Tag Archives: vietnamese

Working with Refugees in Minnesota

Working with Refugee Families in the Child Welfare System

children with a world globe

Patricia Shannon, PhD, LP
Jennifer Simmelink, MSW

This module provides information about the major refugee groups in Minnesota, the Karen, Bhutanese, Oromo, Somali, and Iraqi. It provides political and cultural context for these groups as well as information about factors that impact them in the child welfare system. It also includes recommendations for child welfare workers who work with these populations.

NOTE: CEU credit is not available for this module because it can be completed in less than 30 minutes.

Follow the link below to watch the presentation.

Watch the module on  Working with Refugee Families in the Child Welfare System


Health Literacy: Implications for Immigrant and Refugee Families

 mother and children

Hee Yun Lee, PhD

This modules explores the relationship between health literacy, health outcomes, and health disparities with special attention to children and families and immigrants and refugees.  It provides specific examples of how health literacy can affect health outcomes and offers interventions to respond to health literacy needs and to reduce health disparities.

Follow this link to watch the module.


Taking the Quiz and Earning Continuing Education Hours (CEHs)

At the end of this module, you will be given a choice to connect to the quiz for the module.  Upon successful completion of the quiz (80% or above correct), there will be a link to a secure site to pay a minimal fee for the CEHs and receive a CEH completion certificate.  The module has a value of 1 CEH ($15.00).

Back to Online Learning Modules page

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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Resources


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Minnesota Community Application Agent Participants

Looking for help with applying to MN Health Care programs? There are many organizations and sites available to you, including those with language support.

Hmong American Partnership
1075 Arcade St
St. Paul, MN 55106
(651) 495‑9160

Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota
503 Irving Avenue N
Suite 100A
Minneapolis, MN 55405
(612) 374-4967

Lao Family Community of Minnesota
320 University Ave W
St. Paul, MN 55103
(651) 221‑0069

Vietnamese Social Services of MN
277 University Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55103
(651) 644‑1317

To view all locations in Minnesota, visit

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Posted by on December 27, 2011 in Community news


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SEARAC Press Release: New Federal Guidance on Promoting Diversity & Reducing Racial Isolation in K-12 Schools and Higher Education Benefits SE Asian American Students

The below is a press release from the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center.



December 8, 2011

Contact: Pang Houa Moua,; (202) 744-0436

New Federal Guidance on Promoting Diversity and Reducing Racial Isolation in K-12 Schools and Higher Education Benefits Southeast Asian American Students

Washington, DC –  On Friday December 2, 2011, the United States Department of Education and the United States Department of Justice jointly issued new federal guidance to provide a roadmap for K-12 schools, colleges, and universities to leverage the benefits of educational diversity to achieve high quality, inclusive educational opportunities for all students. The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) applauds this new guidance that provides tremendous opportunities for institutions to serve the educational needs of Southeast Asian American and other underserved students.

The guidance makes clear that the nation’s K-12 schools and colleges can use race in a variety of ways to assemble diverse student bodies and improve the quality of education for every student. The new guidance also provides concrete suggestions that K-12 schools and colleges can pursue in order to enhance social cohesion, reduce racial and economic isolation, and improve the quality of education for every student. The guidance for colleges and universities provides examples for a range of approaches to achieving diversity, including admissions procedures, development of pipeline programs, recruitment and outreach initiatives, and support programs (including mentoring, tutoring, and retention).

“At the K-12 level, too many of our students attend racially and economically isolated schools, and contrary to the ‘model minority myth’ – a misconception that all Asian Americans excel academically and face few obstacles – Southeast Asian American and Pacific Islander students remain underrepresented within higher education,” said Quyen Dinh, education policy advocate at SEARAC. Educational disparities within the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community are highlighted when educational outcomes are disaggregated by subgroup. For example, according to the American Community Survey, in comparison to over 86% of the overall Asian American population who holds a high school degree or higher, disaggregated data reveals that this is true for only 67% of Cambodian, 65% of Hmong, 68% of Laotian, and 70% of Vietnamese Americans aged 25 and over. In California, a 2010 report found that over a four-year period, one-fifth of Pacific Islander students in grades 9-12 are estimated to drop out. This guidance is a powerful advocacy tool for Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander communities to voice the needs for their students to be included in diversity policies at educational institutions.

SEARAC supports the Department of Education and Department of Justice in the issuance of this guidance and is ready to work with both agencies to ensure that this guidance acts to alleviate educational barriers that still exist for many Southeast Asian Americans and other underrepresented communities.

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Posted by on December 23, 2011 in Legislative, National news, Press Release


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Grants and Jobs

Click the “more link” to view info on:

  • Health Care Innovation Challenge
  • The Refugee Childcare Microenterprise Development Project
  • Job Posting: Citizenship Education Community Connector
  • DC Policy Advocate – Hmong National Development
  • Operations Assistant – MN Council of Non-profits (Apply by Dec. 22)

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 15, 2011 in Community news


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New ECHO Program Aims to Reduce Snow Emergency Towing For Immigrants and Refugees

Twin Cities residents are gearing up to deal with the approaching months of snowfall and what that means for their day-to-day lives. To assist them with that, a new ECHO television program is taking measures to ensure that all residents, including those who speak limited English or may not speak English at all, understand the rules of a Snow Emergency – why it is declared, what it means for their vehicles, the rules of parking, and the consequences if parking regulations are not followed.

“Understanding Snow Emergency” has been created in partnership with the Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and Minnesota Medical Response System (MMRS) with the goal of helping Minnesota residents understand Snow Emergency parking rules in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The program will air on tptMN (Comcast Channel 243) in EIGHT languages on Sundays in December (see below) and will be
available for streaming online here by December 1.

ECHO has created translated fliers describing the show and listing the air dates for organizations to print, post, and pass. Fliers can be downloaded free of charge here.
Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. in English – Guests: Tom Sagert, City of St. Paul and Gao Vang, City of Minneapolis
Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Spanish – Guests: Chevo Perez, City of St. Paul and Roman Gonzalez, City of Minneapolis
Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. in Hmong – Guests: Long Yang, City of St. Paul and Gao Vang, City of Minneapolis
Dec. 11 at 7:20 p.m. in Somali – Guests: Abdi Omer, City of St. Paul and Ahmed Muhumud, City of Minneapolis
Dec. 11 at 7:40 p.m. in Karen – Guests: Henry Ung, City of St. Paul and Ahmed Muhumed, City of Minneapolis
Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. in Vietnamese – Guests: Huong Hoang, City of St. Paul and Ahn Nguyen, City of Minneapolis
Dec. 18 at 7:20 p.m. in Lao – Guests: Nou Gamble, City of St. Paul and Thavisack Silaphet, City of Minneapolis
Dec. 18 at 7:40 p.m. in Khmer – Guests: Henry Ung, City of St. Paul and Cheyenne Erickson, City of Minneapolis
DVDs of this program will be available in mid-December, each disc contains the program in all eight languages. You can place advance requests for free DVD copies by emailing ECHO at
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Posted by on December 2, 2011 in Community news


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The following article was originally printed in Asian American Press on Oct. 24, 2011

(Comments from CAPM: the typical fee for a citizenship test is $675, a cost that is very difficult to afford for low-income refugees and immigrants, especially those with a disability and limited English proficiency.)



By Pham Thi Hoa and John Keller

Mr. Vang is a refugee who was resettled in Minneapolis in 2004 after spending over a decade living in a makeshift refugee camp in Wat Thamkrabok in Thailand.

Like thousands of Hmong men, Mr. Vang proudly fought alongside U.S. forces during the Secret War in Laos. Because of his allegiance to the United States, Mr. Vang became a refugee after U.S. forces pulled out of Southeast Asia.

The United States agreed to resettle him and his family as legal refugees to the U.S., and ultimately Minnesota, under our international humanitarian treaty obligations. Today, he faces yet another crisis that leaves him fearful for his well-being.

At 63 years old, he faces the looming cut off of his Supplemental Security Income in the coming months if he does not successfully naturalize. He has already attempted to naturalize once, but did not pass the test because of his limited English language ability and his disability which both qualifies him for SSI and simultaneously makes attaining citizenship more difficult.

On September 30th, Supplemental Security Income benefits will run out for thousands of low income, elderly and disabled refugees across the nation like Mr. Vang, unless Congress acts quickly to address a short term extension of the benefits. In fact, 720 refugees in Minnesota are projected to lose their SSI in 2011 alone — the third highest number in the country.

SSI provides the bare minimum, no more than $674 for an individual, and $1,011 for a couple per month, to afford the very basic necessities. During these tough economic times, it is especially unconscionable for us to cut off basic resources to this vulnerable community to whom we promised humanitarian treatment, when it could mean they are left hungry and without their basic needs met.

Today’s problem began fifteen years ago. In 1996, Congress restricted SSI to no more than seven years for elderly and disabled refugees, with the misconception that they should be able to naturalize within this time and thus, remain eligible for benefits. Importantly, in 2008, President Bush recognized the hardship this mandatory cut-off was having on vulnerable refugees and signed legislation to protect them — until September 30, 2011.

As direct service providers who work with refugee populations know all too well, seven years is not nearly enough time to learn English and gain citizenship, especially for a population that is elderly and who have disabilities that limit their learning ability. For those who have severe mental or physical disabilities, usually caused by the very situation they were forced to flee, and those who are often among the most elderly, the ability to learn a new language and memorize information for the naturalization test may take the rest of their lives.

Furthermore, some of these same vulnerable, disabled individuals may also face the loss of SSI due to errors or delays by either themselves, the government, or both while requesting asylum, permanent residency, and naturalization — a reality that any Congressional staffer who works with immigration applications will acknowledge. Refugee elders are often critical contributors to the livelihood of entire family units and communities.

For many elderly and disabled refugees, the cut off of SSI is severe and has a wide ranging impact on the well-being of their families. Our members of Congress must act to ensure that an extension on SSI is passed as soon as possible to prevent needless hardship for those most vulnerable among us.

In addition, the Minnesota delegation must also work in Congress to sever the link between naturalization and SSI for those who are elderly or disabled and to help us honor the commitment made to these internationally vulnerable neighbors.

Pham Thi Hoa is the executive director of CAPI, a community-based social justice organization and a direct implementer of anti-poverty programs to provide jobs, housing, food, health education, youth and senior social services in the Minneapolis area.

John Keller is executive director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, whose mission is to provide quality immigration legal services, law-related education, and advocacy to meet the steadily increasing needs of Minnesota’s immigrant and refugee communities.


Posted by on December 1, 2011 in Community news, Legislative, National news


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Over the Weekend- Saturday, August 13, 2011

This past weekend was busy for the India Association of Minnesota Asian’s IndiaFest and Vietnamese Community of Minnesota’s Summer Festival.

IndiaFest— a celebration of India’s Independence Day held at the State Capitol over the weekend. Walking towards the festival I heard the lively music even before I could see the vendors at the event. I couldn’t help but move my shoulders to the beat of the music and want to pick up my heels and dance Bollywood style. As I approached the festival the savory smell of curry distracted me from the lively music. While eating tasty treats we were able to visit many of the vendors at the fair which included displays from Indian language and cultural schools, Indian dance theatres, state organizations and many businesses. Also contributing to the vibrant feel of the festival were singing and dancing performances, henna painting and kite flying. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 16, 2011 in Community news


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