8.2.22 – Announcing the 2022 Mama Verang & Lola Remi Scholarship

We are proudly launching our second fund of scholarships through the Mama Verang & Lola Remi Scholarship Fund, which we debuted in 2021 through the leadership of one of our organizers, Daniel Lazo. 

Learn about the purpose and vision of our Mama Verang & Lola Remi Scholarship Fund in Daniel’s words:

At the end of 2021, my Lola Remi passed away in the Philippines. In processing this immense grief of loss, I looked back at the women in my life who inspired me to believe in myself. Lola Remi may have been an ocean away, but her generosity and love lived on through my mom and aunts. In the same fashion, my Mama Verang was the Lola present in my life, being the last grandchild for her to raise. I still feel her joy and care to this day.

To heal, I went back to my community. I created the Lola Scholarship Fund through LEAD Filipino to give back to those who have given me so much.

This scholarship honors two of my very different lolas who were both teachers in their own way. Mama Verang raised nine children as a single mother. She was also a high school teacher in the Philippines and brought her entire family to the United States for a better life. On the other hand, Lola Remi never finished high school and worked hard as a tailor and farmer. With her kind-heartedness and ambition, she put all of her seven children through college to help them to build a better life. Both were advocates of higher education and this fund is in their legacy.

Last year, we launched the first scholarships and awarded $3,500 to four brilliant college students across the Bay. Each is in a unique field, such as ethnic studies, political science, immigration law, and molecular biology. Three recipients have recently graduated from their respective schools— San Francisco State University, University of San Francisco, and University of California Berkeley.

I’m excited to continue the fund this year again to award three $1,000 scholarships to a new batch of incoming and current Filipino American college students. This year, we’ll expand the California fund statewide and partner with bold.org to organize applicants.

I’m asking for your help to build the longevity of this fund for years to come. I not only want to honor my lolas, but also give space to the awardees and donors to honor the important women in their lives and share their stories as Filipino Americans changing the world. 

If you can give donate today, visit leadfilipino.org/donate. With any contribution, we will honor you and your Lola during the awarding ceremony at LEAD Filipino’s Anniversary Gala this fall.

How to Apply

Eligibility Requirements:

This award is available to Filipinx/o/a American college students within California, including rising Freshman, who are attending a higher education institution starting Fall 2022;

– We highly encourage Santa Clara County students that meet these criteria to apply.

– Students from the Bay Area, regardless of their current University location, are also highly encouraged to apply.

– Enrolled full-time in an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program at an accredited higher education institution and; 
Unofficial transcript to prove present full-time enrollment. No minimum GPA is required. If an unofficial transcript is unavailable for incoming college freshmen, the applicant must provide proof of enrollment or acceptance in college.

-Submit an 800 minimum word essay based on the prompt (click below for more details) 

During this pandemic, we have all experienced some kind of loss. We’ve lost loved ones and some have even lost the pursuit of their dreams. On behalf of the students, families, and members of LEAD Filipino, we hope through this fund we can help one another as a community to secure the future of those still dreaming. Thank you for being part of the journey!

Maraming salamat,

Daniel Lazo

Lola Scholarship Fund Director

7.13.22 – AAP Meeting thru August

We launched our 7th Awareness in Action Program (AAP) Cohort on June 22nd and we cannot believe how fast the time is passing!

Here’s a photo of this year’s AAP Cohort, an assembly of students, adults, and families from across California and the country coming together once a week for 10 weeks to learn about their family’s stories, the larger diaspora and FilAm experiences.

What a pleasure it is to build community and spend quality time every Wednesday with our AAP folks!

6.24.22 – Statement on Roe v. Wade Decision

As a local grassroots organization our programs, services and campaigns concern the economic and social realities of FilAms in San Jose and surrounding communities. Navigating politicized issues that impact our communities, within and outside of our immediate constituency.

However, during incidents of national pain and cultural shifts, our team and Board decided long ago that we have a responsibility in providing perspective and speaking on issues of tragedy and transcendence. Sometimes these national events exclusively impact our FilAm communities and during instances like today, they punctuate all of us.

Today is not about transcendence, it is unequivocally tragic.

Removing an autonomous human being’s agency to have choice, is tragic. Crippling a woman of her power to decide, is tragic. That there are no such federal laws sanctioning men’s bodies, is tragic. That they select who they wish to extend “protections of life to” is tragic.

To live in California means that our women’s health and reproductive services will continue to be provided to womyn and families, however, this will not be true for other states. We extend our loving embrace and support to all communities materially, emotionally and spiritually impacted by the events of today.

For our members and families that are deeply affected and those that work within community health and reproductive justice, providing critical services, we raise our loving arms up for you.

In community,

LEAD Filipino

6.2.22 – Delano Manongs Park Grand Opening Postponed

We know that many of you are interested in supporting San Jose’s historic Delano Manongs Park (DMP).

Since 2021, the DMP Committee of volunteers has met to plan for the Grand Opening of the Park, inclusive of a community-wide public festival with performances, music and food. As of June 2022, we received word from the City of San Jose that the Grand Opening of the Park is postponed till further notice.

This isn’t the news that we wanted to share. Please be assured that we remain in close contact with the City of San Jose and will share relevant updates on the Grand Opening as them come.

This update was prepared from the volunteer driven DMP Committee, a group of students, families and local nonprofit organizations – Filipino Youth Coalition, Bayani Ng Kabataan (BNK) Filipino School of San Jose, Filipino American National Historical Society of Santa Clara Valley and LEAD Filipino.

For more information about our DMP Committee, please contact us at info@leadfilipino.org.

5.22.22 – AAPI Heritage Month Libroration Book Club with Special Guest Stephanie Foo

Please join us for our May Libroration Book Club session in celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month with special guest Stephanie Foo, author of “What My Bones Know.”

Stephanie Foo is a radio producer, author and advocate. She has produced with This American Life and Snap Judgment and has also freelanced for podcasts like The Cut, Nancy, Reply All and 99% Invisible. Her work writing and work has been featured in the New York Times and Vox.

5.3.22 – 2022 Awareness in Action Program (AAP) Registration Open!

Known simply as AAP, we have proudly offered our Awareness in Action Program to the larger San Jose/Silicon Valley region since 2016.

A 10-week multidisciplinary course that covers aspects of pre-colonial Philippines society and history while centering the unique experiences of Filipinas/xs/os in the American diaspora, our program features weekly sessions, guest speakers, and continuous engagement opportunities for our local and national community.

Our 2022 AAP will be held virtually with selected hybrid events involving local walking tours and roundtables with San Jose-based FilAm community groups.


4.24.22 – AB 1608 Update

AB 1608 continues to call for increased accountability and transparency in law enforcement.

We are delighted to share that AB 1608 has passed through both Assembly Committees on Local Government and Public Safety! The bill will now proceed to the Assembly Floor for a full vote and upon this passage, will move on to the State Senate.

In continuing our organizational advocacy to call for increased police transparency, accountability and reform, we voiced our support for AB 1608 (D-Gipson) which would separate the Sheriff from the Coroner’s Office in all 58 counties in California.

We submitted our support and testified at the Assembly Committee on Local Governance earlier this month alongside the Justice for Angelo Quinto! Justice for All! Coalition and many other advocates statewide.

When Angelo Quinto was murdered at the hands of the Antioch Police Department (APD) in December 2020, his family wouldn’t receive his official cause of death till nearly eight months later when the Contra Costa County Coroner publicly declared Angelo’s cause of death as “Excited Delirium.” The Quinto-Collins family called the Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office incessantly for information, to no avail. To make matters worse, Angelo’s family would find out his cause of death alongside the public, forced to process, react and relive the trauma in a public arena.

AB 1608 would mandate that Sheriff and Coroner’s Offices in California be separated.

The Sheriff has three primary duties: keep the peace (e.g., make arrests, respond to calls); attend the courts (e.g., superior court bailiffs); and operate the county jail. All 58 counties in California have a Sheriff’s Department and 48 of those counties also provide for the Sheriff to assume the duties of the Coroner. The Sheriff is a constitutionally elected official. The Coroner, in those counties where the Sheriff doesn’t assume both roles, is responsible for inquiring into and determining the circumstance, manner, and cause of all violent, sudden, or unusual deaths. 

Notably, the 10 counties that have separated the Sheriff and Coroner functions – Santa Clara County, Los Angeles County, City and County of San Francisco to name a few – have recognized that the duties involved with both offices hold great responsibility to the public. Given this, separating the offices to ensure clarity of function, division of labor, and easier access for Californians is the leading priority to prevent future families, like the Quinto-Collins family, from receiving the necessary answers around cause of death of their loved ones.

To learn more about how to get involved with our advocacy efforts, please contact us at info@leadfilipino.org.

That’s Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to you!

Today marks a truly momentous and historic occasion for all Americans.

The students, families, and members of LEAD Filipino stand together in congratulating Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson as she is confirmed to the Supreme Court. Justice Jackson will be the first African American woman to serve as a justice on the highest court more than 200 years after the founding of the United States. May we take in the gravity of this moment but also look at how America’s history – one of segregation, one of disenfranchisement, and one of state sanctioned racial discrimination has delayed justice and oppressed African Americans and communities of color for generations. We exclaim our joy and happiness in the face of progress but also remind ourselves of the work we need to continue to do. We cannot wait to see Justice Jackson’s leadership and impact on the #SCOTUS.