Sacramento City Hall exhibit focuses on elementary students’ Hmong heritage

The Center for Sacramento History has partnered with students from Susan B. Anthony Elementary to put together an exhibit at Sacramento City Hall on students and their families, with a focus on their Hmong heritage.  

“Sacramento has the third largest Hmong population in the United States, with nearly 30,000 people of Hmong heritage calling it home,” said  the center’s historian Marcia Eymann. 

There are only three Hmong dual-language immersion programs in California schools, and Susan B. Anthony Elementary School in Sacramento’s Meadowview neighborhood hosts one of them. Students in the program are instructed in both Hmong and English.

For the exhibit, fifth and sixth grade students were asked to choose objects from home and write about what made them important. These objects are displayed at City Hall with label text written by students.

More than 50 students participated to compile the exhibit, which includes jewelry, clothing and other personal family treasures.

Putting together the exhibit serves as an educational opportunity for the students to work on writing skills and explore their own family’s stories, Eymann said. 

This exhibition, open for free to the public, is part of the center’s mission to tell the history of Sacramento’s diverse community. The exhibit will be up at City Hall at 915 I St. through April. 

The Center has partnered with Mayor Pro Tem Mai Vang’s office to host a reception at City Hall on Jan. 24 at 4 p.m. for the faculty and students from Susan B. Anthony that contributed to this exhibit.  

“To see Hmong traditional clothing and culturally significant artifacts be celebrated in Sacramento City Hall brings me such joy and pride for our community and our city,” said Vang, the City’s first Hmong-American councilmember. “I am especially proud of our Susan B. Anthony Elementary School students who put together such a powerful and inspirational exhibit. Their personal stories and experiences are truly empowering and representative of the immense diversity of our city. Understanding our past and learning about different cultures helps us build a better city where all communities can feel like they belong.”

The center and Susan B. Anthony staff also will be part of a special presentation at the Jan. 24 City Council meeting at 5 p.m.