Hmong Community

Vietnam War veteran, Chongge Vang, 80, has been confined to his Sanger home during the pandemic, keeping busy with chores on his two-and-a-half acre property.

“I have nothing to do, so I have to walk around and then clean up, water all the trees, all the fruit, you know. That’s what I do,” he says. 

Courtesy of Steve Thao

A documentary produced in Burma in the late 1990s shows two young Hmong women in traditional dress dancing. They’re encircled by other villagers and everyone is singing a goodbye song to filmmaker Su Thao.

“He went to Burma to find, kind of like the lost Hmong people there. He did a documentary. The whole town came out to welcome him. He had a conversation with the village elders,” says Steve Thao, Su Thao's oldest son. Su died of COVID-19 last month and his funeral is this weekend in Fresno.

On this week’s Valley Edition: A well known Hmong filmmaker who documented the lives of Hmong communities all over Asia died of COVID-19 in July. With his funeral this week in Fresno, his family recalls his legacy. 

Plus, a century after white women gained the right to vote, we explore the history of the 19th Amendment, and how it changed the U.S. forever. 

Naveen Alasaad sits at her dining table in her Fresno home catching up on the day with three of her six children. Their conversations are often a mixture of Arabic and English and on this night, the topics range from online school to the pandemic. 

 

On this week’s Valley Edition: The valley’s rich cultural diversity is an asset, but what if you’re a farmer, and important safety videos aren’t made in a language you understand? We hear from a team of educators producing a series of training videos in Hmong. 

Plus, the legacy of a Fresno resident who used baseball to break down barriers, even when he was interned during World War II. Now he’s been nominated for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Also, we’ll hear from more candidates running for mayor of Fresno. 

On this week’s Valley Edition: It’s been two and a half months since the mass shooting in a Fresno backyard that killed four members of the Hmong American community. We speak to mental health providers helping family members heal. 

Laura Tsutsui / KVPR

Fresno’s gangs have been in the news as details emerge about the mistaken retaliation by a Fresno street gang called Mongolian Boys Society in November that left four dead and six injured. Court documents related to arrests in the case include details about how the gang is organized and makes its money. That led us to wonder about the current state of gang activity in Fresno and how it’s being addressed. To find out more, Kathleen Schock spoke with Fresno County Lt.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

A seventh suspect was arrested in relation to the mass shooting at a Southeast Fresno house party in November that left four dead and six wounded. 

 

Ger Lee of Fresno is being held in Minnesota pending an extradition hearing.