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Madison’s Kabzuag Vaj Named One of “20 Women Of Color In Politics To Watch In 2020”


Madison’s own Kabzuag Vaj has been named one of She the People’s “20 Women Of Color In Politics To Watch In 2020,” alongside national figures like Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and Stacey Abrams, the first Black woman to be nominated for governor by a major political party in the United States.

In an exclusive with ELLE.com, a worldwide lifestyle magazine that focuses on fashion, beauty, health and entertainment, She the People shares the women in politics you’ll need to know next year in their list unveiled on this week. She the People works to elevate the political voice and leadership of women of color as part of a new progressive political and cultural era.

“Here, we recognize the very women whose contributions have been historically overlooked,” the magazine said, introducing the 20 women. “Women of color have long been a driving force for social change. It’s time that we give credit where it is due. Come 2020, this will be the key to creating a world we imagine.

Vaj is the co-founder and executive director of Freedom Inc., the Madison organization who recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. Elle described Vaj’s incredible impact in the following excerpt:

Born in Laos, Kabzuag came to the United States as a refugee. For over twenty years, she’s been doing violence prevention work and was recognized as a Champion of Change at the White House during Domestic Violence Awareness month in 2011. She is the co-founder and co-executive director of Freedom, Inc., an organization working with low- to no-income communities of color that focuses on ending violence against women and youth. Freedom Inc.’s model is based on investing deeply in people and their needs. In addition to their violence prevention work, they host educational activities with children, provide culturally specific programming, and engage in community organizing around issues related to injustice and inequality.