October 1, 2011 — The annual Hmong resource fair marks its 10th year today. The free fair has grown over the last decade as more Hmong refugees came to the Twin Cities. It's been a key resource for social services, healthcare, education, and employment help. This year the event is at the Aldrich Arena in Maplewood. Fair executive director Kazoua Kong-Thao says the community's needs have changed as its population grew more established in Minnesota.
September 1, 2011 — Midday presents an MPR special report from reporter Sasha Aslanian looking at a school that was held up as a model in St. Paul, but has since failed to meet federal standards. Following the report, St. Paul Superintendent Valeria Silva and Eric Mahmoud, founder of Harvest Prep and Best Academy, will discuss ways to improve the achievement of minority students.
August 20, 2011 — The 10th Annual Hmong Arts and Music Festival kicks off this morning with a parade along University Avenue. The festival in St Paul's Western Sculpture Park showcases the work of traditional and modern Hmong artists of all ages and media. There are also activities like singer-songwriter contests. Organizer Katie Ka Vang says the youth tent is a big part of the festival.
January 7, 2011 — Immigrant farmers are fixtures at farmers' markets in the Twin Cities. But they don't sell as much to restaurants, grocery store chains or direct to consumers through CSAs. In Minnesota, there are barriers that Hmong, Latino and African farmers face as they try to make a living off the land.
December 17, 2010 — Demographic estimates released this week by the Census Bureau show Minnesota is more diverse than ever before. One of the biggest indicators of that is language. In cities and towns across the state, more and more people are speaking a language other than English at home. Some people do so out of necessity because they haven't learned English yet. Others want to hold on to their native tongues and become fully bilingual.
November 30, 2010 — Many of Minnesota's estimated 52,000 Hmong residents arrived over the past three decades as refugees. They fought for the U.S. during the Vietnam war. To escape Communist retribution, they had to leave their homeland in the mountains of Laos often with little more than the clothing they wore. Thirty years later, Hmong poverty is still an issue, but rates are down sharply, and life for many is improving.
February 1, 2010 — Minneapolis Congressman Keith Ellison says he's concerned that the multi-million-dollar advertising campaign the U.S. Census Bureau launched last month left out several local radio stations that serve the Spanish-, Somali- and Hmong-speaking populations. He says those stations can help get the census message out. But Steve Jost of the Census Bureau says those communities will get the census message through national advertising that will air on those stations. Jost also says Census officials are not done buying ads.
January 27, 2010 — About 50 media outlets in Minnesota will receive some of the $140-million dollars the U.S. Census Bureau is spending on advertising for the decennial count. The Bureau posted the outlets they've contracted with on its website yesterday. The "ad buys" include about a dozen Minnesota radio stations, and about three dozen newspapers across the state. Steve Wetzler is president of TCB Marketing, which handles advertising for many ethnic media outlets in the Twin Cities. He says papers that service the state's largest ethnic groups -- African and African American, Hispanic, Native American and Asian -- will get ads. But he says census officials also left some gaping holes.
January 11, 2010 — About a thousand members of a little-known ethnic minority celebrated their new year over the weekend in Minnesota. But the Karen people didn't just mark the start of a new year last week. It's been 10 years since the first of the Karen escaped the oppressive regime that rules Myanmar, and the they began to immigrate to the Twin Cities.
January 6, 2010 — More than 300 members of the Hmong community in the Twin Cities turned out for a town hall-style meeting in St. Paul last night. They wanted to find out what's happened to their relatives who were deported from Thailand to Laos late last month. And they also want to keep pressure on the U.S. government to help their relatives. Mee Vang is with the Hmong Diaspora Leadership Council, which organized last night's meeting.