A new Hmong center is bringing hope for the Hmong community in Sacramento. The HOPE Center is aimed at preserving the Hmong language and culture.
HOPE, which stands for Hmong Organizing for Progress and Empowerment, is the first community center of its kind to open in Sacramento.
Shoun Thao is the Operating Director of the HOPE Center. He says the idea came as a project led by his father, Nha Thai Thao, who came to the United States from Laos as a refugee during the Vietnam War.
"He really wanted to create a center that has roots here in Sacramento and to be a beacon of hope for community development and civic engagement," said Thao.
The Hmong people have been in Sacramento for more than 40 years and Thao says this center is much needed.
"This will be the first center that truly ties our roots to Sacramento, saying we belong here in the city, this is our city and we're gonna make change to the city through the center," said Thao.
The center will offer Hmong language and dance classes for the Hmong community but Thao says all communities are welcome.
"The center is focused of preservation of Hmong culture and language but the goal is to have a center of hope for all communities," Thao said.
The HOPE Center is working with Hmong Youth and Parents United to provide Hmong language and dance classes including Hmong dance, hip hop, break dance and K-Pop offered by The Heights Dance Program.
The grand opening took place Saturday, October 27th, which included a ribbon cutting ceremony, a market featuring local Hmong vendors and a special dedication wall to honor the Lao-Hmong Veterans.
The HOPE Center is located at 631 Eleanor Avenue in North Sacramento.