Tou Ger Xiong was a beloved social justice champion who impacted countless lives worldwide and left an indelible mark in history. He was a passionate community builder, cultural bridger and intergenerational connector.
Tou Ger made thousands of people feel seen through his comedy, rap, motivational speaking and storytelling. Most importantly, he shed light on important issues that marginalized and excluded communities. Tou Ger's motivation to change the world stemmed from his experiences growing up as an immigrant refugee child in St. Paul where taunts from school bullies were met with his quick wit, fearlessness and belief in the goodness of people. He was the eighth of 11 children, but his family knew early on that he was born to be a leader. His talent and hard work propelled him to class valedictorian at Humboldt High school and he continued to soar at Carleton College.
From the Twin Cities, his passion for community led him to Washington, D.C., where he interned for Congressman Bruce Vento. He returned home to organize volunteers for "Eastsiders for Mee Moua," helping to victoriously elect the first Hmong American state senator in history. Tou Ger's deep belief in justice propelled him to lead grassroots campaigns in some of the most important cases in the Hmong community's nearly 50 years in America.
Tou Ger was active in political empowerment, racial justice, education equity and civic engagement throughout his career. He always remembered where he came from and founded Hmong MN Day at the Minnesota State Fair to celebrate his heritage and numerous emerging community talents and to preserve Hmong history and pride for future generations.
Tou Ger is survived by his mother, Sao Lou Vue, six brothers, four sisters, 13 nieces, 12 nephews and two grand-nephews. He will be forever missed.
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