Committee celebrates Ntxhais “Chai” Moua, Stevens Point and Inez “Midge” Montano, Bayfield
MADISON — First Lady Kathy Evers today announced that “Women Who Inspire,” a program of the Committee to Celebrate the Centennial Anniversary of Wisconsin’s Ratification of the 19th Amendment, will highlight two more Wisconsin women on the Committee’s website: Ntxhais “Chai” Moua, Portage County Supervisor and Community Power Coalition Director at Freedom, Inc. (Stevens Point) and Inez “Midge” Montano, Tribal Member, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Bayfield).
“Throughout the last 100 years and continuing today, women stand on the shoulders of the suffragists in the fight to further parity and opportunity for others,” said First Lady Evers, who chairs the Committee. “Chai and Midge have worked tirelessly to positively impact their communities and the lives of women around them and deserve to be nominated as women who inspire.”
State Representative Katrina Shankland nominated Moua for being a trailblazer in elected office and as a fearless and fierce advocate for her community. She was the first Hmong woman to serve in public office in Portage County, going from stateless immigrant to serving in elected office. Her commitment to fighting for our most vulnerable is evident from advocating for locally based healthcare to establishing a robust global network of advocates for social justice and gender equity. Moua’s feature will run from August 18-25, 2020.
“Our community is proud of Chai’s leadership. She is a mentor, advocate, and champion for women and girls and the Hmong community,” said Rep. Shankland. “She exemplifies service and community power in all of her words and actions. To say that Ntxhais inspires us is an understatement.”
Montano was nominated by State Senator Janet Bewley for being a woman of quiet power and humility, identifying and creating resources and opportunity for women and other vulnerable populations in her community. Throughout her childhood, Montano experienced more than her fair share of challenging events. She developed resilience, depth of compassion, and a tireless resolve to help others that has followed her throughout her life and work. Montano is a Tribal Member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and her feature will run from August 26 – September 2, 2020.
“For Midge Montano, the desire to help people is a daily charge and a way of life,” said Sen. Bewley. “Working at a women’s shelter helping native families, establishing restorative justice programs for juvenile offenders, and serving as Court Magistrate – sometimes simultaneously – paints a picture of a deep-thinking, creative soul who will leave no stone unturned to help another.”
Committee members were invited to nominate and interview women who inspire them to feature on the Committee website with the intent of inspiring a broad bipartisan audience and bringing more diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, age, geography, background, and identity to the women’s rights conversation. All nominees that will be featured on the website were submitted by members of the Committee and will be featured on a rotating basis leading up to the 100th anniversary of enactment of the 19th Amendment in August.
The website also highlights notable Wisconsin social activists and trailblazers, such as Vel Phillips, Ada Deer, Justice Shirley Abrahamson, Belle Case LaFollette and others, plus includes links to outside resources. The 19th Amendment Committee was formed by Executive Order 19 on April 11, 2019, and is comprised of Wisconsin’s women in elected and appointed state office positions, and other women leaders and experts.