FCI’s Game Changer Awardee for April is CAP Services - Sisterhood
April 24, 2019
Sisterhood is a “sisterhood” of adolescent Hmong girls from grades 7 to 12 in the Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids area that was formed in 2017 when a group of friends were looking for a safe, supportive and culturally-competent space to talk about issues ranging from dating to healthy relationships to teen violence.
Their focus expanded when a neighboring community was the scene of a racially-charged shooting incident. The shooting sparked Sisterhood into action as they quickly saw how the violence within their own lives was related to the violence in the broader community.
Within a week, Sisterhood, with the help from Hmong United for Justice, engaged with members of the community to shed light on this situation which the media was inclined to portray as a simple dispute between neighbors. In addition to taking back the narrative of the incident, Sisterhood organized a rally against hate, which saw dozens of citizens march to the steps of the county courthouse. Their collective voices motivated the district attorney to charge the shooter with a hate crime.
“Since this incident, the girls have gotten much closer and have pulled in more members to be a stronger voice in our community,” says Ann Vang, who, along with Chai Moua, facilitates Sisterhood through CAP Services’ Hmong Family Strengthening Program. “They are the most passionate young people anyone can meet.”
The group continues to meet and has become more active in their schools, challenging their peers and the administration on social justice issues, as well as getting involved in other local groups, leading diversity discussions and becoming active at the state level. Funds from this grant will allow members of Sisterhood to attend trainings and retreats that are designed specifically for youth of color.
Congratulations Sisterhood and thank you to CAP Services for their support of the program!