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Hmong

Alice Daniel / KVPR

At the V-Nai Mini Mall in Southeast Fresno, a bland entrance belies the vibrancy inside. The rows of little shops sell traditional Hmong clothing, brightly colored embroidered bags, costume jewelry and hair ornaments. It’s made up mostly of female vendors, a few of them doing detailed work at sewing machines. The rhythmic sound of stitching sometimes accompanies conversations in Hmong. After all, V-Nai is not just a place to buy and sell things, it’s also a place to share, even when the news is at its worst. 

Alice Daniel / KVPR

At a press conference following the mass shooting that killed four and wounded six others in Southeast Fresno, Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall announced he had created an Asian gang task force, despite no definitive evidence the shooting was gang-related. Many members of Southeast Asian communities have since questioned why the police made the implicit association without definitive proof, and some worry it perpetuates stereotypes from which they’ve long sought to distance themselves.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Three Fresno City Councilmembers have launched a fundraising campaign for the families of the victims of Sunday’s mass shooting in Southeast Fresno.

The funds will go toward medical care and funeral costs for the four victims and six survivors of the tragedy, when one or two gunmen opened fire at a party on Sunday night. The suspects still remain at large.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

One of the men killed in Sunday’s mass shooting in Southeast Fresno was a young musician named Xy Lee, who had tens of thousands of Youtube followers. Despite implications from the Fresno Police Department that the shooting could have been gang-related, Lee’s family asserts he was no gang member.

Hmong Talk

Fans of a well-known Hmong singer Xy Lee took to social media to mourn his loss following Sunday’s mass shooting in a Southeast Fresno backyard where friends and families had gathered to watch a football game.

The 23-year-old singer was one of four people killed. Six others were wounded in what one police officer described as a “scene of chaos” on the 5300 block of East Lamona Avenue near Ceasar Avenue. Police are still searching for the suspects.

Kerry Klein

The Fresno Police Department announced the formation of a special gang task force in response to Sunday night’s mass shooting that left four dead and six wounded in the backyard of a Southeast Fresno home. At least 35 people were at the home, and many of them there to watch a football game. 

“We’re coming for you,” Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall said at a press conference Monday morning, addressing the two armed suspects who fled the incident. He said it’s unclear if the suspects fled on foot or by vehicle.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

To get the “I Voted” sticker, you have to understand how the voting process works. And for some refugees in the Valley, it can seem really complicated. Take the Hmong community: Many of the elders fought for the U.S. in the CIA’s secret war in Laos. When they resettled in areas like Fresno, they lacked the tools to become civically engaged. But their kids and grandkids grew up here and now, a group of them are working hard to make sure their elders cast their ballots. To do that, they’re transporting voters and translating propositions.  

Ezra David Romero

More than 100 students are enrolled in classes for a new minor at Fresno State this semester. That degree? A minor in Hmong Language studies.

The minor is the first of its kind on the West Coast and the fifth Hmong minor in the country. What sets it apart is that it focuses on actually speaking the language, not just culture. Fresno State Professor Dr. Kao-Ly Yang  wrote all six textbooks for the program.

Valley Public Radio

On this week's program we take a look at how well Denti-Cal is working in the state. We are also joined by Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims. Also on the program Fresno State Political Science Professor Jeff Cummins chats with VE Host Joe Moore about local, state and national politics. Later FM89 Reporter Ezra David Romero interviews Fresno State Professor Dr. Kao-Ly Yang about the university's new Hmong Language minor. Ending the program, Moore interviews Shannon Medina, with the Bakersfield Museum of Art, about the fall lineup of shows at the museum.  

http://www.artifactla.com/#/operationpopcorn/

It's estimated that around 30,000 Hmong people died helping the U.S. during the Vietnam War when the C.I.A. recruited Laotian Hmong to fight the communists. The first wave of Hmong refugees who emigrated to the U.S. grappled with survivors’ guilt and, for decades, agonized over human rights violations committed against those left behind, including attacks on unarmed civilians, rape, and torture.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition FM89's Ezra David Romero reports on how officials in the Fresno area prepping for possible flooding from a looming El Niño. Meteorologist and Fresno State Lecturer Sean Boyd explains what's conjuring up what could be an answer to California's drought.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozUc3Zace4g / https://www.facebook.com/GeneralVangPao

The Hmong are a resilient people. Forty years after many of them were outed from Laos they have scattered across the globe as refugees. In America the two largest populations of Hmong people are in the Central Valley and in Twin Cities, Minnesota.

In this interview KVPR’S Ezra David Romero chats with Fresno State Anthropologist Kao-Ly Yang who’s studied the Hmong people for decades. She says each of these communities mirrors the man who helped establish the Hmong people in each region.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Forty years ago the Hmong people began seeking refuge in the United States after the CIA recruited a guerrilla army of Hmong people to fight the North Vietnamese in Laos in what’s known as the Secret War. Before coming to the US they spent years in refugee camps in Thailand. Thousands of those refugees made it to America where their lives changed forever. FM89’s Ezra David Romero speaks with a Hmong family who made the journey and has no desire to return to their homeland. 

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

On this week's show – it’s been 40 years since the Hmong people came to California’s San Joaquin Valley. We’ll find out how the local community is planning on marking the occasion and hear the story of one family’s journey from Laos to California.

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Hmong farmers from all over the country met in Fresno today to discuss current challenges, seek services and share farming tips. Valley Public Radio’s Diana Aguilera reports how the group is now reaching other minority communities hoping to transcend cultural boundaries.

Hmong American farmers have held this type of conference for the last five years. It’s a place where small farmers can find the support and services they’re looking for. But now, it’s reaching farmers beyond the Hmong community. They’re joining forces with Latinos.

Chukou Thao spearheaded the movement.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we discuss drought, almonds and much more. The program begins with a piece by KVPR Reporter Jeffrey Hess on how the implementation of high speed rail in California is affecting businesses and homeowners in Central California. 

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Many small farmers have success selling their produce at farmers markets, but selling to larger food distributors can be difficult. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports on a new project that hopes to connect one group of Southeast Asian growers with Bay Area buyers.

    

Small Hmong farms dot Fresno County growing specialty crops like the red date jujube, lemon grass and bitter melon. But more often than not, these farmers lack the resources and the know how to get their produce to larger markets.  

Burlee Vang's 'Polaroids of Tom' On Valley Writers Read

Jun 4, 2014

This week on Valley Writers Read, author Burlee Vang reads his story “Polaroids of Tom.”  The story is about the author's younger brother Tom who was born with a fatal deformity.  He lived for only a week.   And then we learn that when his mother went to get a re-fill for the medicine she'd been taking, she was told  it was the wrong medicine.  So we're left to wonder if the medicine she'd been taking had anything to do with the baby's demise.

Joel Pickford's "Soul Calling" On Valley Writers Read

May 6, 2014
Heyday Books

This week on Valley Writers Read, Joel Pickford reads from his book “Soul Calling, a Photographic Journey Through the Hmong Diaspora.”  The author gives us a great deal of information about the Hmong community of Central California.  He tells us about their lives in prison camps after the Vietnam War, and how many escaped to Thailand and then came to America.

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