KaYing Yang, the Executive Director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), was formerly the Executive Director of the Women's Association of Hmong and Lao (WAHL) of St. Paul, Minnesota, a mutual assistance association.
A community activist and advocate, Ms. Yang participates in the activities of many civil rights organizations whose mission is to increase the visibility of Asian Pacific American communities locally and nationally.
She is a founding member of the Minnesota and Washington, DC chapters of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF), the Hmong Women's Educational Association of Colorado (HWEAC), and the Laotian American National Alliance (LANA).
She currently sits on the board of the Asian Pacific American Advisory Committee to the Gates Millennium Scholars Program (GMSP), National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), National Immigration Forum (NIF), Refugees International (RI), LANA, and the Charity Lobbying in the Public Sector (CLPI).
In 1998, Ms. Yang
was featured by the St. Paul Pioneer Press newspaper as one of ninety-nine people to watch in 1999.
was also named one of the 500 most influential Asian Americans by Avenue Asia magazine
In that same year, Ms. Yang
was a leading organizer of a group of twelve Hmong women
from across the country to participate in the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women and the Non-Governmental Organization Forum
has traveled extensively in the United States and Southeast Asia to speak about the Hmong American experience and diaspora, as well as to learn about the globalization of refugees and the internally displaced people.
A frequently invited speaker and panelist at conferences, seminars and educational symposia throughout the United States, in May of 2000 she joined other Asian American leaders who traveled to Israel as guests of Project Interchange, an international program sponsored by the American Jewish Committee.
has also been quoted in local and national media, and interviews of her
life experiences appear in Warrior Lessons, by Phoebe Eng and Women's Untold Stories, Breaking Silence, Talking Back, Voicing Complexity, edited by Mary Romero & Abigail J. Stewart.
In 2000 Ms. Yang
was the recipient of the National Hmong Women's Leadership Award given by the Hmong Women's Action
Team in recognition of her
leadership to improve the status of Hmong women
Ms. Yang holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
family came to Columbus, Ohio in July of 1976, as refugees from Laos.
parents, brother, and sister-in-law and two nephews recently made Minnesota their new home state.