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hmong

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Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee sets her sights on Paris 2024

  • Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee, 19, is set to end her National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) career at Auburn University to begin training for the 2024 Summer Olympics.
  • The Hmong American athlete made the announcement on Tuesday via a video posted on Twitter, in which she bids farewell to Auburn.
  • "This will be my last season competing at Auburn University. My focus right now is to make it the most incredible season yet and to be the best teammate I can be," she says in the video. "I am so excited to share that after this season I will be returning to elite gymnastics. I have my sights set on Paris in 2024, and I know what I have to do to get there." 
  • At the Tokyo Olympics last year, Lee won gold in the 2020 women’s all-around gymnastics event. She also won a bronze medal in uneven bars and took home silver with Team USA.
  • She had a prolific career while at Auburn, having finished first in the balance beam and second in the all-around behind Trinity Thomas in the 2022 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championship.

Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee has announced on Twitter that she is ending her National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) career at Auburn University to begin training for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to experience that once-in-a-lifetime feeling and the indescribable emotion when a gold medal is draped around your neck,” the 19-year-old athlete says in a video posted on Tuesday. “But I don’t want it to be just once in a lifetime.”

Suni Lee might not compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics

  • While speaking with People during the Women's Sports Foundation’s 2022 Annual Salute to Women in Sports gala on Wednesday, Hmong American Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee, 19, shared that she has yet to make a decision about trying out to participate in the upcoming Olympics.
  • "I don't know. Yeah, I'm still making a decision," Lee was quoted as saying. "I'm definitely starting to take it day by day, just trying to figure out what I want to do, and yeah, hopefully."
  • The Minnesota native, who is currently a student at Auburn University, made history as the first Hmong American Olympic gymnast.
  • While competing during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she took home gold in the individual all-around event in women's artistic gymnastics, becoming the first Asian American athlete to do so.

Hmong American Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee revealed on Wednesday that she is unsure of competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

While speaking with People during the Women’s Sports Foundation’s 2022 Annual Salute to Women in Sports gala, Lee, 19, shared that she has yet to make a decision about trying out to participate in the upcoming Olympics.

16 families purchase land to create first Hmong-owned and operated farm in US history

  • Hmong farmers with the Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) purchased 155 acres of land in Dakota County, Minnesota.
  • The recent purchase of the land marks the first Hmong-owned and Hmong-operated farm in U.S. history.
  • The founder of HAFA and its supporters collected grants and raised money within the community to purchase the farmland.
  • According to HAFA, Hmong farmers will now be able to expand their production and grow specialty crops.

Sixteen families who are members of the Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) purchased 155 acres of land in Dakota County, Minnesota.

Hmong farmers in Dakota County have been renting farmland off of Highway 52 in Vermillion Township for many years. The farmers have been producing a variety of crops, including cabbage, corn, green beans and tomatoes. 

A history of the Hmong kings

Vương Duy Bảo, a descendent of the Hmong king of Ha Giang and the legal representative of the Vương family, sued the provincial government for lying about his family’s mansion being donated to the state and taking away his family’s heritage. Bảo was only able to win back the ownership (Red Book) of the Hmong Palace in Sa Phin, Vietnam. This was big news in the country back in 2018.

Vương Chí Sình, born Vàng Seo Lử, was Duy Bảo’s great grandfather and a highly respected man in the waning days of the Nguyễn dynasty when the French empire and Qing empire fought for control over Vietnam. His father was the king of Hmong, or Vương Chính Đức — a title elected by his community, a tribe of the Hmong people who live in Vietnam’s Ha Giang province. Chính Đức had a difficult job serving as a reliable and trusted ethnic leader of the Hmongs in his province. One of his main responsibilities was maintaining his people’s independence from France while also ensuring their survival.

National Lao-Hmong Memorial Foundation restores warplane to honor Hmong Vietnam War veterans

air show
  • The National Lao-Hmong Memorial Foundation held an air show showcasing a restored T-28 airplane at Fleming Field in South Saint Paul, Minnesota, on Saturday.
  • The design of a memorial, which will be built in a suburb of Denver, was also unveiled at the event.
  • The event was held to honor Hmong soldiers who fought alongside the U.S. during the Vietnam War.
  • From 1960 to 1975, the CIA recruited Hmong people to fight in a “Secret War” in Laos, during which more than 35,000 Hmong soldiers were killed.

The National Lao-Hmong Memorial Foundation restored a T-28 warplane and revealed the design of a memorial to honor Hmong soldiers who fought alongside the U.S. during the Vietnam War.

From 1960 to 1975, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) recruited Hmong people to fight in a “Secret War” in Laos. Hmong pilots were trained to fly T-28 airplanes and tasked with as many as 10 missions a day.  

School district in Wisconsin to make Hmong, AAPI history part of curriculum

Verona Schools AAPI
  • The Verona Area School District Board of Education in Wisconsin unanimously approved a resolution on Monday expressing support for the Hmong, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
  • The resolution also calls for the integration of Hmong and AAPI history and culture into the district’s school curriculum.
  • English teacher Kabby Hong and VASD Asian American Student Association co-President Angela Miller attended the board meeting and spoke in support of the AAPI resolution, urging board members to approve the measure.
  • It remains to be seen if other districts in the state will follow.
  • There are currently four states — Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island — that have passed legislation to require schools to teach AAPI history.

A school board in Wisconsin is calling for the integration of the Hmong and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community culture and history into the curriculum. 

On Monday, the Verona Area School District Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution in support of the community, becoming the first in the state to do so. 

Tragedy strikes Twin Cities Hmong community again as father, 2 children die in car crash

  • A Hmong father and his two youngest children died in a car crash in Ham Lake, Minnesota, on Aug. 28.
  • His wife and his oldest daughter survived the impact but were severely injured.
  • Law enforcement agencies, including the Minnesota State Patrol and Anoka County Sheriff's Office, are still investigating the incident. It is not clear what led to the crash.
  • A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise funds for the family’s funeral and medical expenses.
  • The car crash is just one of many tragedies to have impacted the Hmong American community in the Twin Cities this summer.

Hmong community leaders are asking for support and donations after a Hmong father and his two children died in a car crash in Ham Lake, Minnesota. 

Lee Vang, 28, was driving his family westbound in an SUV on Bunker Lake Boulevard when he crashed head-on into a pickup truck towing a trailer after 3 p.m. on Aug. 28. The crash killed him, his 3-year-old daughter Astrid and 6-month-old son Levi. His wife Rhodia Xiong, 26, and his 7-year-old daughter Kyrie survived the impact but were severely injured. 

St. Paul Hmong man kills wife and himself while home with their 5 children

  • Yia Xiong, 33, fatally shot his wife Ka Lor, 30, before killing himself on Tuesday night in their St. Paul home, where their five children, ages 2 to 9, were present at the time of the incident.
  • The children reportedly ran to a neighbor’s house after the shooting and called the police.
  • Pheng Thao, the executive director of Transforming Generations, an organization dedicated to ending gender-based violence in the Hmong community, told KARE 11 that many of the factors contributing to the violence are cultural.
  • Xiong’s family set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses and the children’s back-to-school needs.

A Hmong man from Minnesota fatally shot his wife before killing himself in their home with their children present.

St. Paul police responded to a home along the 2000 block of California Avenue East in the city’s Greater East Side at about 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday after one of the couple’s children called 911.

Hmong community holds candlelight vigil at Vadnais Lake for Minnesota couple and their 3 children

  • Members of the Minnesota Hmong community gathered on Saturday and placed flowers, candles and balloons at the shore of Vadnais Lake to honor the memory of a couple and their three children, who were drowned by their mother.
  • Molly Cheng, 23, drowned her three children and herself in Vadnais Lake the same day her husband Yee Lee committed suicide in their Maplewood home on July 1.
  • The candlelight vigil took place where police first found the abandoned shoes of the three children, which prompted the emergency search by Ramsey County.
  • The fathers of the couple voiced their deep grief and gratitude for the support of the community.
  • Family members of Lee and Cheng have set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help raise money for the family’s funeral expenses.

The Hmong 18 Council of Minnesota along with family and community members held a candlelight vigil at Vadnais Lake to honor the memory of a couple and their three children, who were drowned by their mother.

Members of the Hmong community gathered on Saturday and placed flowers, candles and balloons at the shore of Vadnais Lake, where the abandoned shoes of the three children were found two weeks ago. 

Police: Minnesota woman, 23, killed her 3 children and herself after her husband’s suicide

  • Molly Cheng, 23, and her three children were recovered from a Minnesota lake in what authorities are investigating to be a “possible triple murder-suicide” during a two-day search that began Friday evening.
  • Multiple agencies began the search after officials responded to a home in Maplewood on Friday morning for a reported suicide. They found the body of Kos Lee, the husband of Cheng and the father of the three children.
  • Police were able to track the mother’s location through her cellphone. Cheng’s car and the shoes of the children, two boys and a girl, were also found by the lake.
  • Authorities recovered the body of one child from the lake at around 7:30 p.m. on Friday, and the body of a second child shortly after midnight from the same lake in Vadnais Heights.
  • The body of the mother was recovered at 10:40 a.m. on Saturday. The third child was found 20 minutes later.
  • The tragedy has left the area’s Hmong community in shock and struggling to cope, prompting community leaders to counsel not only the victims’ families but also Hmong families in the Twin Cities.

The bodies of a mother and her three children were recovered from a Minnesota lake in what authorities are investigating to be a “possible triple murder-suicide.”

Molly Cheng, a 23-year-old tattoo and beauty artist, and her three children, who are all believed to be under the age of 5, were pulled from a lake north of St. Paul during a two-day search that began Friday evening.

Officers who fatally shot Hmong American man during Lava Fire evacuation will not face charges

  • Officers from three law enforcement agencies who fatally shot Soobleej Kaub Hawj on June 28, 2021, during an evacuation from the Lava Fire in Northern California will not be charged for their actions, according to prosecutors.
  • In a letter addressed to the agencies on June 14, Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus said the officers’ use of deadly force was “justified,” adding that the “quick action” of one of them may have “saved lives.”
  • Hawj, who died at 35, was shot dead after he allegedly pointed his firearm at the officers who barred him from entering the fire zone.
  • The shooting escalated tensions between local authorities and Hmong residents, who had been in conflict for months over a crackdown on illegal marijuana farms and alleged discriminatory, anti-Asian policies.
  • Hawj’s family, who witnessed his death, remains skeptical of the district attorney’s findings and is reportedly considering filing a civil lawsuit.

Officers from three law enforcement agencies who fatally shot a Hmong American man during an evacuation from last year’s Lava Fire in Northern California will not be charged for the incident, according to prosecutors.

On June 14, Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus announced that the use of deadly force by four officers who opened fire on Soobleej Kaub Hawj was “justified,” and that each of them was cleared from criminal liability.