to build sisterhood. Outside of work she is a wife and a mother to six loving children. She is also a plant mom to over 30 plant babies. Her free time is limited, but she enjoys rollerblading, biking and long walks.

Gao Chee Vang, Youth Sexual Assault Advocate


Gao Chee was an active member of Youth Program throughout her childhood. Being part of programming led her to grow a strong passion in advocating for her Hmoob sisters and the Hmoob community. Through her gender justice work, she wants to create a violence free world for Hmoob womxn, girls, and queer folx. In her free time, she enjoys watching Netflix, k-dramas, and playing video games. 

Cia Siab Inc L2.png

Sam Xiong, Elders Program Coordinator


Sam has been advocating for the Hmoob community for over 2 years. Before Sam came into his of Elders Program Coordinator, he was a Youth Advocate. He continues to hold space for Hmoob men and boys to discuss root causes of gender-based violence in the Hmoob community and the changes they need to work on to take part in create a violence-free world for Hmoob womxn, girls, and queer folx. Outside of work, Sam enjoys spending time outdoors, hanging out with his brother, and his current obsession is taking care of chickens.

Yee Xiong, Elders Advocate


Yee graduated with an Associate Degree in Human Services from WTC in 2016 and has lived in La Crosse since winter of 2009. She has four daughters, Serenity, Celeste, Ademus, and Rosabelle with her husband, Sheng Vang; including two stepdaughters, Unity and Alexia. Before working with Cia Siab Inc, Yee worked as a Life Enrichment Staff at Villa St. Joseph-Franscian Sisters for four years. Yee enjoys working with the elderly population and is looking forward to utilizing her knowledge and experience with the Hmoob Elders Program. 


Yia Thao, Family Support Advocate

Youth Advocate

Position Vacant

Click here for position description and how to apply.

Screen Shot 2021-04-16 at 11.00.57 PM.png

Der Chang, Youth Program Coordinator


Der's pronouns are she/her/hers. One of her goals for the Youth Program is to create welcoming safe spaces for Hmoob youth to explore their identities through expressing who they are, sharing their stories and experiences. In her free time she enjoys journaling, writing, listening to music, and spending time outdoors.

Lawfu Yang, Youth Advocate


LawFu Yang is a student at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse studying Organizational Communication and minoring in Sociology. He participated in youth programming throughout his middle and high school years. His involvement in youth programs has allowed him to gain lasting memories, values and a strong sense of community. He looks forward to working with Cia Siab, Inc. on providing a safe space for open dialogues and he strives to a positive role model for the Hmoob Youth.


Huab Cua Moua, Queer Program Co-Coordinator


Huab Cua (they/them) brings many organizing experience to her work at Cia Siab, Inc. Previously, they interned with Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL) as a Youth Organizer organizing families in the Minneapolis Public School District to make Hmong an official language course in the IB program. In addition, they co-lead and initiated the Asian American Youth group Becoming Organizers Becoming Advocates (BOBA). During their spare time, they love to volunteer and help organizations display art performances.

Leader Thao, Queer Program Co-Coordinator


Leader’s pronouns are they/them or anything respectful. Completed their Bachelor's degree at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in Integrated Strategic Communications, with an emphasis in Advertising, and a minor in Multimedia. As one of the LGBTQ+ coordinators Leader hopes be able to connect with other Queer Hmoob folx to build a space where our voices will be heard and where we are able to express ourselves freely. In their free time Leader enjoys playing his ukulele as well as spending quality time with their loved ones. 

Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 11.16.20 AM.pn

Volunteer and Fundraising Coordinator

Position Vacant

Click here for position description and how to apply.

Maij Xiong, Community Resource Advocate

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.


Thao Nguyen, Research and Program Development Strategist

Thao Nguyen (he/him) identifies as a 1.5 generation transgender Vietnamese man. He interned for Cia Siab, Inc. in the summer of 2020 and remains on to work on grant writing, program development, research, and mentoring. He is also a second year Ph.D. student in the joint Women’s and Gender Studies and History program at the University of Michigan.

Jasmine An, Graduate Research Assistant

Jasmine An (she/her) comes from the Midwest. She is a Ph.D candidate in English and Women’s & Gender Studies at the University of Michigan where her research focuses on 21st century poets who co-opt bureaucratic paperwork through their work in response to the impact of U.S. empire building in Southeast Asia. She is also Poetry Editor at Agape Editions and author of two chapbooks of poetry: Naming the No-Name Woman (Two Sylvias Press, 2016) and Monkey Was Here (Porkbelly Press, 2020).

author pic.jpg

Jessica Thill, Program Development Specialist


Jessica (she/her) has lived in the La Crosse area for most of her life, and has worked with Hmoob pre-college and college-aged youth for most of her career. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in French and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UWL), and a Master’s of Science in Counseling from Winona State University. She currently serves as a co-Advisor for UWL’s HOPE, the Hmong Organization Promoting Education. Jessica was a volunteer with us before joining the staff, and she finds it very gratifying to help build programs that support Cia Siab, Inc.’s mission.

Screen Shot 2020-09-22 at 9.41.17 AM.png

Nale Yang, Administrative Assistant


Nale (she/her) has been an avid supporter of Cia Siab, Inc. and with her move to La Crosse, she joined Cia Siab, Inc. as the Administrator Assistant. Through her work, she hopes to continue bringing and allowing advocacy and support to the Hmoob community. In her free time, Nale enjoys reading, exploring nature, and spending time with friends, family and her dog.


Khong Xiong, Maintenance Coordinator

Xong Xiong

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 Wisconsin-La Crosse. Xong has nearly 20 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 (she/her) completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, with a certificate in Hmong & Hmong-American Studies at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. She has over 5 years of experience providing direct services to the Hmoob community. 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.