Supporting a belief and value...When Women Do Better, Everyone Does Better.

When I worked at my cousin's Hmong roasted pork deli, the woman prep-cook quickly befriended me buying me diet soda from the store across the street and bringing me snacks some mornings.  She was a crabby Hmong woman who was constantly yelling racist remarks at our Mexican roaster and reminded me of my grandmother.  She told me my Hmong was terrible, but she could easily complete my sentences and train of thought, so we got along well.  An older woman (let's call her Yer) who had an only son, was divorced, and lived with her cat in an apartment on top of a convenient store on the east side of Saint Paul, she won me over as I forgave her for being so direct and curt and I learned more about her.     

Yer's husband had left her for a younger woman a couple of years ago.  Her only son was living an hour away in the city of Saint Cloud, and because she came so late to the United States as a refugee - she never got to attend school so she hardly spoke or could even read or write in English.  Her eyes were going bad as well, but she was good at what she did at the deli, making banhmis, papaya salad, and pork brain pepper.  There were many times she asked me to help her read her mail, apply for a SNAP (food stamps) card, and talk with the county over the phone for extra help since the deli was on the verge of closing and it was going to be a struggle to find another job.  Unfortunately, she did not qualify for much and even if she did...the upkeep in paperwork would be something she would drown in.  I drove her to the local county office to introduce her to the Hmong assistant there, and she carefully watched the road so she could find the office again since GPS was not something she could comprehend either. 

I tell you this story because it is important to me to help Asian women like Yer who are caught in a world where they cannot thrive.  I can't emphasize more about providing resources and the opportunities for women like Yer, so that they can be self-sustainable.  I know that even with resources, it would be hard for Yer because of her lack of English and education...but with the right help and partners, maybe she could find the right niche for her to survive. 

So, I went to the MN Senate building to advocate for the Coalition of Asian American Leader's (CAAL) bill that will allocate $1 Million towards Asian women entrepreneurs - helping them with startup costs, skills set building, and mentors.    

I was happy and proud to sit in the audience and push for this bill.  There will be more chances to participate in the near future as it gets decided over in the legislature.  Read more about CAAL here: and sign up for their updates. 

***Just a plug in here, I have a goal to raise at least $1200 towards a new laptop so I can have an up-to-date computer that will allow me to download Scrivener (a novel-writing app).  If you are enjoying my blogs...please feel free to contribute whatever monetary donation you'd like to my cause.  Thank you!  I appreciate you!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published