St. Paul, Minn. (May 23, 2011) – Following concerns over a song segment aired by the Dave Ryan in the Morning Show, KDWB attended a private meeting on May 16 with Hmong and non-Hmong community leaders and members to develop ways all sides could move forward to begin resolving the issue.
Hmong 18 Council and Community Action Against Racism announced Monday that it would continue to participate and monitor progress resulting from last week’s meeting with KDWB, which was facilitated by the Hmong 18 Council and CAAR. It was held in the Hmong 18 Council’s St. Paul office.
The meeting was the first time KDWB met in person with representatives from Hmong 18 Council and CAAR. The goal of the meeting was to move forward in a positive and collaborative manner.
Attendees of the meeting listened to the March 22 song segment and KDWB’s April 14 apology; discussed the song’s impact on certain members of the Hmong community, especially Hmong women and children; and discussed ways that KDWB could work with the community to increase the station’s and public’s awareness of issues impacting local communities.
Hmong 18 Council and CAAR suggested several ways that they and KDWB might heal together. The representatives requested that a joint press release with KDWB be issued to serve as one indicator of the parties’ collaboration.
Participants said the meeting demonstrated a positive and conciliatory attitude in their interactions with KDWB. Unfortunately, CAAR and the Hmong 18 Council said the parties were unable to agree as to the substance of the joint release in time for the partnership to inform the community within a desired timeline.
Hmong 18 Council and CAAR said they welcome a future opportunity to issue a joint public statement with KDWB leaders about the details of the radio station’s plans to address concerns raised at the May 16 meeting. They remain deeply committed to a successful and long lasting relationship with KDWB.
The mission of the Hmong 18 Council is threefold: (1) to assist Hmong Minnesotans in their struggle to adjust, integrate, connect and acknowledge the American legal services, schools, social services, government agencies and cultural systems; (2) to strengthen the Hmong community and its identity through education, preservation and promotion; and (3) to build bridges and partnerships between the Hmong and larger communities.
The goals of the Hmong 18 Council revolve around the ideas of self support, self determination and community leadership development.
Community Action Against Racism was originally founded in 1998 after 92 KQRS aired racist comments about the Hmong community following a report about a 13-year-old Wisconsin Hmong girl accused of killing and hiding the corpse of her newborn baby.
CAAR was recreated in April 2011 following the March 22 song segment on 101.3 KDWB. CAAR is a multiracial and independent grassroots group led by Hmong and non-Hmong community volunteers. It has the backing of 13 local nonprofits or groups and thousands of members.