Inaugural HMong Economic Advancement, Research, and Equity (HERE) Conference Coming to Eau Claire, WI Sept. 14-16, 2022

On HMong American Day, HALED announces conference focused on HMong and ethnic entrepreneurs

EAU CLAIRE, Wis.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With HMong* American Day and Wisconsin’s HMong-Lao Veterans Day approaching on May 14, 2022, HMong American Leadership & Economic Development (HALED) of Eau Claire is proud to announce that a first-in-the-nation conference and summit on HMong American economic advancement, the HMong Economic Advancement, Research, and Equity (HERE) Conference will be hosted Sept. 14-16, 2022, in person at Pablo Center at the Confluence in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, as well as virtually.

The two-day in-person and virtual conference and one-day summit offers entrepreneurs, business professionals, and policymakers the opportunity to explore strategies to build wealth equity for HMong and other ethnic entrepreneurs.

“More than 45 years after the first HMong refugees came to America, second- and third-generation HMong Americans still face obstacles to building their social and economic capital,” said Mai Xiong, HERE Conference chair and founder, president and CEO of HALED. “The 2022 HERE Conference and Summit is an inclusive, imaginative effort to provide ethnic entrepreneurs and policymakers alike with resources, networking opportunities, and research insights to help this community thrive.”

Conference attendees will benefit from impactful programming while networking with industry leaders, connecting with mentors, and receiving free business consultations. A Sept. 14 banquet, “Igniting Your Potential Through Local Support,” and a Sept. 15 “Little Mekong Night Market” in Phoenix Park emulating the feel of a Southeast Asian outdoor market, will add unique experiential elements to the conference.

HMong people living in Laos and Vietnam assisted the United States in the Vietnam War, but faced retaliation following the war’s conclusion. Beginning in 1975, thousands of HMong refugees resettled in the U.S. According to Pew Research and U.S. Census data, the U.S. is now home to more than 325,000 HMong Americans, with the greatest populations living in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and California.

Xiong, who also vice-chairs the Wisconsin Governor’s Council on Equity and Inclusion, has engaged statewide organizations and national partners to develop the HERE Conference’s broad and inclusive offerings. Keynote speakers will include members of the State and Federal government with expertise in advancing ethnic and rural populations, with more details being announced in the coming months.

Organizers aim to bring 300-500 conference attendees to Eau Claire in September 2022. Early-bird registration runs now through June 30.

Learn more:

Conference Website
Facebook Event
Wealth Equity Champion and Title Sponsor—Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

For questions or additional comments, please contact Mai Xiong, 2022 HERE Conference Chair and Founder, President & CEO of HALED, at

*Note: the spelling “HMong” is used rather than “Hmong” throughout conference literature as an inclusive acknowledgement of the two main dialects—Green, or Moob Leeg, and White, or Hmoob Dawb—spoken by HMong communities.


Mai Xiong

2022 HERE Conference Chair and Founder

President & CEO of HALED

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