Hmong American Day Microgrant
The Hmong American Day non-profit would like to collaborate with Hmong for Native Speakers courses in the Osseo School District at Park Center Senior High and at Osseo Senior High to provide a culturally relevant education. They would also like to help students tap into their cultural heritage through engaging activities that invite students to continue with their learning and sharing of Hmong language and culture: Students and families will contribute to a book that tells personal and cultural stories that could include the history of the Hmong people through individual and family experiences. We would also like to integrate the art of storytelling along with actual artwork connected to Hmong culture and history.
Kee Vang (St Paul, MN) Kee was a part of the Truth and Transformation conference/work with MHC, and is also serving on the immigrant cultural heritage panel. He is Hmong.
Ka Vang (St. Paul, MN) was a part of the Truth and Transformation conference/work with MHC. She is Hmong.
Minnesota Humanities Center
$850,000 the first year and $850,000 the second year are for a competitive grants program to provide grants to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Minnesota.
(1) Of this amount, $250,000 the first year is for a grant to one or more community organizations that provide arts and cultural heritage programming celebrating Hmong heritage.
Our goal for this project is to preserve Hmong culture and strengthen students’ identity through Hmong language learning. Elders are a wonderful way to share this knowledge across generations and we would like to have the ability to invite elders into the classroom to provide lessons for 250 students and to bridge the cross-generational gap in the Hmong community. The goal would be for them to be able to use this knowledge outside of the classroom and to be able to participate in cultural experiences in a meaningful way. This would also help students to build confidence and self-esteem by understanding more about their Hmong identity.
A second goal is to create a student-centered space that allows high school Hmong youths to be involved in the planning and to lead activities at the Hmong American Day celebrations in order to share their learning and build their sense of pride in Hmong culture.
At the end of the school year, we will have a showcase of student work and cultural projects that is open to the school and community. Students who contribute to this book will have an opportunity to share their writing and artwork. Last year’s event brought over 600 people to the showcase.
The proposal and actual activities are different because of COVID – we did staggered cultural lessons with students that happened right before Hmong Day. We didn’t have any in person, they were virtual. Cultural classes need to be hands on and in person to model after the instructor – that didn’t happen but thankfully we had a professor who was enthusiastic about teaching, who has opened the eyes of students and teachers about how important ceremonies are in the community.