The 33rd annual Hmong Education Conference to be held Saturday, Feb. 23, at University of Wisconsin-Stout will focus on relationships.
The theme of the conference, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Memorial Student Center, is relationship taboos.
The student-run conference will address what it means to be Hmong American while helping create a community that celebrates increasingly diverse identities. Speakers and breakout sessions will address disagreements about relationships and how to create more understanding.
The event, hosted and organized by the Hmong Stout Student Organization, is free, although attendees were asked to register by Feb. 17. Same-day registration will be accepted until the event is full.
The keynote speakers are Chia Youyee Vang and Tou Ger Bennett Xiong. Vang is a history professor and associate vice chancellor at UW-Milwaukee, where she established the Hmong Diaspora Studies Program. She received the UW System Board of Regents Diversity Award in 2016. Xiong, who has a political science degree from Carleton College, is a comedian and diversity speaker focused on fighting racism.
HSSO, which has about 40 registered student members this year, is expecting up to 90 people for the conference.
Multicultural Student Services at UW-Stout is co-sponsoring the event, with support from Hang’s Cuisine of Menomonie.
Event coordinators are HSSO Treasurer Synala Smith, of Oneida, a sophomore majoring in business administration; and HSSO Public Relations Director Serena Vue, of Hudson, a freshman majoring in hotel, restaurant and tourism management.