Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the blog posts are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Hnub Tshiab: Hmong Women Achieving Together.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Courageous Woman Award - Bo Thao Urabe

Congratulation to Bo Thao-Urabe for winning the Augsburg College Courageous Woman Award.

Watch and read her acceptance speech.

Acceptance Speech for Courageous Woman Award - Accepted on Bo's Behalf, her sister May Thao.
April 4, 2013 at Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN

I am sorry I could not be there with you all. I am incredibly honored and humbled to be named as a Courageous Woman Award winner, because throughout my life there have been many moments when I did not feel courageous.

When I cried in the jungles of Laos even though my mother told us to be still and quiet fearing we’d be discovered by Communist soldiers and killed. When I came out of school one day only to discover that someone had painted “GOOK” all over my car bumper; I was angry but didn’t report it. When my aunt came over to my home many years ago for safety with fresh fingerprint bruises on her throat, but I did not call the police because it was my uncle who did it.

These types of experiences have shaped me and have helped me to understand that unless I act and do differently things are not going to change.

I can say that as I reflect on my own life so far and that of my community, I know that it is the strength of women that have made survival possible for many. But surviving is not thriving. And today, so many women and children are not thriving in our communities. I look around and those who are poorest, least valued, and most oppressed are women and children. Why is this?

I ask myself, “What can I do today to change conditions for women and children? How can I help meet the needs, but push for a future that I’ve never known where women’s gifts, talents, and leadership are developed and fully embraced?”By honing in on these questions, it’s allowed me to act more quickly and to keep going no matter how hard because that which I dream is yet to be realized.

So, thank you to the Augsburg Women’s Resource Center for this recognition. While it feels strange to be awarded for merely doing what I can when so many are suffering, I accept this award because I now know I have your support and together we can build bridges that will help us make greater progress for all women.

I also want to thank my husband and family for their support, as well as thank Kaohly Her for nominating me. Her support and friendship through the years has been a gift, and now her leadership as the first Executive Director of Hmong Women Achieving Together must be supported by all of us.

Again, thank you.


  1. Beautiful speech! Very deserving and inspirational.

  2. Great. Thank you for sharing.