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Hmong Competency and Recruitment Presented by Jillian Hiscock, Meng Her, and Ashley Harville on behalf of the Minnesota Association of Counselors of Color.

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Presentation on theme: "Hmong Competency and Recruitment Presented by Jillian Hiscock, Meng Her, and Ashley Harville on behalf of the Minnesota Association of Counselors of Color."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hmong Competency and Recruitment Presented by Jillian Hiscock, Meng Her, and Ashley Harville on behalf of the Minnesota Association of Counselors of Color

2 Introduction Jillian Hiscock – President – College of St Benedict/Saint John’s University Meng Her – Chief Financial Officer – University of Minnesota, Morris Ashley Harville – Chair of Programs Committee – St Catherine University

3 What We Will Cover History Family Structure Gender Roles Generation Gap Hmong Pursuit of Higher Education The Model Minority Myth and the Hmong Tips Working with Hmong Students Questions

4 History Hmong history is often tied to the Chinese Originated in Central China – Chi-You: Believed to be the leader of the Hmong's ancestors – “Miao” is a term in China that refers to a number of minority groups including the Hmong.

5 Hmong History Time Line Of Key Events 1854 – 1873, “Miao Rebellion” was crushed 1893 – French colonization of Laos 1918 – Madman’s War 1952 – Development of the Hmong Written Alphabet 1954 – French Army surrendered, ending French colonization of Indochina 1954 – Laos became independent, civil war broke out between the Royalist Army and Pathet Laos Time Line Continued 1961 – United States begins recruiting Hmong Warriors 1975 – United States pulled out of Vietnam, General Vang Pao left Laos 1975 to 1980 – Arrival of the first wave of Hmong into the US 1979 to 2003 – Second wave of Hmong 2000 – Hmong Veteran Naturalization Act of to Present – Third wave of Hmong immigrants to the US

6 Hmong by the Numbers 2010 Census – 260,076 Hmong in the US Minnesota – 66,181 Wisconsin – 49,240 Iowa – 534 North Dakota – 33 South Dakota – % ages % ages Median Age 20.4

7 Family Structures Patriarchal Society – Father, Mother, Grandparents, Children by Age Family belongs to Clans – Clan: Consisting of those persons who share the same paternal ancestry. – 18 Clans Cha, Cheng, Chue, Fang, Hang, Her, Kang, Kong, Kue, Lee, Lor, Moua, Pha, Thao, Vang, Vue, Xiong, and Yang – Wife becomes part of husband’s clan – Self-Governing, Clan Leader and council of elders act as judge and jury to settle family disputes Clans belong to community – Council of 18 Clans, Elected Leader and Council to settle disputes among clans

8 Family Values Bigger is better – High infant mortality rate – Needs the extra set of hands Sense of belonging Extremely competitive Respect for age

9 Gender Roles Male Prized, Privileged, Power Do heavy work such as chopping wood, killing and butchering, some cooking Marry between the age of Men eat at separate table, or first if only one More trust Expected to carry the family name Expected to go out and get educated, start business, primary income earner Female Expected to learn how to sew, cook and clean on daily basis Babysit the younger siblings Often have to ask permission to go out, many times denied Mother acts as the mediator between father and children Father head of household Expected to get married, have and raise kids Marry between ages of 14 – 18 Not uncommon to marry older men

10 Hmong Pursuit of Higher Education Then High standards First Hmong PhD Dr. Dao Yang 1972 in France First Hmong Women to earn PhD Dr. Dia Cha in 2000 Boys encouraged to go to school Girls had to go to school to gain economic power – Leads to community backlash – Too old to get married – Too independent Divorce Rates

11 Hmong Pursuit of Higher Education Now 2010 Census – Male High School graduate or higher: 69.7% – Female High School graduate or higher: 59.7% – Male Bachelor’s Degree or higher: 14.1% – Female Bachelor’s Degree or higher: 15.6% – No cause for celebration: Bachelor’s Degree or higher: 11.1% Causes for low percentage? – Gang Affiliation – Poverty – Marriage – Family Much work needs to be done!

12 Generation Gap First Generation (Hmong) – FOB, HTT – Tend to abide by strict traditional values Second Generation ( Hmong- American) – Loosen up on traditions – Rebel Third Generation (American Hmong) – Not very much traditions at all – What does it mean to be Hmong? – Speak Hmong? Fourth and onward (American) – Many abide only by American values and cultural norms

13 Model Minority Myth Misconceptions Asians are high test takers Asians are math and science inclined Asians do well economically Asians don’t need the help that other minority groups need because they are self- sufficient Hmong Average ACT score of Hmong students: Census: 62% Poverty 2000 Census: 34% Poverty 2010 Census: 27.3% Poverty National Average 2010 Census: 15.1% poverty rate Did not choose to come here

14 There is hope! Hmong when given the opportunity excels Poverty rate improves Growing Businesses Doctors and Lawyers Increasing enrollment into college Many have done well – Lee Pao Xiong – Cy Thao – Mee Moua – Kou Yang – Many others leading the way!

15 Hmong Student Recruitment: How can you help? Trust is huge issue: Recruit the whole family Know which generation of student you are working with Word of mouth is powerful, be known, outreach to events (New Year, etc.) Hmong girls still have a hard time with cultural barriers Don’t condemn girls who married early, they will leave: lack of trust Be sensitive to cultural values – Girls clean and cook at home – Boys work to provide for family Scholarships Be committed to the population, know about us and we will know about you

16 Questions? Thank you very much for coming we will be around to answer questions.

17 Reference Khang, Mai S. (2010). Hmong Traditional Marital Roles and the Pursuit of Higher Education for Married Hmong American Women. Retrieved From: www2.uwstout.edu/content/lib/thesis/2010/2010khangm.pdf Lao Family Community of Minnesota Inc. (1997) Hmong Culture. Retrieved From: Lao Family Community of Minnesota Inc. (1997) Hmong Family. Retrieved From: Lee, Stacey J. (2007). The Truth and Myth of the Model Minority: The Case of Hmong Americans. Issues in Children’s and Families Lives, Part 3, 171 – 184. McNall, M., Dunnigan, T., and Mortimer, J. T. (1994). The Educational Achievement of the St. Paul Hmong. Anthropology & Education Quarterly 25(1): American Anthropological Association. Vang, T. and Flores, J. (1999). The Hmong Americans: Identity, Conflict, and Opportunity. Multicultural Perspectives, 1(4), Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Watson, Dwight C. (2001). Characteristics of Hmong Immigrant Students. Childhood Education, Annual theme. Yang, Kao L. (2005). Hmong Compemporary Issues: Hmong American History Timeline. Copyright 2005 Kao-Ly Yang. Yang, Kou (2003). Hmong Americans: A Review of Felt Needs, Problems, and Community Development. Hmong Studies Journal, 2003, 4:1-23.


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