HMONG STUDIES RESOURCE NEWSLETTER July/August 2004

ONLINE PUBLICATION OF THE HMONG RESOURCE CENTER OF THE HMONG CULTURAL CENTER

ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION: The Hmong Studies Resource Newsletter provides up-to-date information about new
works in Hmong Studies and Hmong-related research resources. To access back issues of this unique online
publication visit: http://www.hmongcenter.org/hccnewsletter.html

ABOUT THE HMONG RESOURCE CENTER:

The work of the Hmong Resource Center is to provide information to Hmong and non-Hmong for the purpose of
promoting positive race relations, human rights, multicultural education, information about cross-cultural health
and medicine, teacher education, family literacy education and community-based research. The Hmong Resource
Center of the Hmong Cultural Center is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 AM – 6 PM. The Hmong
Resource Center is located in the Hmong Cultural Center’s offices at 995 University Avenue, Suite 214 in Saint
Paul. Phone: 651-917-9937. E-Mail: resources@hmongcenter.org. Online Resource Center Catalog: www.
hmongcenter.org/ or www.hmongcenter.com/ Walk-ins are welcome and there are many displays to look at that
teach about the Hmong people, their history, their culture and their experience in the U.S. over the past 25 years.
Larger group tours and educational sessions may be arranged in advance.

The Hmong Cultural Center and its Resource Center serves as the Hmong representative organization on the
Council of Advisors of Tolerance Minnesota.

RECENT RESOURCE CENTER ACQUISITIONS IN HMONG STUDIES:

Theses and Books

Donald A. Ranard. (Editor) (2004). The Hmong: An Introduction to their History and Culture. Washington D.C.:
Center for Applied Linguistics. This new work is intended as a basic primer to educators and professionals about
the Hmong people. The volume includes sections related to Hmong history, Hmong life in Laos, the Hmong
refugee experience in Thailand, Hmong literacy and education, Hmong resettlement in the United States, the
Hmong language, and common Hmong words, phrases and sayings. The work also includes a small bibliography
of other Hmong-related publications.

Academic Articles

Jeannie Chiu. (2004). “’I Salute the Spirit of My Communities’: Autoethnographic Innovations in Hmong American
Literature.” College Literature 31(3):43-69. This article compares and contrasts the “autoethnographic” content of
several contemporary works pertaining to Hmong Americans: Ann Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You, Dia Cha’s
Dia’s Story Cloth, Houa Vue Moua and Barbara J. Rolland’s Trails through the Mists and Mai Neng Moua’s
Bamboo Among the Oaks.

Louisa Schein. (2004). “Homeland Beauty: Transnational Longing and Hmong American Video.” The Journal of
Asian Studies 63(2): 433-463. This article examines the content of Hmong American videos as they relate to
social constructions of Hmong homelands in Laos, Thailand and China. The author argues that the Hmong
American community has developed “social imaginaries” and senses of community and identity that are
transnational through the production of videos, many of which incite among viewers a longing to return to an
imagined homeland.

Yer J. Thao. (2003). “Empowering Mong Students: Home and School Factors.” The Urban Review 35(1): 25-42.
This article assesses how home and school factors impact the education of Mong students in the U.S. The study
is derived from interviews with teachers, students, and the parents of a group of Mong elementary school students
in Northern California. The author’s findings reveal that Mong students’ negative schooling experiences are
exacerbated by the mismatch between the home and school culture, by misconceptions and labeling by parents
and teachers, and by issues pertaining to their attempts to assimilate into American society. The author also
observes that Mong students are empowered by a culturally relevant curriculum and a school environment that
values their culture, and utilizes their parents as resources. Editor’s note: the author of this recently published
article uses the Mong spelling to represent both White and Green Hmong research subjects.

RECENT RESOURCE CENTER VISITORS:

Several groups have received tours and participated in multicultural education presentations about the Hmong at
the Hmong Resource Center and the cultural center over the past several weeks. These groups have included:

Professor Rich Lee’s Asian-American Studies class from the University of Minnesota

High School teachers from suburban Twin Cities school districts attending the Carl D. Perkins summer
professional development program

Staff from Quorum Architects in Milwaukee, WI who are assisting the State of Wisconsin with pre-planning for a
possible Hmong Cultural and Community Center to serve Hmong living in the state.

Scholars utilizing the center over the past several weeks have included:

Sheila Pinkel, a professor of Art from Pomona College and co-author of the book Kou Chang’s Story

Gemma Wieberg, a graduate student from Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Paul Hillmer, a professor teaching a Hmong History class at Concordia University, Saint Paul

HMONG RESOURCE CENTER NOW AN AFFILIATE OF THE MN STATE DATA CENTER AND THE U.S. CENSUS
BUREAU:

The Hmong Resource Center has recently become an affiliate of the Minnesota State Data Center and the U.S.
Census Bureau. The goal of this partnership is to make U.S. census products more accessible to the Hmong and
Southeast Asian American population. The Resource Center is home to the Southeast Asian American Census
Information Center. The Southeast Asian American Census Information Center at our Saint Paul offices provides
quick access to researchers of population, socioeconomic, education, and demographic 2000 census data for
Hmong, Cambodian, Lao and Vietnamese in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Minneapolis, St. Paul, suburban communities,
the entire Twin Cities metropolitan area and the U.S. as a whole.

The Resource Center has also recently posted a step-by-step tutorial for accessing Hmong census data online:
http://www.hmongstudies.org/howtofinhmon.html

The Resource Center’s comprehensive Hmong census report and scholarly analysis compiled in partnership with
Hmong National Development and 5 scholars will be released in the near future.

HMONG STUDIES JOURNAL:

The Hmong Resource Center is a sponsor of the online Hmong Studies Journal which is the only peer reviewed
academic journal related to the growing discipline of Hmong Studies. The journal will be putting out its fifth volume
in the Fall of 2004. All articles from the four previous volumes of the journal are now available at: http:
//hmongstudies.learnabouthmong.org/hmonstudjour2.html

The fourth volume (2003-2004) of the Hmong Studies Journal is now available in a special hard copy printing.
This volume includes additional artwork and census data not available on the Hmong Studies Journal website.
This printing was made possible by a grant from the Asian Pacific Community Endowment of the Saint Paul
Foundation. To learn more about obtaining a hard copy of Volume 4 of the Hmong Studies Journal please contact
Mark Pfeifer at 651-917-9937 or resources@hmongcenter.org

NEW BUILDING BRIDGES: TEACHING ABOUT THE HMONG IN OUR COMMUNITIES MULTICULTURAL
EDUCATION OUTREACH PROGRAM:

Building Bridges - Teaching about the Hmong in our Communities Program

To respond to the need for community education about the Hmong refugee experience, Hmong refugees from
Wat Thamkrabok and Hmong contributions to Minnesota, the Hmong Cultural Center's Hmong Resource Center
has started a new program that provides comprehensive 1 hour multicultural education presentations about the
Hmong to groups in the Twin Cities community and Greater Minnesota.

Common topics of the interactive presentations in the Building Bridges program include Hmong History, Hmong
Role in the Secret U.S. War in Laos 1963-1975, Why the Hmong fled Laos as Refugees, Hmong resettlement to
the U.S. 1976-1995, Early Experiences of Hmong in Saint Paul and Minnesota, Important leaders in 20th century
Hmong history, Hmong contributions to Minnesota, Prominent and Successful Hmong-Minnesotans, Hmong
Culture (clans, music, agriculture, clothing), the Hmong Language, Hmong beliefs about Health and Medicine,
Working with Hmong-origin students and their Families, Hmong refugees in Wat Thamkrabok and their
resettlement in the U.S.

Curriculum of presentations can be adjusted to meet the needs of particular groups. Presentations to health
professionals and educators also focus on the topics of cultural awareness training for work with clients of Hmong-
origin.

Arranged Presentations at the Cultural Center in Saint Paul are free of charge but optional donations are
requested by groups with institutional affiliations. Presentations at schools or organizations are available for a
standard fee. Diversity awareness presentations can also be given at corporations and other workplaces for a
fee. Please call 651-917-9937 and ask for Mark Pfeifer or Txong Pao Lee to discuss arranging a presentation at
the center or at your school or organization.

Hmong Cultural Center is also co-sponsoring Building Bridges workshops with the Minnesota Humanities
Commission. 55 educators and service professionals attended the workshop held August 12, 2004 at the
Humanities Commission. Workshops will also be held September 21 and October 27. To obtain more information
or to register visit: http://www.minnesotahumanities.org/Literacy/events.htm#buildingbridges

YOUTH PROGRAMS UPDATE:

Looking for some traditional Hmong culture to enliven your community event this Spring? The Hmong Cultural
Center’s Youth Qeej (Traditional Hmong Music) Troupe is available to perform for a fee. Persons interested in
scheduling performances may call Meng Vang or Txong Pao Lee at 651-917-9937.

CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM UPDATE:

Need information about the citizenship process, study guides or application forms? Extensive citizenship-related
information is available on the Hmong Cultural Center website at www.hmongcenter.org/ The citizenship section of
the website includes examples of typical citizenship interview questions, as well as 100 sample citizenship exam
questions in both the English and Hmong languages. Up-to-date information is also provided about eligibility and
requirements pertaining to the Hmong Veterans’ Naturalization Act of 2000.

Hmong Cultural Center is a member of the federal and state funded Saint Paul Community Literacy Consortium
(SPCLC)

OUR SUPPORTERS:

Funding supporters of the Hmong Resource Center include the New York and Vermont-based Freeman
Foundation, the Bush Foundation, the Marbrook Foundation, the 3M Foundation/COMPAS Award for Innovation
in the Arts Program and the Asian Pacific Endowment of the Saint Paul Foundation.