Principal Investigator: Dr. Jenna Cushing-Leubner, University of Wisconsin Whitewater, College of Education and Professional Studies
Primary Community Partner: Pang Yang, Park Center High School
Additional Community Partners: Hmong teaching artists, Hmong 18 Council, Douachaka Her, Vang Vegetables, Chef Yia Vang, Hmong Educational-Resources Publisher, DictumDose, Oskar Ly, Tou SaiKo Lee, Nicollazzi Xiong, Cia Siab, Inc., East Side Freedom Library Hmong Archives, Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Languages and Cultures, Dr. Zha Blong Xiong, Bee Vang-Moua, Sydney Change, Dr. Yang Dao, Txiabneeg Vang, Center for Hmong Studies at Concordia University, St. Paul, Hmong National Development, Hmong Americans Partnership Schools, The Dial Group
Title: Lub Zej Zog: Hmong Midwestern Community Care Project
Minnesota and Wisconsin are home to the country's second- and third-largest Hmong populations, respectively. Among communities in these areas are the result of decades-long refugee resettlement programs. These communities were initially thinly dispersed across the United States; however, familial and clan movements since 1975 reshaped the Hmong community in three central locations: Minnesota, Wisconsin, and northern California. This recovery and reconvening of the Hmong community over several decades has resulted in disparities in Hmong civic leadership, governance, and civic involvement. This study seeks to identify and develop pathways for intergenerational Hmong civic engagement. The work is anchored on focal points where community members, youth, elders, and Hmong teachers meet: in Hmong language and culture educational settings (K-12 and higher education).
This research will inform understandings of key pathways to civic engagement and culturally responsive and appropriate processes for developing healthy civic and ethnic identities amongst dispersed refugee communities in the United States. This study will focus on creating opportunities for Hmong youth, community leaders, and elders by leveraging the emergence of community-informed curriculum and goals for Hmong heritage language and culture courses in K-12 schools and higher education.
Researchers expect the results to include community dissemination events, deepened partnerships with Hmong community organizations and youth, and development of curricular materials that focus on community-driven learning experiences for Hmong youth in heritage language and culture education contexts.