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'. She was among only 4% of graduate students at UW-Milwaukee as a former Advanced Opportunity Program Scholar, becoming a first generation graduate with her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, specializing 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
RP & JL Carr Social Justice Scholarship, 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.
As Dr. Mascari'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.