May Kao Xiong is a Hmong woman who migrated to Illinois, USA, when she was three years old and was sponsored by a Catholic Church. In this oral history, she talks about the challenges she faced in the U.S. as a first generation individual as well as the importance of the Hmong community to her. She went to school at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and then moved onto a graduate program at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and started working for higher education at the University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin. Currently, she is studying as a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Merced, in the interdisciplinary humanities program with emphasis on critical race and ethnic studies.
The interview covers topics such as immigration, Hmong celebrations, religion, higher education, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.