We Ride for Liberation & Justice: We Ride for Breonna Taylor

Photo Re-Post/Credit: Black Enterprise

The ruling of wanton endangerment doesn’t hold accountable the officers that fired the six shots that took her life, rather, that ruling targets the officer that recklessly shot through neighboring units in the still of the night. Justice for Breonna Taylor has not been served.

In response to yesterday’s grand jury ruling on Breonna Taylor’s murder, our founder, Angelica Cortez composed the following below.

We ride.
We fight and elevate our service in the name of Liberation.
We ride.
We experience need, struggle, and despair.
We ride.
We fight for our position in this society.
We ride.
We’ll continue to fight for the abolishment of qualified immunity to hold police officers accountable.
We’ll continue to push for the elimination of chokeholds and carotid holds.
We’ll call on a federal mandate to create a national database that requires reporting of excessive use of force and abuse of power.
We’ll continue to demand justice for Breonna Taylor and all of our brothers and sisters lost to state-sanctioned violence.
We ride.


Information shared from the Movement for Black Lives:
Please join us and support local organizing — DONATE to these organizations and UPLIFT the six local demands.

Louisville Community Bail Fund: bit.ly/LouCommBailFund
BLM General Fund: bit.ly/BLMLou
Anti Eviction Fund: bit.ly/evictionfund
Healing for Louisville: bit.ly/502healing

The six local demands are crystal clear:

  1. Immediately fire and revoke the pensions of the officers that murdered Breonna.
  2. Divest from LMPD and invest in community building.
  3. The immediate resignation (or impeachment) of Mayor Greg Fischer.
  4. Metro Council ends use of force by Louisville Metro Police Department.
    1. Police shootings are gun violence.
  5. Establish a local, civilian community police accountability council that is independent from the Mayor’s Office and LMPD with investigation and discipline power #CPAC.
  6. The creation of policy to ensure transparent investigation processes.

Yes on Prop 16 South Bay Rally on Wednesday, 9/23!

Check this out.

Early voting in California begins on October 5th, with the General Election taking place November 3rd. With this quarantine season upon us, we’re working in concert with local and regional partners to particularly uplift the importance of Prop 16!

In 1996, Prop 209 was passed to eliminate Affirmative Action laws in California. This enactment made the Golden State 1 of 9 other states in the country to observe these changes at that time. Meaning, that for the past 24 years, race, ethnicity, and gender have not been considered in the areas of public admissions, contracts, and employment in CA. While some argue against considerations of race, ethnicity, and gender – postulating “color-blindness” – we firmly and unequivocally believe that in every other vertical of our society, we’re told that race and gender “don’t matter”, when in fact, the data shows that they do.

We point to issues of income inequality, gender and racial disparities in promotions, underrepresentation of minorities and women in mid to executive level leadership, and disproportionate numbers of communities of color serving in frontline service positions…the categorical examples are endless. A YES vote on Prop 16 would repeal Prop 209 and legally allow race, ethnicity, and gender to be among the many qualities considered in public admissions, contracts, and employment. In today’s context, we’re demanding that race, ethnicity, and gender matter.

Help us remove Prop 209, a law that was passed a quarter century ago, to implement changes that befit the conditions of today to create and manifest a better tomorrow.

Tap into the Yes on Prop 16 Town Hall with our Founder, Angelica Cortez, Assemblymember Ash Kalra, Dr. Bill Armaline with SJSU, YouthHype Founder Toya P.Y.T Fernandez, CAIR Executive Director @Sameena Usman, and many more on Wednesday, September 23rd from 5pm-7pm!


Support California’s Prop 16 “Opportunity for All”

The members, organizers, and families of LEAD Filipino unequivocally support the passage of Prop 16.

An issue that has been long-fought on California’s political stage, we laud the leadership of the Honorable Dr. Shirley Weber.  Her championing of ACA 5 translated into Prop 16, which will be decided upon by millions of California voters this fall. 

In response to the perennial question that incites ire, feeling, and emotion across all settings: “Should race matter or not matter in public admissions?” we extend the discussion in this piece.

We’re reminded every day that we live in a society that appraises, ranks, and assigns [superficial] value to each of us based on our race and gender.  On issues of income inequality, data shows us that race and gender matter.  On issues of executive leadership across all fields, reports show us that race and gender matter.  On issues of promotions and hiring, evidence supports that race and gender matter. 

To help illustrate the beliefs that power our supportive position, we invoke the oversimplified and ever-popular adage, “Actions speak louder than words.” We say, “Actions speak louder than words” as a rejoinder to the opponents of Affirmative Action that cite credence to color-blindness, under the auspices of meritocracy. If race doesn’t matter, then why does empirical data and studies continue to show that ethnic minorities and women are consistently underrepresented in spaces of student admissions in universities and executive leadership? In this case, actions continue to speak louder.

In today’s climate, empirical studies and our observations show us that quality of “merits” reside in a collection of assumptions, such as suggesting that every individual has access to shelter, food, income, and socio-emotional support from loved ones. Under this guise, dominant American ideation proselytizes and praises “merit” in relation to hard work. (Bonus points if you overcame adversity and still finished college, secured a job, and own a home in California!)

Meritocracy negates the realities and influences of equity.

Meritocracy assumes that we each have access to shelter, food, income, and love. However, reality shows us repeatedly, that our world deals each of us a different hand. Affirmative Action orients our decisions around considerations of equity. Equity asks us to recognize that not everyone has the same economic and socio-emotional starting points. For instance, Filipinas/xs/os could not own land or property in the United States till post 1964 Civil Rights (and the same goes for all communities of color). Contrasting these experiences with individuals that had access to own, sell, and manage land at the start of the Union, only accounts for one of the historic factors that have contributed to the equity disparities that we see today. Bringing these historical influences into the fore, equity considers how minority communities were outlawed, creating economic disenfranchisement and exclusion — which we know impacts access to financial resources, home ownership, and opportunity . Meritocracy asks that we ignore these starting points and consider instead, both lived experiences as equals.

Prop 16 not only shapes our collective consciousness on equity, it forces those in power to address questions of access, inclusion, and opportunity across public universities, employment, and contracting awards in California.

With growing evidence that suggests California’s ban on Affirmative Action has not only hurt minority representation, but has contributed to the widening equity and opportunity gaps in higher education, professional fields, and contract awards, LEAD Filipino commits to galvanizing our resources and team to spreading the importance of Prop 16 in our shared future.

LEAD Filipino will join a host of San Jose/South Bay nonprofits, civic groups, and student organizations on Wednesday, September 23rd from 5pm-7pm in a Silicon Valley-focused virtual Town Hall on raising voter awareness around Prop 16. We hope to see you there!

Props to Puso To Puso: Second Episode!

This past Saturday, August 15th, we were pleased to present the second episode of our three-part “Puso To Puso Talks” which was our organization’s response to having to postpone our 2020 Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit.

Prioritizing the need to continue holding space for our Fly Pinays community, our student leaders conceived of our “Puso To Puso Talks” which were to be short, 60-90 minute live episodes focusing on one of our three Fly Pinays themes: Mental Health, Ethnic Identity, and Personal Development.

Last Saturday, on the topic of “Personal Finance” we were joined by guest speaker Derica Malaca, a trained Financial Coach and Nonprofit Professional, that shared how she paid off her personal debt with a series of different strategies related to tucking away a percentage of her income, cost-saving, and looking for ways to passively grow her money.

In addition to hearing and learning from Derica, we would like to give special love to the many, many Fly Pinays organizers that helped to ring in the success of our second “Puso To Puso”:

  • Omilani Alarcon, our hostess with the mostest, our emcee!
  • Adelina Tancioco, Founder, Surrendered Healing for leading our Grounding Activity and Opening Meditation
  • Mer Curry, Founder, AdvancED Consulting for leading our Closing Activity
  • And to our Fly Pinays organizing committee: Marissa Martinez (Fly Pinays Director), Isabel Bagsik, Jessica Yumul, Camille Ann Valerio, Chloe Agdipa, Jenn Cayanan, Michelle Dionisio, and Maxine Gutierrez.

In community,

LEAD Filipino