What We Do

What We Do

Curriculum and Teaching

Minors in Hmong Studies

In the fall of 2006, the Center for Hmong Studies launched the first Hmong studies minor in the world, with seven core Hmong-specific courses.  The minor offers undergraduate students the opportunity to explore the culture, history and language of the Hmong people throughout the world.  It is a good way to apply methods or ways of thinking from one?s major to a particular part of the world. It also allows students to use the region of Asia as well as the Hmong as a case study for work in their primary discipline.  The minor will also provide a unique opportunity for students to augment their knowledge, language skills and cross-culture expertise in a region and a community that is of strategic and global importance.

Dr. Gary Yia Lee, a world renowned Hmong scholar from Australia, became the Center for Hmong Studies? first Scholar-in-Residence in 2006.  After gathering feedback from Hmong scholars throughout the world as to what courses should be developed, Dr. Gary Yia lee was then asked to develop the minor and taught it until conclusion of his residency in 2007.   The minor is comprised of the following courses:

–         Introduction to Hmong Studies;
–         Introduction to Hmong History;
–         Hmong Culture and Society;
–         Hmong Literature and Art;
–         Hmong Cosmology and Beliefs;
–         Reading and Writing for Hmong;
–         People and Culture of Southeast Asia/China

Non-Concordia University students and community members can audit the courses for a nominal fee.  To learn more about the minor or to find out
what classes will be offered and when, please lcall Lee Pao Xiong at 651-641-8870 or email at xiong@csp.edu.


The Center for Hmong Studies actively supports and conducts scholarly research on the Hmong people worldwide.

The Center was a partner in a research and education project with the Women Environmental Institute, the Association for the Advancement of Hmong Women and Ready 4 K to assess the potential impact of perfluorochemical (PFC) on Hmong families and individuals living in the East Metro area of the Twin Cities.

In past, the Center for Hmong Studies has provided support to Concordia University’s history professor, Dr. Paul Hillmer, in his work in collecting oral histories from Hmong as well as non-Hmong individuals whose lives intertwined during the Vietnam War.  Dr. Paul Hillmer recently concluded a documentary film on the journey of the Hmong to Minnesota and finished a book entitled, A People’s History of the Hmong, which was published by the Minnesota Historical Press in 2010.

The Center also served as the fiscal agent for a documentary film produced by Kao Kalia Yang,  a poet and an author, documenting the lives of Hmong living in the refugee camp of Ban Vinai in Thailand.  The Center for Hmong Studies has worked with the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, Hmong American Institute for Learning and Coffee House Press to launch Kao Kalia Yang?s latest book, the Latehomecomer.

The Center for Hmong Studies teamed up with Hmong Filmmakers Kao Chang of New Age Home Entertainment and Moua Lee of Golden Path Entertainment to produced a short video to honor General Vang Pao and to discuss future  leadership qualities as it relates to the Hmong community. You can find the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEHsE1xbAP8

The Center recently partnered with the Minnesota Digital Library to interview, preserve, and share the stories of ten Hmong Minnesotans who have made a significant impact on the lives of the Hmong people. To hear their stories, click on this link:

Hmong / Contributor: Minnesota Immigrants / Subject Headings: Hmong Americans – Minnesota Digital Library Search Results (mndigital.org)


Since its inception, the Center for Hmong Studies has had the privilege of bringing many outstanding scholars of Hmong Studies to Concordia University and the community at large.  We have had guests from around the world:  Dr. Yang Tinghsua of China, Dr. Gary Yia Lee of Australia and Dr. Kou Yang of the USA?to name a few.  The Center has also held book reading for Dr. Chia Youyee Vang as she released her latest books, Hmong American Reconstructing Community in Diaspora, Fly Until You Die. 

The Center assisted 2007 World Series of Poker champion, Jerry Yang, launched his book entilted All In: From Refugee Camp to Poker Champ.All of our lectures and symposiums are free and open to the general public.  Check our Calendar of Events link for our latest scheduled lectures and events.


Author Kao Kalia Yang signing her first book, the Late Homecomer during a book launch hosted by the Center for Hmong Studies.


Film producers Brian Vue and Mong Vang along with actor Wa Yang at a film showing for their latest film, Journey to the Fallen Sky, hosted by the Center for Hmong Studies.


On March 10th and 11th, 2006 the Center for Hmong Studies convened the first international conference on Hmong Studies.  Titled ?The Impact of Globalization and Trans-nationalism on the Hmong? the Conference brought together over 500 scholars, researchers, and community members from around the world, each from a unique perspective on what it means to be interested in the scholarship around Hmong.

The Center is now planning for the 7th International Conference on Hmong Studies, which will take place from April 6-7, 2018.  Check our conference website for updates and registration information.

Tours of Asia

The Center for Hmong Studies organizes several tours to Asia each year.

  • In November of 2000, 26 individuals participated in a two week tour of China.  They visited the Great Wall, sailed down the Guilin River, and visited the National University of Kunming.  The group experienced an authentic dinner in a Hmong village.  They learned about the Hmong as an ethnicity of wide ranging diversity in China.
  • In January of 2005, students and faculty participated in an academic tour of Thailand, the only country in Southeast Asia that has never known the presence of colonial rule.  The group studied the multiple facets of Thai society:  its history, language, culture and people.
  • In January of 2007, the Center for Hmong Studies hosted a course in China.  Fifteen students from Concordia University and interested community members attended a two week sojourn through China?s great landscapes and historical grounds.  The course focused on the development of the country and its people, the trajectories of history and modernity, the contentions of place.
  • In January of 2010 the Center sponsored a two week tours to Thailand and Laos.
  • From December 27, 2011 to January 15, 2012, the Center sponsored a trip to Thailand Laos.
  • The Center’s director just recently took a group of students to China. The trip took place from December 25, 2016 – January 8, 2017  where students learned about the people, culture, and history of China, with special emphasis on the Hmong of China. 

All of tours are open to the public.  If you have interest in joining us, please email to Lee Pao Xiong at xiong@csp.edu or 651-641-8870.

These are just some of the exciting opportunities through the Center for Hmong Studies.

Community Engagements

The Center spearheaded several community engagement activities.  They include:

  1. Haiv Hmong radio, a weekly public affair program about the Hmong people and issues affecting the Hmong community. The radio program is broadcast live every Wednesday night from 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm on KFAI Radio 90.3 FM in Minneapolis and 106.7 FM in St. Paul or Streaming live on the World Wide Web at www.kfai.org.
  2. Speakers bureau.  Since 2004, Center staff has been asked to keynote many events within the community.  Activities included keynoting addresses for two Hmong New Year celebrations and countless graduations ceremonies.
  3. Non-profit board membership.  Because of expertise, staff have served on several non-profit boards, such as Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and the St. Paul Public School Foundation.


The Center for Hmong Studies takes great pride in the partners that we have within Concordia University, the rest of the country, and the international world in advancing the field of Hmong Studies.

Within Concordia we are working with:  The Southeast Asian Teacher Licensure Program (SEAT), the Hmong Culture and Language Program and the Hmong Oral History Project.  In the St. Paul, we are working with Hmong Academy, General John Vessey Jr. Leadership Academy, Community School of Excellence charter schools (institutions sponsored by Concordia University) and the Hmong Mutual Assistance Association of Minneapolis. The Center for Hmong Studies is also home to the Hmong Arts Connection (formerly known as Hmong American Institute for Learning).

We are proud of our network of resources across the country.  We correspond and actively engage with scholars from all over the United States of America.  We work closely with organizations from other states who are interested in learning more about our mission and our projects.

Internationally, we are working with Guizhou University and Guizhou University for Nationalities in China in the areas of:  research exchanges, student exchanges, faculty exchanges; and publication exchanges.

What we are we able to offer to Students

1.  An international education;
2.  Research skills;
3.  Human relation skills;
4.  International travel opportunities;
5.  Career enhancement opportunities;
6.  A life changing experiences;
Access to over 3,000 books, DVD, CD and 200,000 documents about the Hmong people worldwide.