Champions of Change
Champion of Change
Kabzuag Vaj

Kabzuag Vaj was born in Laos and came to this country as a refugee child with her mother and siblings. She is co-founder and co-executive director of Freedom Inc. She has been working to end violence against women and girls since she was 16 years old. Freedom Inc. engages low- to no-income communities of color in Dane County, WI, to end violence against women and youth and to promote healthier living. They organize around the root causes of violence, creating new definitions and solutions, and empowering all community members as agents of change. Their vision for ending violence is to inspire and empower women and youths through leadership development and community organizing in ways that are language-gender and culture-specific to women and youth, in predominantly Hmong, Cambodian, Black and queer families and that bring about deep social, political, cultural, and economic change.
In the past 4 years, Kabzuag has been part of a Statewide Hmong women's movement (Wisconsin Hmong Women's Collective), a collective which consist of Hmong women leaders throughout Wisconsin, all working to address both interpersonal violence and system violence. She is a strong advocate for victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault but most importantly a champion at holding her community as well as mainstream communities accountable for creating social change and system change that directly addresses root causes of violence. Kabzuag is also a consultant with the Wisconsin State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV), where she works with other Hmong advocates to coordinate State wide shared analysis, strategies, solutions and community accountability. She is a strong believer that those who are most deeply impacted must be at the forefront of the movement. Those who are most impacted must have opportunities and resources to advocate for themselves and tell their own stories.