News Post

Storytelling and the Hmong Experience

"A story is like a stop sign on the road of life, its purpose is to make you pause, check the trajectory of the horizon before you continue," says Kao Kalia Yang, author of "The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir" and this year's Northrop and Blake Classes of 1955 Speaker.

Born in Thailand's Ban Vinai refugee camp in 1980, Yang and her family came to Minnesota as refugees in the summer of 1987. She is an author, filmmaker, teacher and co-founder of Words Wanted, a company dedicated to helping immigrants with writing, translating and business services. Yang brings her own and others' experiences to life through storytelling, discussing with great intimacy, perspective and grace the refugee and immigrant experience, issues in literacy and education, race, class and gender.

The Classes of 1955 Speaker Fund "gives Blake students, faculty and others in the school community the opportunity to be exposed to new voices, new ideas and new role models. In addition, the program serves as a model to The Blake School community, demonstrating alumni support as the first example of a new merger of Northrop and Blake classes." Past speakers include Eboo Patel, Kenneth Ginsburg, Naomi Shihab Nye and Mark Salzman.

During her visit, Yang will meet with students in classes, and the wider community will have an opportunity to hear her speak at the following event:

Kao Kalia Yang Presentation & Book Signing
Tuesday, April 30 NEW DATE
7-8:30 pm
Juliet Nelson Auditorium, Northrop campus
This complimentary gathering includes refreshments at 6:30pm. Please register by Monday, April 29.

The Minnesota Opera recently announced that Yang's memoir "The Song Poet" will be adapted as a youth opera.