The Hmong Voices project started as a result of a tragic series of Hmong teen suicides in Fresno between 1998 and 2001. When Hmong leaders gathered together to discuss the teen suicide epidemic, they concluded that their youth were suffering from a dangerous disconnect. They were trapped somewhere between the American and Hmong cultures, not able to negotiate an identity, never quite fitting in to either category and struggling for acceptance with both groups. Both the Hmong youth and the general community needed a better understanding of who the Hmong really are.
In response to this need, CMC developed the Hmong Voices Project in 2004, which has brought together Hmong youth and elders to record over 100 oral histories and create digital stories documenting the history of the Secret War in Laos, the Thai refugee camps, immigration to the Central Valley, and integration into American life.
The Veterans Voices project preserves the memories of veterans through oral history interviews and the production of short “digital stories.” The project has preserved the memories of more than 200 Central Valley Veterans by conducting oral history interviews at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District and the VA hospital. Copies are sent to the veteran-interviewee to share with their family, as well as to the Library of Congress through the Veterans History Project, where the stories are preserved for future generations.
Each year a cadre of veterans are asked to take part in expanding their story, using photos, video, and their voice to produce mini-documentaries with the help of youth and adult volunteers. We showcase these stories in Fresno at our annual Tribute to Service event, a free of charge community event that honors our local veterans during Veterans Day.
Native Voices engages youth in expressing their public voice and preserving the legacies of their communities and culture.
Through Native Voices, youth participants: preserve Native culture, beliefs, and values; work in intergenerational teams with elders to learn new methods for cultural documentation; gain valuable leadership skills; and utilize current digital media tools to increase access to and sharing of cultural customs and beliefs.