The Hmong in Anchorage: a conversation across generations

Translators from East High, l-r, are Anisa Lee, Shoua Xiong and Ka Sia Ziong. (Photo by Kathleen McCoy)

In February this year, I attended a Festival of Stories at the BP Energy Center, organized and hosted by Keys to Life, a local nonprofit that promotes an inclusive community through rich arts and cultural experiences. The whole day was filled with storytellers representing global communities but living here in Anchorage.

During the Hmong session, I watched as a Hmong elder in traditional dress described her life’s journey that included displacement and loss. Her story was translated into English by three young women from East High School. This struck me as a scene many in Anchorage rarely get to witness. It offered a connection across generations, cultures and languages. I asked if these young women would be willing to join me on Hometown Alaska. Now, with school winding down, they have time.

As the host of a community program in a very diverse city, I appreciate the opportunity to hear the Hmong language over the radio, and to also hear the skill of the young translators, and to hear from these young women about their life here in Alaska.

Thanks for listening!

HOSTKathleen McCoy


  • Shoua Xiong, East High student, Hmong community member
  • Anisa Lee, East High student, Hmong community member
  • Ka Sia Xiong, East High student, Hmong community member



  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send e-mail to before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)

LIVE: Wednesday, May 31, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.

REPEAT: Wednesday, May 31, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.

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