April 30th: Honoring the Victims of the Garissa University Attack



Thursday, April 30, 2015

12:30-12:35 – Arrival and welcome
12:35-12:40 – Prayer and blessing
12:40-12:45 – Prayer and blessing
12:45-12:50 – Song
12:50-12:53 – 3 minutes of silence

For More Info Email Selah Agaba at sagaba@wisc.edu

(For more information on the attack, read here or here.)

Come Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with ELLA!

​Join Educated Leading Ladies Association for their Fourth Annual Cinco de Mayo Event: Celebrando Nuestras Raices. Last year you had folkloric dances, a DJ and food, HOWEVER, this year they’ve been working 10 times harder to bring to you the best Cinco de Mayo celebration yet! We will be having a guest speaker, Jorge Rodriguez from the UW-Madison campus, a folkloric dance group performance by Danztrad, as well a Jarocho dance group, and last but not least a live banda: La Fuerza. Food, refreshments and Mexican candy will be served. Come out to celebrate Cinco de Mayo the right way and engage yourself in a culturally enriching experience.


WHEN: Friday, May 1

WHERE: Great Hall, Memorial Union

TIME: 7-11 pm

The Power of Storytelling

by MSC Student Life Intern Bao Nhia 

april is asian american heritage month

Since the beginning of Fall 2014, I’ve been working on an oral history project called, “Paj Ntaub: Weaving Women’s Voices Across Generations.” The project helps nine UW Hmong American female students collect the oral histories of Hmong women elders while teaching the students to re-write these narratives as a way to preserve culture, history, and language. The project anticipates an eventual multimedia website and anthology of Hmong women writing. I presented my oral history project Friday April 17th in St. Paul, Minnesota at the Hmong National Development Conference.

image courtesy of Bao Nhia

image courtesy of Bao Nhia

I was excited when I first learned about the burgeoning project. I wanted to participate because I hoped to reconnect with Hmong women elders and also practice speaking Hmong and English languages. Unfortunately, I’ve lost my Hmong language skills due to growing up in the American school system.

Throughout the course of this project, I have learned a lot about the importance of preserving culture, history, and language. I also discovered many similarities I had with my own mother and aunt, whom I interviewed for the project. Below is an excerpt from my aunt’s story taken from my oral history project:

Tick, tock, tick tock

The sound of the golden oval clock of Jesus at The Last Supper made that familiar loud clicking noise as I was trying to start my interview with Aunt Ka. My sister told me that the clock was a gift from the sponsors when she and my parents first arrived in America. It’s been hanging in our home for almost thirty years! Next to the clock is a photo of Aunt Ka graciously hugging Mom outside a Thai hotel while Mom was visiting family back in Thailand. Aunt Ka wears a sweet smile showing her teeth and throwing her arms around Mom as she stands still and looks at the camera with a pressed lip. (This is actually her smiling—she smiles a lot more now.) The photo was taken in 2003 and the time period was explicitly expressed through both of the sister’s wardrobe—black and white colors of floor length maxi skirts and long sleeve blouses. For an added touch, Mom was sporting the popular permed hair look and lightly curled forehead bangs. Mom explained to me that she dressed Aunt Ka in her clothes that day as they paraded the old village marketplace a few blocks down the street. The photo clearly shows Aunt Ka’s admiration and respect for Mom who is almost ten years older than her and often looks over her. Aunt Ka has always been close to Mom. Both sisters have even similarly expressed longing to return to their parents in their interviews.

image courtesy of Bao Nhia

image courtesy of Bao Nhia

The sun was exceptionally warm that day. Or was it the heat from her very own watery eyes? Aunt Ka was screaming off the top of her lungs to leave with her family to America. “You become upset with yourself. You wonder why everyone goes but you. When they leave, so many Hmong, but not a single is your cousin.” Aunt Ka remembers crying for the rest of that day. She was left behind in the refugee camps of Thailand while her entire family left to America because she had to stay and marry a Hmong man twenty years older than her who got her pregnant. She was 15 years old at the time. This man became her husband and made ten years time with him the longest and miserable time period of her life.”

Throughout this oral history project, I’ve learned to really appreciate stories from Hmong women. It is not often that older Hmong women have a voice at the table. The decision-making and talking in the Hmong culture is often done by the husband. This project allows for Hmong women elders to showcase their untold stories for a large audience. This is especially significant for Hmong women, young and old. I believe that story telling can foster a conversation and acceptance of Hmong women to be “at the table.” Hmong women are smart and very capable of work, education, and motherhood. But if a Hmong woman does not get the chance to tell her story, her capacity will continue to be overlooked.

image courtesy of Bao Nhia

image courtesy of Bao Nhia

Support Following the Death of Tony Robinson

Dear UW Madison students,
In light of the recent tragedy in Madison which took the life of Tony Robinson, the Multicultural Student Center (716 Langdon-Red Gym Second Floor) will offer the following resources this week.These MSC events will focus on discussing experiences of racism and violence in society and in Madison. Please join us in community to discuss recent incidents and to gain support:
Events this week:
  • Tuesday​, 6:30PM in the MSC Classroom “Be Wellness Series: Story Sharing for Healing Workshop​” – Transform your personal story into someone else’s source of healing. This workshop is designed to help you shape a personal challenge into one that moves others to action.
  • Wednesday, 12:00PM in the MSC Lounge “A Place at the Table” – Join us for good conversation and catered lunch with your community, open to all.
  • Thursday, 3:30PM in the MSC Classroom “Tips, Tools and Tactics for Shaping Narratives through Spoken-Word” an interactive writing workshop with activist & poet Guante.

For immediate support or for emergency contact University Health Services, Counseling and Consultation Services at 333 East Campus Mall, 7th floor between 9:00AM-4:00 PM, Monday through Friday or call the 24-hour UHS Crises Line at 608-265-5600, option 9.

If you would like to talk to individually to staff member about the recent tragedy in Madison, you can visit any of the staff members below during open office hours this week:
Joshua Moon Johnson, MSC-Red Gym 251
Tuesday 11:00 AM- 1:-00 PM
Wednesday 2:00-4:00 PM
Thursday 1:00-3:00PM​

Alice Traore, MSC-Redy Gym 252

Tuesday 2:00-4:00 PM
Wednesday 12:45-3:30 PM
Robert Brown, MSC-Red Gym 253
Tuesday 2:00-400PM
Wednesday 2:00-4:00 PM
Thursday 9:00-11:00 AM
Sasha Wijeyeratne, MSC-Red Gym207A
Tuesday 2:30-4:30 PM
Wednesday 10:30-1:30 PM
Thursday 12:30-5:30 PM
Vinika Porwal, Red Gym,-MSC 250C
Wednesday 1:00-3:00 PM
Thursday 1:00-3:00 PM
Chelsea O’Neil, MSC-Red Gym 207B
Tuesday 10:00-11:30 AM
Wednesday 1:00-5:00 PM
Thursday 1:00-4:00 PM
Sheltreese McCoy, Red Gym 1st floor, LGBTCC/MSC 2nd floor
Tuesday 1:00-5:00 PM
Wedneday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Karla Foster, Bascom B26
Tuesday 2:00-4:00 PM
Wednesday 1:00-3:00 PM
Gabe Javier, Red Gym 1st floor, LGBT CC
Tuesday 9:00-11:30 AM
Wednesday 1:00-2:30 PM
Thursday 10:00 AM-3:00 PM
Katherine Charek Briggs, Red Gym 1st floor, LGBT CC
Wednesday 10:00-12:00 PM
Thursday 10:00-2:00 PM
José J. Madera, Bascom B47
Wednesday 2:00-5:00 PM
Thursday 12:00-4:00 PM

10 Ways the Multicultural Student Center Can Support Your Student Org

MSC Student Life Intern, Eric

Being part of a Student Organization can be one of the most meaningful experiences for students on campus. Student orgs are a wonderful place to make friends and professional connections. Whether you are a general member of a student org or serve in an administrative role chances are that you sometimes feel like you need a little extra help. Luckily, that’s where we can come in.


Here are some ways the MSC can help your Student Org

Continue reading

#uwvoices #aboutraceuw #blacklivesmatter Workshop on Feb. 26th

Image via the Badger Herald

Image via the Badger Herald

As momentum builds across the country in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, we have seen an increase in student action and dialogue here in Madison. The Eric Garner verdict brought a vigil at the Kohl Center, hundreds of students marched to College Library in December and community members gathered in January with UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank to engage in dialogue. As more and more people find their place in the movement and wish to stand in solidarity, there are many asking what can I do or how can I do more?

The Multicultural Student Center social justice education team will host an interactive workshop on February 26th at 5:30 in the Multicultural Student Center to continue conversations around #blacklivesmatter, #aboutraceuw, and #uwvoices with an emphasis on strengthening the student movement for racial justice at UW Madison and continuing the momentum for taking action.

Participants will break into race-alike caucus groups to discuss how their personal identities impact their experience of the movement and will explore tactics for effectively standing in solidarity with other people fighting for racial justice. After the breakout sessions, participants will come back together for a group dialogue and an opportunity to make community commitments.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 12.46.40 PM

This event will be co-facilitated by the professional social justice educators on staff at the Multicultural Student Center. Their team collectively holds a wealth of knowledge on community organizing, allyship development across race, and social justice principles that they will share in an effort to raise up student efforts and strengthen student’s capacity to make a strong impact on the UW-Madison community.

The event will be a chance for students to strategize with their peers and connect with their supporters and allies. All are welcome. Please contact MSC Associate Director Alice Traore at alice.traore@wisc.edu or 608-265-2513 for more information or to request accommodations. Click here for more information.