Thursday, December 2, 2021


Michiganders mourn the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and SCOTUS Justices signal willingness to back a Mississippi abortion prohibition law.


The Supreme Court debates abortion rights; Stacey Abrams will again run to be Georgia's governor; and Congress scrambles to avoid a shutdown.


Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

Suni Lee's Olympic Triumph a Boost for MN Hmong Community


Monday, August 9, 2021   

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Over the weekend, local celebrations were held in honor of Minnesota's Suni Lee, who brought home a trio of gymnastics medals from the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Hmong leaders also see her accomplishments as a major cultural victory.

The City of St. Paul is bursting with pride after one of its own made history at the Summer Games.

The 18 year-old Lee became the first Asian American woman to win gold in the Olympics' all-around competition. She captured silver and bronze medals as well.

Bo Thao-Urabe, executive director of the Coalition of Asian-American Leaders - who, like Lee, is of Hmong descent - said this is a "big deal" for their people.

"We often talk about our Hmong community," said Thao-Urabe. "And I feel like it's often about tragedies or about needs, but this moment is really a moment of celebration."

She said despite their contributions, Hmong people can feel invisible - and oftentimes are lumped in with other Asian origin groups in America.

Lee's triumph comes at a time of growing anti-Asian American violence, as well as hardships from the pandemic. Minnesota is home to the second-largest Hmong population in the U.S.

Because Lee has expressed proud feelings about her heritage, local leaders say other Hmong children might feel they can achieve individual success. State Rep. Kaohly Vang Her - DFL-St. Paul - has two daughters, whom she said can now feel "seen," like all other Hmong residents in the area.

"For us, to say like a Hmong woman stood on a stage," said Her, "an Asian American woman stood on a stage and said, 'We are not invisible, and we are here, and you will see us.' That was really powerful. "

Lee's family has also captured the spotlight given the strong support she has received from her father, who is paralyzed.

The local leaders say her father's recognition is vital, but Lee's mother also should receive attention for her contributions.

They hope Lee's success elevates women and girls in what has been described as a Hmong culture that favors males.

get more stories like this via email
Civil rights groups are pushing Baltimore County to create a second majority Black council district to better represent its diverse population. (Flickr)

Social Issues

BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland civil rights groups are proposing a lawsuit against Baltimore County if it adopts its current redistricting plan, claiming …

Social Issues

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nearly seven in ten Americans say billionaires are not paying their fair share in taxes, according to a new survey. Among likely …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Over the coming weeks, North Dakotans will be clicking the "purchase" button as they order holiday gifts online, and fraud experts …

Front-line pandemic workers in Minnesota feel the state is failing them in recognizing them for their work during the crisis, as they were not allowed to work remotely. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MINNEAPOLIS -- Several regional labor groups rallied in Minneapolis on Wednesday, demanding state leaders take action to reflect the sacrifices made …


GREENE, Iowa -- The proposed Build Back Better bill is getting attention for a host of funding possibilities, including one area flying under the …

The Republican-created legislative and congressional maps, passed by the Wisconsin Legislature in November, were quickly vetoed by Gov. Tony Evers, teeing up a legal battle. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MADISON, Wis. -- In a four-three decision this week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court backed a "least-change" approach to redistricting in the state…

Social Issues

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Michiganders are mourning the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and advocates …

Social Issues

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Labor protests and strikes are on the upswing this fall, compared with 2020 when everyone hunkered as the pandemic closed …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021