Freedom, Inc. (FI) is a Black and Southeast Asian non-profit organization that works with low- to no-income communities of color. Our mission is to achieve social justice through coupling direct services with leadership development and community organizing that will bring about social, political, cultural, and economic change resulting in the end of violence against women, gender-non-conforming and transgender folks, and children within communities of color. FI works to challenge the root causes of violence, poverty, racism and discrimination. Our belief is that people who are most affected by these issues must have voice, power, resources and choice, in order for true social change to happen.
Our work began in 2000, when 26-year-old Kabzuag Vaj saw the need for a safe space in Madison, WI for young Hmong women to talk about the challenges they faced. She created the Asian Freedom Project and mobilized Southeast Asian teens in her neighborhood around issues of racial, profiling, welfare reform, and gender justice. In 2003 we became Freedom, Inc. and expanded our work to include Black and Southeast Asian youth, women, gender-nonconforming, and LGBTQ people. Since then we have continued to expand by creating specific programs focused on the needs of elders, refugees, immigrants, differently abled, and homeless people in our Black and Southeast Asian communities.