Kueichebe (kway-ché-bae) was established to provide organizations and individuals with the skills needed to further develop cultural competence to contribute toward a more equitable society. This means that services are offered from a multicultural perspective, wherein culture is honored and strengths are utilized to move toward collective goals.
The word 'kueichebe' is a portmanteau of Lauren's last name at birth: Kuei, and her child's middle name: Achebe, which was chosen after the legendary author, Chinua Achebe who wrote one of her favorite books: Things Fall Apart. Kuei of Chinese origin meaning "ghost" or "spirit." Achebe is an Igbo name meaning "Goddess protects."
Kueichebe is based in Milwaukee, WI, which was derived from the Algonquin word millioke meaning 'pleasant land', the Potawatomi word minwaking, and the Ojibwe word ominowakiing, meaning 'gathering place by the waters.'
We acknowledge that in Milwaukee, we are on traditional Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk and Menominee homeland along the southwest shores of Michigami, North America’s largest system of freshwater lakes, where the Milwaukee, Menominee and Kinnickinnic rivers meet and the people of Wisconsin’s sovereign Anishinaabe, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Oneida and Mohican nations remain present. (credit: Electa Quinney Institute)
Dr. Lauren Hsiao-ling Mascari (pronouns: she or they) is native to Taiwan, but grew up in the midwest after being adopted at 9 months old. She has garnered over 15 years of experience working with children and families as a bilingual (Spanish-speaking) case manager, Autism specialist, respite care provider, and behavioral health therapist in various settings, such as Child and Adolescent Day Treatment Programs, In-Patient Psychiatric Hospitals, and a community-based shelter for youth ages 11-17.
In May 2021, Dr. Mascari successfully defended her qualitative dissertation on the topic of 'The Afro-Brazilian Martial Art of Capoeira: Cultural Healing, and Identity'. Lauren is formerly an Advanced Opportunity Program Scholar at the University of Wisconsin -Milwaukee, where she is completing her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. Most recently, Dr. Mascari was selected to nationally serve as one of the BIPOC Employee Resource Group Leaders at Rogers Behavioral Health. Dr. Mascari has received several awards, including:
National Register Associate Credentialing Scholarship, 2021
Asher Pacht Scholarship, Wisconsin Psychological Association, 2019
RL & JL Carr Social Justice Scholar, Organization of Chinese Americans - Wisconsin Chapter, 2017
Ever since childhood, Lauren has been immersed in a diverse family who always joked that they were the "walking United Nations." When doing day-to-day things it was not uncommon for people to ask how everyone knew each other, only to learn: "we are all related."
As a result of these close connections, Dr. Mascari has learned to appreciate and value the richness of cultural differences and ways of being. She has sought to expand her worldview through the privilege of traveling abroad, including Egypt, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the UK, Mexico, and Costa Rica, where she started learning Spanish in 2010. She has always loved languages and speaks some French, Portuguese, Arabic, and the slightest bit of Mandarin.
Lauren's orientation toward community service was prompted by her mother, whose exact quote was, "you know you can help people here, right??" For a naïve teenager at the time who thought you had to go far away to help others, this was a revelation!
More than 20 years later, Dr. Mascari is still dedicated to empowering our local community by providing BIPOC and marginalized individuals with services that not only consider, but to center cultural needs and wisdom. She is a proud graduate of the Latino Non- Profit Leadership Program, Class IX and is devoted to applying her formal education & life experiences to empower others.
In April 2021, Dr. Mascari facilitated discussion for Staff and Faculty at the University of Wisconsin's College of Nursing to address the systemic ways that systemic racism and oppressive practices negatively impact their program and patient care. Conversation also including what individuals can do when they witness microaggressions, and ways to sustain this on-going and lifelong work.
In April 2021, Dr. Mascari was a featured panelist for the University of Wisconsin - Parkside's Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, with over 700 views.
In February 2021, Lauren co-facilitated a workshop about Self-Care for BIPOC Graduate Students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
In February 2021, Lauren co-presented on the topic of 'Coping with Anxiety' during Marquette University High School's Sophomore Wellness week.
In September 2020, Dr. Mascari was a featured panelist for Milwaukee's Minority Health Film Festival - Model Minority: How racial stereotypes and cultural expectations contribute to mental health issues among Asian-Americans.
As Lauren's training is rooted in social justice and advocacy, she is passionate about sharing information and providing professional development opportunities within our community. She has presented on several other topics to audiences of all ages. Dr. Mascari's full CV is available here.