Nancy was named after former First Lady, Nancy Reagan, as a symbol of democracy after her parents resettled in the United States as Hmong refugees from Laos.
Growing up, she drove her mother through crazy adventures and was known as "siab coob" or many hearts/ having many interests. She's a dreamer at heart with goals after another.
Moving away to college, Nancy started a journey discovering and learning/unlearning about her Hmong American identity as a child of Hmong war refugee parents. The puzzle pieces started to connect when she found herself in graduate school being challenged to look at herself as a first generation, cisgender Hmong American female. Her professors and mentors took her on board to look at the world through the lens of solidarity, diversity, and inclusion. They also emphasized the importance of knowing your family history and yourself.
Nancy has worked in higher education where she plans programs and events, advises and fearlessly teaches young folks on issues of social justice, women and gender issues and healthy relationships. Nancy has incorporated storytelling using different mediums which has been a healing tool in her classes and workshops as well as her community work. Currently, she is a community organizer working with the Hmong community in St. Paul, Minnesota in building community wealth.
Additionally, Nancy has extensive experience in the field of gender-based violence as an educator, advocate and researcher for the last 10 years at the local, national and international level. One common thread that she has found in her work is that in any kind of traumatic experience, a person’s mental health, well-being and healing process is an on-going journey. Through her own healing journey, she has discovered arts, crafts, writing and storytelling to be powerful tools to move beyond the pain to live an authentic and well-being life.
Nancy holds a master’s degree in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations and Sociology with a certificate in Women and Gender Studies. She enjoys spending time with her family, running around with her nieces and nephews and making art.