HNDC19 Workshops



 

Click here to download the Workshop Schedule.*

Read more about the Presenters.

 

*Please check back periodically for updates to the workshop schedule as changes may occur until the date of the conference.


SESSION 1 / Friday, April 19 / 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM

Advocacy & Civic Participation

Building Power through Healing and Advocacy

Lee Lo, Nkauj Iab Yang (Southeast Asia Resource Action Center)

Room: Siskiyou

The Hmong American community has experienced generations of unaddressed historical and complex trauma combined with the intersectionality of various forms of oppression including white supremacy and patriarchy. This workshop explores the intersectional experiences of these traumas, the resilience of our community, and the usage of storytelling to heal and build self-determination. Hmong oral tradition gives voice to our truths and weaves our individual experiences into a community narrative. When textbooks, data, and institutions try to erase us, we must continue the practice of storytelling to advocate for ourselves and others, build a powerful community, and transform systems of oppression.

Digital Organizing: Building Power through Technology

Bonnie Kwon, AJ Titong (Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum)

Room: San Martin

Does your organization want to develop a deeper connection with your online supporters or email list subscribers? Have you wondered how to develop donors and active leaders online? This workshop will introduce the idea of ladders of engagement. Ladders of engagement lay forth a path for establishing and deepening relationships between your organization and your supporters. Join our workshop to design a ladder of engagement for a campaign (advocacy, fundraising or other) at your organization. We’ll go over questions about crafting ladders, how to collect enough information to track your engagement and how to keep experimenting.

Arts & Culture

Hmong American Creative Writing: A Panel & Workshop

Nou Her, Jer Xiong, Yia Xiong (HAWC/Fresno State)

Room: San Juan

Three MFA graduate students from CSU, Fresno and emerging Hmong American writers from the Hmong American Writer’s Circle (HAWC) argue the importance of creative writing in the Hmong community. Creative writing allows our voices to be heard and contributes to the diversity in literature and our representation to the dominant society. Writing is a way for us to reclaim our stories and be the agents of our own change and representation.

Economic Development & Entrepreneurship

Start Now, Don’t Die Trying: A Guide to Financial Success

Michelle Vang (MN Department of Employment and Economic Development)

Room: San Carlos

After over 40 years in the U.S., almost 1 in 4 Hmong families still live in poverty. In order to break cycles of intergenerational poverty, it is critical that we gain money-management skills. Though we don’t often talk about it, many people feel powerless or ashamed when it comes to their spending habits. However, with the right tools, anyone can gain control of their financial future and take control of their personal finances. By learning to use money wisely, people will be able to build a bright future for themselves and their families. Establishing a healthy financial future and taking control of our finances allows us to move forward boldly and unleash our greatest potential!

Education

Purpose, Path, and Personalization: Empowering Hmong Language Learners

Pang Yang (Osseo Public Schools (MN), National Hmong Educators Coalition)

Room: Santa Clara

Overcoming “language shyness” and supporting agency and positive identity is key to promoting positive mental, emotional, and physical health and the academic potential of Hmong youth. Teachers often express their students have a hard time getting started learning and using Hmong. They describe Hmong youth who say they are terrified of doing speeches in front of the room in a language they may not know so well but links to their identity. As a less commonly taught language, Hmong teachers also need to be creative in capturing and recognizing examples of reading and speaking fluency. I will discuss the ways we have integrated personalized goal setting, differentiated and personalized learning, and web-based learning platforms to empower Hmong students in their high school heritage language classes.

Reducing Disparities in Public Libraries for Asian Americans

Chaleng Lee, Nhia Lo, Pang Yang (Hennepin County Library)

Room: Monterey

Learn about the things that the Hennepin County (MN) Library is doing to reduce racial disparities for Asian Americans and discover methods you can use to work with your local libraries to remove barriers and close the gap so that all persons, no matter race, can be better off.

Health & Wellness

Hmong Health Disparities from the Perspective of Hmong Nurses

Kao Kang Kue Vang (MSN, RN, PHN; UC Davis), Mai Lee (BSN, RN), Neng Her (ADN, RN)

Room: San Simeon

This workshop will consist of a panel of Hmong nurses from different specializations to explore and discuss health disparities affecting the Hmong American community. Since there remains a gap in the literature on Hmong health, the workshop will focus on chronic health diseases, women and children’s health, mental health and pathways to become a Hmong nurse. Hmong nurses are at the forefront of patient care and play a critical role in improving the health of our community.

Personal Empowerment & Leadership

Allyship NOW!

Dee Lee (Hmong Queer Suab), Laura Vu (Hmong Queer Suab, Hmong Innovating Politics, Sacramento State), Julian Yang, Kenny Xiong, Roger Xiong

Room: Donner

Allies play a significant role in ensuring safety for Hmong LGBTQIA folx to survive and thrive, that even in the LGBTQIA community, solidarity is crucial. In this workshop we will explore a greater awareness of the diversity in the LGBTQIA community, but highlighting how the Hmong identity contributes to that diversity of beauty, strength and resiliency, but also barriers and challenges that specifically Hmong LGBTQIA folx experience. In addition, provide a space for Hmong LGBTQIA folx to share their struggles and recommendations for allies on how to provide support for them that is culturally-sensitive and responsive.

Becoming a Bold and Bicultural Leader

Song Lee, Soua Xiong (California State University, Fresno)

Room: Sierra

The focus of this workshop is to help participants gain insights and skills in leading themselves and others in our diverse and multi-generational communities.  We will also be discussing cultural differences and similarities in leading within the Hmong community verses the mainstream Western community. We believe each participant is a leader in every aspect of his/her life.  Therefore, this workshop is relevant to all participants.

Networking for Results

James Oftedal, Lily Nieves (USDA Forest Service)

Room: Cascade

Whether your interest lies in peer-to-peer networking or professional development, this session will demystify networking and help you get the most out of your network. This interactive session will explore strategies for networking and generate insights about who should be in your network. Join us for a fun workshop that will help you get out of your comfort zone to network effectively!


SESSION 2 / Friday, April 19 / 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM

Advocacy & Civic Participation

Building Community Power Through Civic Engagement

Cha Vang (Hmong Innovating Politics), Chai Moua (Freedom Inc), Timmy Lu (AAPIs for Civic Empowerment)

Room: Cascade

Workshop participants will explore the practice of building community power through electoral and community organizing. By combining voter outreach with deep year-round organizing, community groups have been successful at winning progressive policy, expanding the electorate, and empowering Hmong and Southeast Asian communities. Presenters will share best practices of engaging Hmong and Southeast Asian voters and community members in the electoral process, the important role of young people, and how voting builds on the legacy of Black liberation struggles and multiracial social justice movements.

Tsev Neeg Club and Hmongbilization: A Two-Pronged Approach for Leadership Development and Systems Change in Early Education

Amy Hang (Hlub Hmong Center), Yeng Lo (Hlub Hmong Center), Kasernyia Thao, Sheng Michelle Xiong, Elan Vang, Tristan Yang

Room: Siskiyou

Poor early educational outcomes greatly limit Hmong youth, their families and their communities. Reversing these requires change in educational institutions, Hmong families, and Hmong youth. A two-pronged approach was used to effect change, i.e., (1) development of Tsev Neeg Club to catalyze improvements in early care and education (ECE) for Hmong children and their families, and (2) “Hmongbilization” of Hmong youth to address disparities in ECE to ensure the success of their younger peers. Parents, children caregivers, and youth use traditional Hmong Story Cloth making to identify and mobilize family and school practices to support dual-language ECE.

Arts & Culture

Culture is Knowledge, Knowledge is Power: Learning Hmong Language and Culture at Fresno State

Kao-Ly Yang, Ph.D. (California State University, Fresno), Choua (Cua) Yang (CSUF-Fresno), Choua (Ntxhuav) Yang, Mai Thao, Nathalene Vang, Nou Her, Sangphiar Vang

Room: Monterey

In Fall 2016, for the first time, California State University, Fresno offered a Hmong minor, with emphasis on language and culture. Students can finally have an academic degree and a solid and thorough training in Hmong language and culture from beginner to advanced levels. Six students of the Hmong Studies Program will share their unique experiences and reasons they pursued the study of Hmong language and culture. In addition, the outcomes of their survey on the perceptions of two groups of young Hmong (one learning Hmong, and the other not learning) will bring to light the significance of learning one’s language, culture and history.

The Hmong Cultural Integration Project: Challenges of Hmong Funeral Practices in the 21st Century

Cher Teng Yang (California State University of Fresno), Zha Blong Xiong (University of Minnesota), Wa Houa Vue, Wa Thai Vang, Wa Sue Lee

Room: San Carlos

For many Hmong, a funeral is one of the most important rituals in the community. However, in recent years the standard for Hmong traditional funerals has changed significantly, and this has resulted in significant family stress and public safety (i.e., alcohol usage and unsafe food preparation). As such, the goals of the Hmong Cultural Integration Project (HCIP) were to understand the extant of the problems and how best to address these problems in order to preserve traditional Hmong funeral rituals and practices. In this workshop, the presenters will share the results of the survey (n = 945) and focus groups (n = 100) and discuss the different proposed funeral options drafted by the HCIP Task Force.

Education

Raising Student Achievement in Elementary School

Vince Xiong (Yav Pem Suab Academy), Lee Yang (Urban Charter Schools Collective), Amanda Vang, Alyssa Palermini

Room: San Martin

Yav Pem Suab Academy (YPSA) is an independent charter school in Sacramento, California that currently serves 465 students in Kindergarten through sixth grade.  YPSA uses the Highly Effective Teaching (HET) Model, where all students participate in learning and mastering LIFESKILLS before moving into content. 67% of students are Hmong, 18% Hispanic/Latino, 8% African American/Black, and 7% other; the school teaches the Hmong language to both Hmong and non-Hmong students one hour per day, Monday through Thursday. Additionally, students receive one hour every other day for instructions in Tae Kwon Do, Dance, and Physical Education.  With all subjects working together, YPSA provides educational opportunities for all students where they can learn, excel, and achieve.

Taking a Risk by being an Undeclared Student

David Yang (California State University, Fresno)

Room: Santa Clara

“You’re undeclared? You’re just wasting your time and money.” This is the stigma that is attached to being an undeclared student as you enter your first year of college. From one Advisor’s perspective, this workshop will provide you insight into what it means to be an undeclared student and how being an undeclared student isn’t all that bad.

Health & Wellness

Breaking Barriers: Approaches to Assisting Hmong Kids with Disabilities

Mai Moua (Hmong College Prep Academy)

Room: San Simeon

Individuals with disabilities in the Hmong community are often invisible. To this day, there are current stigmas and stereotypes surrounding individuals with physical, developmental, and cognitive disabilities. In this workshop, you will learn about the presenter’s role as an Occupational Therapist in assisting students with disabilities in the school setting. You will be more familiar with the specific protocols, tools, and strategies in working with students with disabilities with handwriting difficulties, sensory processing concerns, and self-regulation. These tools will help you become more knowledgeable the next time you work with individuals with disabilities.

Hmong Mental Health, Historical Trauma & Resilience

Bruce Thao (LIT Consulting)

Room: Sierra

Are you tired of the negative narratives in media and society that Hmong people are victims, wife beaters, drug users, lazy, or crazy? It’s time for a paradigm shift in the way we conceptualize issues in the community and to create strengths-based narratives that highlight the resilience of who we are as a people. The generations of complex trauma our community has faced must be met with new ways of healing & wellness. By exploring Hmong historical trauma, workshop attendees will find new ways to understand the issues facing the Hmong community and what mental health means to our community. In this workshop, we’ll explore our shared histories, redefine what mental health is, and identify new ways to heal and reclaim the power and resilience of the Hmong community.

Personal Empowerment & Leadership

Feeling Like a Fraud: How the Imposter Phenomenon Limits Our Potential

Ken Lee (Front Range Community College)

Room: San Juan

Ever feel like you don’t deserve the credit you’ve been given? Ever feel like you are lucky to be where you’re at rather than feeling like you’ve earned your spot? Do you often worry others are going to find out you’re actually clueless and have no idea what you’re doing? The Imposter Phenomenon (IP) is a real thing and affects many of us. We’ll learn and discuss the causes of IP and strategies on how to overcome it. We’ll also incorporate various leadership theories into this workshop and connect how IP can hold us back from maximizing our potentials.

Social Media & Social Change in the Hmong American Community

Seng Alex Vang (Hmong American Experience/UC Merced), Neng Now, Elizabeth Yang

Room: Donner

This workshop will feature three of the most visible Hmong American social media influencers to discuss effective strategies to tell powerful stories and digital content to build community and effect social change.


SESSION 3 / Friday, April 19 / 2:55 PM – 4:10 PM

Advocacy & Civic Participation

Demanding a Seat at the Table: Elevating Hmong American Voices

Gregg Orton  (National Council of Asian Pacific Americans)

Room: Donner

Join this collaborative and interactive workshop led by the National Director of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) to explore how we can (1) work together to strengthen Hmong American voices within the coalition; (2) better understand the implications of the 2018 midterms and how to more effectively advocate at the federal level; and (3) understand what is being done at the national level by the AAPI community to prepare for 2020.

Shaping Your Sticky Rice Ball: Power Mapping to Maximize Relationships

Aleena Inthaly, Channapha Khamvongsa (Legacies of War)

Room: San Simeon

What to change the world—but in despair about the current political climate? Need to re-energize and look at your work and issue in a different way? Come get empowered at Legacies of War’s power mapping workshop. Take time to discover how you can mould your sticky rice ball — your network — to achieve your policy goals. Learn about power mapping, this crucial advocacy tool that allows you to advance your cause by better utilizing and expanding your existing connections. Learn how Legacies of War bands together support from unlikely allies, such as Lao and U.S. government officials, veterans with anti-war activists, and members of the Southeast Asian community from both sides of the war, to advance the common cause of a safer, bomb-free Laos. Let’s get this ball rolling!

Arts & Culture

Empowering Global Hmong Communities

Bao Vang (Hmong National Development), Bruce Thao (LIT Consulting)

Room: Sierra

Have you ever wondered what life is like for our Hmong brothers and sisters around the world? Have you visited Hmong communities abroad and wondered how you can make a lasting impact? Hmong Americans have the opportunity to access education and resources that many Hmong around the world do not have, particularly those in Southeast Asia. What opportunities do we have to create a transnational movement for equity and prosperity for Hmong worldwide? Join us for an engaging conversation regarding international development, cross-cultural learning, philanthropy, and how YOU can make an impact.

Economic Development & Entrepreneurship

How to Leverage Social Media for Your Business

Christian Yang (Pure Growth Media)

Room: San Juan

Right now, we are sitting through a huge communication shift. Many businesses and brands have been tarnished because of their lack of adaptability. While many businesses and brands have seen tremendous growth in a short time frame because they have jumped on the wave. Through this workshop, you will learn how my team and I have helped many businesses navigate the digital marketing landscape. There will be time for Q&A as well to make your experience as personalized as possible.

Airbnb: Mobilizing Entrepreneurs Around the World

Adam Thongsavat (Airbnb)

Room: Santa Clara

Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where people can belong through healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable. Airbnb uniquely leverages technology to economically empower millions of people around the world to unlock and monetize their spaces, passions and talents to become hospitality entrepreneurs. Airbnb’s accommodation marketplace provides access to 5+ million unique places to stay in more than 191 countries. Join Airbnb’s Public Policy Manager for a conversation on entrepreneurship, tech, how Airbnb is providing pathways to entrepreneurship and how you can be involved!

Education

Critical Hmong Studies: A Dialogue Among Emerging Hmong Scholars and the Community

Soua Xiong (California State University, Fresno), Chia Xiong (University of California, Merced), Yeng Yang, Chia Thao, Kau Vue, Houa Vang

Room: San Martin

This workshop provides a forum for the Hmong community to interrogate the types of knowledge produced about and around the Hmong. The primary purpose of this workshop is to discuss the need for critical research on the Hmong population. A secondary purpose is to foster meaningful conversations around the emerging field of Critical Hmong Studies. Our effort is to bring together emerging Hmong scholars and the Hmong community to dialogue about Hmong individuals as critical consumers and producers of knowledge and agents of change.

Demystifying the Grad School Application Process

Gaosong V. Heu, Johnnie Yaj (Teacher’s College, Columbia University)

Room: San Carlos

Are you interested in graduate school but feel paralyzed by the application process? From identifying your area of study and researching institutions, to writing your personal statements, entrance exams, finding credible recommenders, financial aid and everything in between, join Johnnie Yaj and Gaosong V. Heu in demystifying the process to applying to graduate school.

 Health & Wellness

Self-Hypnosis for Change at a Subconscious Level

Jay Her (FABLE Center)

Room: Siskiyou

Learn how to tap into the power of your subconscious mind to begin eliminating your fears and self-doubt for a better life experience. See how self-doubt manifest itself inside of you, and how to combat it. Become more aware of different environmental and internal triggers that let’s us know when we need to make changes and what those changes need to be. We will be diving into the subjects of hypnosis, imagery, mind-body communication, self-care, and dream journaling.

Personal Empowerment & Leadership

Showing Up with and for Your reSISTERS

Melissa Vang (San Diego State University/Hmong Students and Professionals in Higher Education), Der Vang (University of North Carolina, Charlotte), chee ia yang (University of Michigan)

Room: Cascade

This session will focus on the intersection of critical consciousness and sisterhood in academia. Four Hmong American womxn educators from across the U.S. will address the impact of showing up, accountability, and vulnerability in forming a sisterhood within, and across, communities of color. With practice rooted in Black feminism, this session is a space for resistance work and resiliency against a racist, hegemonic, and patriarchal society. More importantly, the presenters will demonstrate the role of femtorship/mentorship and relationships as mechanisms of success in higher education through interactive narratives followed by a discussion.

The Ups and Downs of the Leadership Journey

Ed Tepporn (Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum)

Room: Monterey

During this inspirational leadership session, Ed will share snippets of pivotal moments from his own personal and leadership journeys. He’ll draw from his experiences growing up as a first generation immigrant in Texas, his coming out process, his early nonprofit career, and his experiences as a nonprofit executive. Interspersed in his storytelling, he will invite audience members to ponder key questions that have been pivotal in learning from his leadership failures and leaning into his leadership strengths.


SESSION 4 / Saturday, April 20 / 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM

Advocacy & Civic Participation

Philanthropy for the People: Empowerment through Giving

Cynthia Yongvang, Kao Choua Vue (Hmong Impact Giving Circle)

Room: San Juan

With so many issues in the Hmong community today, many of us are ready to support worthy causes and organizations. We know that donating to Hmong organizations is one way to engage. But do we know the long-term impact that our donations would make? How do we decide where, when and how much to give? This interactive workshop will help participants to begin to think through these questions and start creating a giving plan that aligns with their values.

Protecting our Communities: Young Asians Take Action

Pashie Vang, Isabela Alesna, Vangxor Xiong, Long Nguyen, Leyen Trang (Asian American Organizing Project)

Room: Sierra

Under the current Trump Administration and in recent news, everyone is reminded everyday that our communities are under attack while their loved ones are forced to rush and respond to the attack–whether this happens in a court room or out on the streets. In this workshop, participants are invited to learn about the theoy of non-violent direct action, the basics of hosting a non-violent direct action to protect their communities, and how to de-escalate a heated conflict when out in the community.

Arts & Culture

Flourish: The Renaissance of Hmong Flower Singing

Gaosong V. Heu (Teachers College, Columbia University)

Room: Donner

Join Gaosong V. Heu for an exclusive screening and discussion of her short documentary “Flourish: The Renaissance of Hmong Flower Singing.” Follow Gaosong in this documentary as she reflects on her own struggles with internal racism, the historical war torn trauma of her people, growing up Hmong in the US and the universal power of music in this culminating journey to learn this dying art and to present the world’s first Traditional Hmong Flower Song concert. Witness a captivating story of a refugee and her daughter’s exploration to revive traditional Hmong Flower Singing (khawv txhiaj).

Education

Changing the World, One Computer at a Time: The Asian Penguins

Stu Keroff, Luke Burris (Community School of Excellence), CSE Students

Room: Santa Clara

Closing your school’s Digital Divide is easier than you think. Seven years ago, the Asian Penguins started a quest to close their school’s Digital Divide. Using recycled computers the free Linux operating system, they learned how to make old machines run like new, and then gave them away to low income families. The Penguins have donated over 200 computers without costing the school anything. Do you want to get serious about meeting the tech needs of your students? Come hear the kids and their teachers tell their story and learn how you can do it, too!

Hlub Hmong Center: Why Focus on Hmong Leadership in Early Education?

Linda Xiong (Hlub Hmong Center), Bouasvanh Lor (Hlub Hmong Center), Steve Roussos, Pakoula Vang

Room: San Simeon

Hmong communities throughout the USA wish to advance socially, economically, and culturally. What can we do differently to address persistent gaps in Hmong prosperity? How can our culture be our biggest advantage toward successful Hmong-American communities? These questions guide the Hmong Hlub Center (HHC). Our lessons led us to focus on Hmong-English early education. HHC leads a campaign to improve how Hmong culture and mainstream institutions provide Hmong children the advantages of early education. See how Hmong Culture Camp gives access to dual-language learning. Learn how to make public agencies Hmong-friendly. See how your community can benefit too.

SBA Hmong Immersion Program: Be You!

Mayong Vangthor, Sao Vue (Susan B. Anthony Elementary, Sacramento City Unified School District), Bao Moua, See Chang, See Lor, Nkaohnou Moua, Tim Vang, Trer Vang, Richard Moua, Phoua Chang

Room: Cascade

Puag thaum ub os….. What is your Hmong story? Is preserving Hmong culture and language important to you? This workshop will discuss the background of the Hmong Dual Language Immersion program in Sacramento, California and its mission and vision in preserving Hmong culture, language and identity for future generations. It will be engaging and interactive and will challenge you to BE YOU!

Health & Wellness

Community Defined Evidence-Based Practice in Butte County

Yia Xiong, Der Vang (Hmong Cultural Center of Butte County)

Room: Monterey

This presentation will provide an overview of the historical trauma and mental health stigma that the Hmong community has endured for over 40 years. Participants will be able to grasp the significance of mental health to the Hmong community, recognize culturally responsive programs that address it and learn how to adapt the concepts for other populations.

Personal Empowerment & Leadership

Dare to Have a Career

James Oftedal, Mai Chou Thao (USDA Forest Service)

Room: San Martin

This workshop will help attendees identify if they have a job or a career and how to know the difference between the two. Presenters will share their personal experiences in finding their callings and give tips to attendees to find their own. Attendees will also gain knowledge and resources to take things to the next level in a job they like or take bold actions to get on the right path towards a life-long career. Attendees will leave the workshop with a better understanding of their career path and resources to be successful.


SESSION 5 / Saturday, April 20 / 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM

Advocacy & Civic Participation

Mapping Queer & Trans Hmong Movement Work        

Pada Lo, Lue Yang (Hmong American Women’s Association)

Room: Donner

Since the arrival of Hmong people in the United States, there has been record breakthroughs in Hmong American social movements. However, the contributions of Hmong LGBTQ movements in the USA are still largely unknown. The purpose of this workshop is to map out Hmong LGBTQ movement history in the USA and dive into deep conversations to understand where Hmong LGBTQ movement work is at now and where it is going. The findings from this workshop will be an initial start to guide folx who are doing or looking to join Hmong LGBTQ movement work to have a more collective Hmong Queer & Trans framework locally & nationally. This workshop is designed to prioritize individuals who identify as Hmong LGBTQ and Allies.

Strive: A Behavioral Design Approach to Social Change

Ker Thao (Women’s World Banking / Parsons School of Design), Winnie Chang (UNICEF / Parsons School of Design)

Room: San Martin

This is an immersive workshop that equips participants with strategies to effectively engage their communities and initiate social change in today’s socio-political environment. Using behavioral design methodologies, participants will develop and come away with new tools and approaches to identify and address challenges their communities face in trying increase civic participation. The goal of this workshop is to empower communities by providing the right tools to strive to become change-makers

Arts & Culture

Learn to Sew Paj Ntaub: Transition from an Oral Tradition to an Online Tradition

Song Yang (HmongSewing.com)

Room: San Juan

Every person has the potential to learn how to sew paj ntaub. People today are visual learners. In the age of YouTube, Facetime, and Snapchat, video is an effective and often preferred way to teach and learn. Learning through online courses is an innovative approach to teaching and learning how to sew paj ntaub. Technology has made it possible to take the beautiful tradition of sewing paj ntaub and make it accessible to a worldwide audience through online courses. This workshop will discuss the importance of preserving paj ntaub and explore how HmongSewing.com provides an online learning platform that makes it possible to teach and preserve the tradition of sewing paj ntaub.

Economic Development & Entrepreneurship

How to Build a Winning Team

Elizabeth Yang (Hmong Women Take on the World; Better With Company)

Room: San Simeon

Entrepreneurs are successful when they learn to let go of trying to do everything on their own. Great companies didn’t achieve success solo. They got there with a vision and a team whether they were building communities, organizations, or businesses. The future of work is shifting into a “builder” mindset. This new mindset leverages your relationships to build a strengths-based team to ensure your success. You will learn the top 10 talents some of the world’s best entrepreneurial leaders share, how to tap into your unique talents, and how to build the right team to increase your success.

 Education

Community as Curriculum: Participatory Design Research for K-16 Hmong Studies Courses

Jenna Cushing-Leubner (University of Wisconsin – Whitewater), Pang Yang (Osseo Public Schools, MN; National Hmong Educators Coalition), Yer Thao, Phillip Thao, Choua Yang

Room: San Carlos

Over the last few years, there has been an increase in schools and districts in Minnesota and Wisconsin that are offering Hmong language, literacy, and culture courses in K-12 schools and colleges. Hmong educators are often hired to teach these courses on an emergency/community expert license or are licensed teachers in other areas. Because Hmong is a less commonly taught language, they also become curriculum creators. We are presenting on a project that connects Hmong K-16 educators to design community-based learning units and to share these units with others through an open web-based platform. We will also discuss future plans for Hmong-specific professional development and ways to bring more knowledge into the classroom experience

Hmoob Lus Xuav: Hmong Whistling Language

Neng Now

Room: Siskiyou

This workshop will focus on the beautiful and musical Hmong heritage language. Presenters will be presenting the language in its written, spoken, whistling and as processed through the Hmong traditional art forms like the kwv/khawv txhiaj, lug txaj, lus taum, qwv nplooj, zaj tshoob, txiv xaiv etc. Participants will get to see the tonal melodic progression of the spoken, written, whistling and musical Hmong language.

Health & Wellness

Evidence-Based Healing: A Model Health System for the Hmong

Gyanesh Lama (California State University, Fresno), Yeng Xiong, MSW (California State University, Fresno), Bee Yang, MSW

Room: Monterey

Before the advent of bio-psycho medical system, people relied on traditional healing for health and wellness. Introduction of bio-medical system and psychology, and subsequent advancement in techniques of exploring human biology and emotions, led to the development of drugs and psychotherapies as alternative to the traditional healings. In the Western societies, biomedical-based treatment models of illness have replaced the traditional healing methods almost to their extinction. This paper will discuss in depth the findings from our study of the healing systems among the Tam-hMong and hMong people in the Himalayas of Nepal and in California.

Hmong Shaman, Spiritual Healer in the Hospital Setting

Palee Moua, Special Project Coordinator, and Janice Wilkerson (Dignity Health Merced)

Room: Sierra

This presentation will focus on the innovative Hmong Shaman Program currently supported through Dignity Health in Merced. Since the program began in 2000, it has helped build trust for the Hmong community and hospital staff. To sustain the program after the Partners in Healing grant funding ended, Dignity Health began supporting the program to train additional Hmong shamans about different hospital departments, policies, and procedures. Shamans who complete the training program become certified, can perform ten ceremonies for their patients at hospitals, and are given the same access to patients as other community clergy.

Personal Empowerment & Leadership

Defining Hmong & Hmong American

Pao Thao (Stanford University), Nou Yang (Amherst H. Wilder Foundation)

Room: Santa Clara

Are you Hmong or Hmong American? What are the factors that influence your cultural identity?    Unleashing our potential will require us to work inside out; to engage in deep reflection about who we are, what we know and then consider the legacy we want to leave for generations to come.

Learning to Belong: A Hmong Woman’s Journey to Harvard Law School

Pa Nhia Vang

Room: Cascade

This workshop features a talk by Pa Nhia Vang, a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School. Pa Nhia will discuss her journey from the refugee camps of Thailand to Harvard and beyond. This workshop is especially designed to inspire young persons still considering their path after high school or college. Pa Nhia will speak about the obstacles she faced, failures, and how she overcame her own self-doubt to be where she is today.


SESSION 6 / Saturday, April 20 / 2:55 PM – 4:10 PM

Advocacy & Civic Participation

Preparing Your Workforce to Better Serve Hmong Families

Kimiko Vang, Pang Moua, Palee Moua, Yang Vangbliayang (Merced County Human Services Agency)

Room: San Simeon

Rated as “the most effective training” by participants, “Working with Southeast Asian Families” is a required training for all newly hired social workers and staff at Merced County Human Services Agency (CA).  In this workshop, participants will learn about how agency leadership has boldly implemented and made this training a required component of staff development at Merced County Human Services Agency since 2013.  Participants will learn about the objectives of the curriculum, explore curriculum topics, and engage in activities offered in the training, followed by a discussion on how a training such as this one can support cultural humility and develop cultural competency among staff.

The State of Immigration in America

Kham Moua (SEARAC)

Room: Sierra

The current President and his Administration pose one of the greatest threats to Southeast Asian American immigrants of the last decade. His Administration has unilaterally reinterpreted the US-Vietnam repatriation agreement; ramped up deportations of Cambodian Americans; placed visa sanctions on Laos; and aggressively attempted to cut family immigration. This workshop will provide attendees with a background on the United States immigration policies, outline the current state of immigration in America, and provide guidance for how individuals and local organizations can advocate to change immigration policies.

Arts & Culture

Spirits Dawn: The Resurgence of Hmong Cinema

Dan Yang  (Spirits Dawn LLC)

Room: Donner

Spirits Dawn, may have been the first Anthology film but it followed a path blazed for by great filmmakers before it’s time. As the industry has grown and changed, so have our voices and stories. Originating from propaganda war films and refugee life, film represents a means to document and display our Hmong journey. 40 years have passed and Hmong Cinema has experienced a rise, death, and rebirth. Using Spirits Dawn and numerous notable films; this workshop aims to show you the impact, influence, and importance Hmong Films have had and will have on our community for decades to come.

Education

Becoming Writers of the Books We Dream About: Developing Author Identities in Hmong Language Classes

Yer Thao, Phillip Thao, Choua Yang (Community School of Excellence; National Hmong Educators Coalition)

Room: Santa Clara

How can we be sure that our youngest children are learning to read in ways that are positive, joyful, and represent them as Hmong youth growing up in the world? This workshop shares the way three elementary school teachers in a Hmong immersion school are working together with community members and with Hmong youth to design their own books and to grow identities as writers in the minds of Hmong children. These project range from first graders being the illustrators of single consonant books, to collecting Hmong folktales and converting them to scripts, to becoming authors and editors of a series of short stories based on fables, ghost stories, oral histories, imaginative fiction and more.

Fostering Student Success: Project HMONG (Helping Mentor Our Next Generation)

Chao Danny Vang (California State University, Sacramento)

Room: Siskiyou

Sacramento State serves one of the largest Hmong student populations in the nation.  At Sacramento State, over 1,000 students identify as Hmong, making them the second largest Asian subgroup on campus. This information rich presentation will share a recent report “Ecological Factors in Hmong American Educational Success” focus on examining students’ perception of how a healthy community, family and institutional support structures positively impact their educational journey.  As a result of this report, Sacramento State will launch Project HMONG (Helping Mentor Our Next Generation) devoted to the success of student retention, persistence, and graduation.

Personal Empowerment & Leadership

Redefining Hmoob Masculinity

Kaleb Hawj (Man Forward & Freedom Inc.), Zong Yang (Man Forward & HAWA)

Room: Cascade

Masculinity is diverse, existing in and outside both men, women and LGBTQ people. Masculinity is often associated with strength, power, and is often sought after. Without a good gender and LGBTQ framework enacting, masculinity can be used to harm and uphold the standards of patriarchy. In this workshop, people will learn about how toxic masculinity harms not only women, but men and LGBTQ people. Having a deeper understanding of masculinity through a gender and LGBTQ lens informs us on the strategies and tools we need to abolish patriarchy.

Removing the Fog of War: How to Make Games for a Living

Renee Ya (Tiger Byte Studios), Shelong Yang (NCSoft)

Room: Monterey

Renee Ya & Shelong Yang discuss their struggles and triumphs curating their career in the Video Game industry. From support structures that did or did not exist while attending school to the real-life challenges of being under-represented minorities in a fast-paced environment, they will reveal how they make games for a living, warts and all.

SHE Pab: The Next Generation of Hmong Women

Pasha Chang, Kalu Yang (SHE Pab: Voices of Hmong Women (St. Catherine University)

Room: San Carlos

This workshop will focus on Hmong women empowerment and leadership in the Hmong community. We will also present SHE Pab’s personal project on Hmong women empowerment and leadership: “SHE Pab’s Hmong Women’s Fashion Show,” a fashion show that pushes for body positivity and acceptance of all body sizes and shape. There will also be open discussion to address certain issues, challenges, and obstacles that Hmong women face within their professional journeys to become leaders.