September 29th, 2018
The culmination of a months-long undertaking for our organization and our collaborative partners with the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies and UC Davis’ Asian American Studies Department was this past September’s 2018 Filipino Community Policy Symposium.
The day-long conference, held at UC Davis on Saturday, September 29th, convened community advocates, educators, activists, grassroots organizers, public officials, youth, and families in centered conversations on forming a uniquely Filipino/a American policy agenda for 2019. The issues that our workshops and breakout sessions focused on eight key areas that all Filipinos/as Californians can identify with:
- Health and Human Services
- Workers’ Rights and Justice
- LGBTQIA Rights and Justice
- Immigrant Rights and Justice
- Women’s Issues – Leadership, Rights, and Visibility
- K-12/Higher Education
- Housing and Homelessness Advocacy
- Small Business Growth/Economic Development
In keynote addresses from former City of Davis Mayor Ruth Asmundson and Cynthia Bonta, and speaker panels with esteemed nonprofit leaders, organizers, and governmental agency leaders, the energy in the space was palpable. The impetus and shared commitment to the Symposium was/is the awareness that Filipinos/as are the largest Asian/Pacific Islander ethnic group in California at a staggering population of ~1.5 million.
Despite our collective presence at ~1.5 m, we are seeing a pervasive absence of our community across elected and appointed leadership spaces where community and public decisions are made. LEAD Filipino’s involvement in the organizing and execution of this Symposium was based on the intention of contributing to the larger picture, and above all, galvanizing our local community to get involved in civic and political action.
The next steps and outcomes of the 2018 Symposium were clear: for our respective grassroots partners and organizations to form a comprehensive, representative, and reflective policy and legislative platform for 2019 that we can take to our state legislators in the coming year.
Angelica and Vanessa with our organization were pleased to co-emcee this past year’s Policy Symposium and look forward to meeting many of you in our shared work.
If you would like to get involved in these efforts as a volunteer organizer, we want to hear from you! Contact us at LEADFilipinoSJ@gmail.com.