Recap: Fil Advocacy Day 2019

A day of symbolism.

The Filipino/a community is the largest Asian Pacific Islander group in California. At a population of ~1.5m, with the deepest concentrations residing in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego Areas, the time to incite our community to collectively touch the existing electoral processes that shape our lives, was yesterday.

After months of planning, coordinating, and strategizing alongside our partners at UC Davis’s Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies, we joined a chorus of Fil Am nonprofits, student organizations, and grassroots groups from across the state in the first Fil Advocacy Day at California’s Capitol, Sacramento. With our entire Civic Engagement Team and one of our advisors, Dr. Jennifer Briscoe, in attendance, we were excited, nervous, and ready for the day’s events.

Our home base for the day was to be at the California Endowment on K Street in Sacramento. Up bright and early, our team huddled with our Bulosan Center partners to get hyped for the morning kick-off where we welcomed the participating high school youth, college students, and nonprofit clients and staff from across the state.

Gel Cortez, LEAD Filipino, and Dr. Robyn Rodriguez, Bulosan Center, co-lead an advocacy team at the first Fil Advocacy Day!
Vanessa Carr and Dr. Jen Briscoe, LEAD Filpino, pump up their advocacy team for the day ahead!

Our team debriefs consisted of co-captains running down the day’s events, our advocacy items, and their team’s specific schedule of legislator meetings! (For some, this was an advocacy crash course of sorts, but for others that had attended our trainings the past four months, they also lended a hand in guiding others on tips when speaking with legislative staff and elected officials!)

The day began with our delegation meeting with Assemblyman Jose Medina, the author of Assembly Bill 331, which was the centering narrative for our Advocacy Day: Seeing all communities represented in public curriculum via academic textbooks, literature, media and film, and other study materials that support California’s public education and learning.

Assemblyman Medina shared of his decades of experience teaching Ethnic Studies in Riverside Unified School District. He then ran and was elected to serve as a Trustee for Riverside’s Community College District. We thanked him for his leadership in continuing to advance Ethnic Studies via statewide legislation.

The first stop on our Advocacy Day: Thanking Assemblyman Jose Medina for authoring AB 331 (Ethnic Studies).

Following our meeting with Assemblyman Medina, our teams set off in separate directions and our collective delegation proceeded to meet with 25 legislators and staff on passing AB 331 (Ethnic Studies), allocating $5m for a Domestic Workers Education and Outreach Fund, and increasing tenant protections (ABs 36 and 1481).

“Stop and pose for that quick photo in the Capitol!”
“Let’s bring all 1.5m of us to the Capitol next year.”

Shout out to our friend and supporter, Genevieve Jopanda, nonprofit executive and political organizer, and Chief of Staff to California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, for hosting a small group of the nonprofit leaders and youth for a roundtable lunch. Genevieve was joined by her Legislative Director, Kasey, in sharing their reflections on Treasurer Ma’s authoring of AB 199, which was among the first series of legislative bills that gained visibility for the Filipino/a community in public education.

Gen and Kasey, thank you for hosting a small group of us in State Treasurer Ma’s Office!

Last Tuesday was the first Advocacy Day of many. The event was symbolic of our community’s growing presence and advancement in participating in a democracy that we have also fought for.

We look forward to developing our relationships with the many organizations that touched last Tuesday’s event. The beauty of movement and coalition-building is knowing that your community stands alongside your cause, because if it’s affecting your folks, it’s impacting us.

On behalf of LEAD Filipino, maraming salamat sa lahat, kami ay magkasama!

Sulong!

Gel Cortez
Founder
LEAD Filipino

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2 Weeks Away: Filipino Advocacy Day!

Register for the Filipino Advocacy Day!

Hi Kasamas — 

Sacramento, we’re coming for you!

On Tuesday, April 30th over 20 Fil Am serving nonprofits, student organizations, and grassroots groups will gather in Sacramento in a series of legislator meetings, policy dialogues, and educational workshops and we want you to join us. 

We are currently coordinating carpools from San Jose to Sacramento for the 1st Annual Filipino Advocacy Day. 
If you are a student organization, professional association, or concerned community member on issues relating to Ethnic Studies, Workers and Tenant Protections, we want you with us in Sacramento. 

Since last year, our organization, LEAD Filipino, has been working alongside UC Davis’ Carlos Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies to co-spearhead an undertaking that was new to both of our groups: A Filipino Legislative Advocacy Day in California’s Capitol, Sacramento. 

Ethnic Studies, Workers’ Rights, and Tenant Protections
We’re calling on all students, young adults, families, and professionals to join us for our community’s Filipino Advocacy Day! We will be lobbying on:

  • Passing AB 331 (Medina):AB 331 would mandate Ethnic Studies as a California public high school graduation requirement, beginning in the 2024-25 academic year. 
  • Domestic Workers Outreach & Education Fund: Led by our partners at the Domestic Workers Coalition of California, we’re advocating for a $5 million ask to support the establishing of a Domestic Workers Outreach & Education Fund in the state of California. 
  • Stronger Tenant Protections:With organizations like SOMCAN and PICO California at the helm, we’re emphasizing the importance of increased renter protections in a high-cost housing environment. 

Background: The Beginning of our Advocacy Day
These efforts have been over a year in the making. Our first goal post was to organize a Filipino Policy Symposium with the Bulosan Center last September 2018. The purpose of the Symposium? To gather Filipino/a American (Fil Am) serving student groups, nonprofit agencies, small businesses, and grassroots organizations to address issues that are impacting Fil Am communities statewide. 

Our Symposium featured elected and appointed officials and civic leaders, including former City of Davis Mayor Manang Ruth Admundson, Manang Cynthia Bonta, Mona Pasquil, and Geneveive Jopanda. The nuts and bolts of the Symposium was led by agency leaders from organizations such as Migrante Northern California, South of Market Community Action Network, My Sister’s House, Pilipinx Sacramento, Ramar Foods, the Filipino Googler Network, and many more. 

Filipino Advocacy Day Partners
Thank you to the leading agencies, student organizations, and grassroots groups from across California that have helped us to make April 30th a reality.

Anakbayan Santa Cruz Chapter

Domestic Workers of California Coalition

Empowering Marginalized Asian Communities

Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ)

Filipino Migrant Center

LEAD Filipino 

Little Manila Rising

Migrante Northern California

My Sister’s House

Northern California Pilipinx American Student Alliance (NCPASA)

PICO California

Philippine National Day Association (PNDA)

Pilipinx Sacramento

Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women

South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAN)

UC Davis’ Carlos Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies

Supporters

National Federation of Filipino American Associations

The California Endowment

Silicon Valley Asian Pacific American Democratic Club

A Wrap! 3rd Annual Fly Pinays

Over a week ago on Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 our small organization hosted its 3rd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit as part of our broader Fly Pinays Mentorship Program. The day included a series of keynote addresses and panels, workshops, and interactive group discussions.

Check out the official event photos from the Summit here.

A day that is held in celebration of Pinayism during Women’s Herstory Month, our Fly Pinays work is a symbolism of the shared belief that our community holds in the importance of positive modeling, mentorship, and above all: sisterhood.

Our 3rd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit attracted over 200 guests from across the Northern California region and was held at Mission College in Santa Clara, California. Of the 200 attendees, almost 150 were Pinay professionals – serving as mentors – and mentees – many of which were either current students, young adults, or professionals looking to pivot and/or transition.

For some context to those unfamiliar with LEAD Filipino and our Fly Pinays Mentorship Program, the Leadership Summit is a follow-up to a Pre-Session that we organize internally for our mentor and mentee participants. The goal of Fly Pinays Mentorship Program is to provide fora on Pinay experiences, women advancement in the workplace and public leadership, and personal/professional development.

Our Fly Pinays co-emcees returned for a repeat performance at our 3rd Annual Fly Pinays. Our crowd favorites that aren’t shy about singing and wobbling in front of large audiences, our San Jose sheroes: Ate Ann Reginio and Carina Orozco were in the house and led us throughout our ceremonies all day!

To kick-start our ceremonies, Chef Chel Gilla, the founder of Tselogs opened our day with remarks on integrity, accountability, and leadership. She shared of her own story on founding Teslogs (she just opened a location in SF and another will open later this year in Milan, Italy) and how principles of mental framing and positive thought patterns guided her decisions and risks in venturing to found, own, and operate Tselogs.

Throughout the day, our mentors and mentees also engaged in small group icebreakers at their tables including conversations on inspiration, mentors they’ve had, and other fun questions to get our ladies talking!

Our “Bring It” activities had everyone dancing, wobbling, and singing!

The twin themes for this year’s 3rd Annual Fly Pinays were: “Bossing Up” and “Breaking Expectations.” These themes were derived from a series of focus groups that LEAD Filipino’s Fly Pinays Director Team led throughout the Bay Area at colleges and community spaces with mentees and mentors alike. The simple focus group question: “What are you facing today?”

Based on these focus group outcomes, LEAD Filipino’s response to curating reflective content was to organize our workshops on these two resonant themes. Thank you to our workshop leaders that led distinct breakout sessions at our Leadership Summit: Cheryl Cruz with Asian American Recovery Services, Anakbayan Silicon Valley, PAWIS, HeyBerna, Francesca Mateo of Empire in the Air, Erin Pangilinan of Silicon Valley FASTER, Kristen Dominguez, Tracy Pascua Dea of St. Mary’s College of California, Cheska Dolor, Ian Zamora of UC Davis. Here are a few photos from our workshops:

Cheryl Cruz, LCSW, workshop on “Emotional Intelligence” at our 3rd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit!
HeyBerna’s “Money Twerkshop” at our 3rd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit.
Erin Pangilinan’s “Sulat Kumay Reality (Baybayin VR Occulus Launch Pad Project)” workshop at our 3rd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit.
Anakbayan Silicon Valley’s “The Basic Women’s Orientation on the National Democratic Movement.”
Kristen Dominguez, Culinary Extraordinaire and Acro-Yoga Instructor, leads her workshop on Boss Babes being Mindful and practicing Self-Care.
Tracy Pascua Dea, Evette Castillo Clark, and Jocelyn Banaria lead their “Pinay Power: Kaya Ko, Kaya Natin, Kaya Mo (“I can, we can, you can”) workshop!
A photo from our community partners that joined us in tabling at the 3rd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit.

We closed out our 3rd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit with back-to-back guest speakers, including a panel on “Empowerment through Creativity” with artists and creatives Kate Dash, Melanie “DJ ThatGirl” Panergo, and Lauren Garcia.

To end the day with a bang we were joined by Micah “DJ Noodz” Mahinay, a tastemaker, influencer, and DJ for recording artist and performer, Kehlani. In her closing keynote, she addressed our group of 200 attendees on the importance of commitment, dedication, and support in defying the odds and persistence in the face of doubt — or Breaking Expectations and Bossing Up. 😉

Success has a thousand contributors. The same rings true for the successful putting on our largest event of the year, our Fly Pinays Leadership Summit.

Thank you to all of our volunteers, our Tech/AV and catering teams, Mission College staff, workshop leaders, tabling community partners, organizers, advisors, donors, and sponsors, our 3rd Annual Fly Pinays wouldn’t have happened without each of you.

We look forward to seeing all of you for our summer Fly Pinays activities.

In community,

Angelica Cortez, (on behalf of) LEAD Filipino

Recap: Filipino Advocacy Day Statewide Training

On Friday, March 8th, we hosted our second statewide training on our upcoming Filipino Advocacy Day in Sacramento. Maraming salamat to Filipino Advocates for Justice for hosting our group and providing a space of community!

On Friday, March 8th, we co-led our second statewide training on the planning, development, and strategy of our upcoming Filipino Advocacy Day in Sacramento next month!

For some background, last fall, we co-led a uniquely Filipino Community Policy Symposium (read recap here) in tandem with our partners at UC Davis’ Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies. The goals of the Symposium were three-fold:

  • Host at least 20 Fil Am organizations, nonprofits, and grassroots groups in discussions around their agencies and what public interests were important to them;
  • Provide a space for base-building and networking;
  • Define a handful of public policy priorities from the discussions and workshops hosted at the Symposium.

The outcomes from the Symposium resulted in 27 organizations in attendance and the development of a distinctive “8 Policy Area Platform” (viewable here) that were representative of the diverse voices, experiences, and stories of the organizations that participated.

With this information, we continued our work with the Bulosan Center well into the winter with the intention of hosting a Filipino Advocacy Day in Sacramento.

Serving primarily as organizing leads, we have worked with the Bulosan Center to push forward the dialogue with the 27 organizations that attended last fall on envisioning, planning, and defining a Filipino Advocacy Day.

Since January, we have hosted one statewide Advocacy Day training and a conference call with our 20 partners. During these two convenings, we identified that our Advocacy Day items would be:

  • AB 331 (Ethnic Studies)
  • Requesting $5 million in General Fund support for the establishment of a Domestic Workers Education and Outreach Fund to be administered by the California Department of Labor Enforcement Standards (DLES).

At our first training, the partners reconnected, and we reviewed the purpose of the Advocacy Day which is:

  • To establish a Filipino/a presence in California’s Capitol.
  • To engage a delegation of 20 organizational leaders, staff, and clients in our democratic public policy process.
  • To advocate on passing AB 331 and a $5 million budget ask for domestic workers in California.

Our next statewide conference call, where we will begin planning our legislative visits will be in late-March. If you are interested in engaging in these efforts, we want to hear from you!

Support AB 331 (Ethnic Studies)

As a community organization that is founded on the guiding tenets and inspirations of building civic leadership through cultural and ethnic education, LEAD Filipino has legacy positions of supporting, advocating for, and dedicating organizational resources to advancing Ethnic Studies in California.

Three years ago, we collected and submitted support letters to California Governor Brown to pass Assembly Bill 2016, which he signed into law in late-2016. A huge victory for our shared advocacy partners, AB 2016 funded the development of an Ethnic Studies curriculum to be made available as an elective to California public high school social science teachers that could want to teach the course. Note that under AB 2016, Ethnic Studies is still an elective and not a requirement.

AB 2016 resulted in a statewide coalition of educators and academics that have worked collaboratively with the California Department of Education to construct a curriculum based on critical pedagogy that represents the untold stories, histories, and experiences of ethnic minority communities in California. The Ethnic Studies curriculum should now be available for instructors with an interest in teaching this elective to their students.

LEAD Filipino Supports AB 331

Building on the momentum and need to teach cultural pedagogy that reflects the diversity of California’s 39 million population, AB 331 would fund a pilot program across 11 school districts, with the intention of mandating Ethnic Studies as a high school graduation requirement by 2024.

The combination of the head and heart – California is the state of the majority minority. In a heterogenous state that benefits from our rich multiculturalism and multiethnic communities, we support the movement toward updating public instruction to include the historic contributions, struggles, and successes of minority communities whose roles are currently diffuse across scarce literature and diminished in our system’s textbooks, discourse, and coursework.

The status quo is that, in our K-12 public system, U.S. and world history is taught from a Euro-centric perspective. We combine our heads and hearts in our outlook on this current reality and future opportunity. Hear us out on our perspective and position:

Our globalized society that has sanctioned mass immigration – which we see evident in our workplaces and hence, our workforce; through this prism, national conversations celebrate diversity in the name of labor, skilled workers, and competition (by way of profits). We ask you to consider the moral imperative of supporting a diverse population in another key public sphere: our public education system. California particularly, celebrates a workforce that is 76% foreign born. In a majority-minority state, the time to revisit our educational system’s values – defined by core instructional content and coursework – in exposing our students’ hearts and minds to wider and deeper views of our country and world’s history is now.

Growing evidence supports that, from self-efficacy and motivated behavior frameworks (Eccles, 2006; Schraw & Lehman, 2006), students construct identity based on meaning, beliefs, perceptions and attitudes (Bandura, 2001). Cue positive images and convictions of achievement, where strong corollaries have been tied to cultural pedagogy and vicarious learning of minority communities seeing their stories uplifted in the same regard as high-achieving, high-performing, leaders with social mobility across all public contexts.

From the head and heart perspective, we support AB 331 and are currently collecting support letters from any of our members, families, or students that share the belief in supporting the passage of this bill. Read more about AB 331 here.

If you would like to submit a short statement for why you support AB 331, to be shared with elected leaders in Sacramento at the Filipino Advocacy Day on April 30th, please submit here.

In community,

Angelica Cortez
LEAD Filipino

Recap: Fly Pinays Pre-Session

To launch Women’s Herstory Month and celebrate our 3rd Annual Fly Pinays Mentorship Program, we hosted half of this year’s Fly Pinay mentors and mentees on Saturday, March 2nd at San Jose State University, in a Revealing and Pre-Session!

The staple of our Fly Pinays Mentorship Program is just that: facilitating mentor-mentee relationships and modeling positive sisterhood for the Pinays that enliven our community. Our Pre-Session was an extension of our “Revealing” event where our women and girls, paired in mentorship, not only met but also learning meaningful tips and practices on continuing their friendships beyond our Fly Pinays Mentorship Program.

Our mentors and mentees engaged in group exercises and icebreakers.
In addition to facilitating dialogue, our mentors and mentees set intentions for their journey through our Fly Pinays Mentorship program.
Look at these Fly Pinays!
Smile!
What’s up, Fly Pinays!

At the Pre-Session, our 2019 mentors and mentees not only had a chance to meet and get acquainted, but they also engaged in leadership activities, group discussions, and received best practices on building their mentor-mentee relationships. We were joined by women and students from across Northern California in celebrating sisterhood, mentorship, and shared experience.

We look forward to seeing everyone this Saturday, March 23rd, at our 3rd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit!

Recap: 14th Annual R.A.A.P. Conference

On Saturday, February 23rd, nearly all of our organizing team rolled up to San Jose State University and presented at Akbayan’s Raising Awareness Amongst Pilipinos Conference on multiple issues relating to Fil Am experiences, leadership, and civic engagement to high school youth and college students from the region.

Here are a few pictures from the day, where the following leaders from our organization presented on various subject areas:

Jeren Penalosa — “Ethnic Studies in the Fil Am Community”
Katrina Figueroa & Tao Manacmul — “Turning your Campaign into Social Action”
Celeste Francisco — “Allyship in the LGBTQIA Community”
Kevin Suarez — “President Duterte’s Drug War”
Jay Page & James Binauhan — “Coalition Building in the Farmworker Movement”

Become a Fly Pinay Mentor!

The days are counting down till our Fly Pinays Pre-Session on Saturday, March 2nd at San Jose State University, where we’ll welcome our newest group of mentors and mentees for our 3rd Annual Fly Pinays Program.

Till then, we’re still pushing hard to reach YOU, you possible Fly Pinay mentor!

If you’re interested in becoming a Fly Pinays mentor, you will be joining a group of ~200 Pinay women and girls from across the Northern California region.

The time commitment is to attend two (hella fun) community events next month with your mentee, and from that point, establish your own meetup schedule that suits both your calendars.

To join as a mentor, there are three quick steps:

  • Check your calendar! Are you available on Saturday, 3/2 (10am-2pm) and Saturday, 3/23 (9am-4pm) to attend the two Fly Pinays events in the South Bay Area with your mentee?
  • Do you have at least four to five years of professional experience?
  • Have you registered yet? Register at link here 3rd Annual Fly Pinays. (Takes about 10-15 minutes.)

3rd Annual Fly Pinays Program:

Pre-Session for Mentors & Mentees
Saturday, March 2nd
10am-2pm
San Jose State University
At the Pre-Session, you’ll meet your mentee, as well as other mentors and mentees involved in the program. From ice breaker activities to small sessions on how to build with your mentee, the Pre-Session will hype up the Leadership Summit and provide a space for our women and girls to bond.

3rd Annual Leadership Summit
Saturday, March 23rd
9am-4pm
Mission College
The Leadership Summit is exclusively produced for our mentors and mentees. The day features leading Pinays from the arts, community, and industry on themes of sisterhood, mentorship, and Pinay experiences. You’ll engage in workshops, interactive sessions, and group activities with your mentee and other participants throughout the day.

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AAP Expanding to East Bay

Those very familiar with our organization know that our bread and butter, our founding program, the initiative that gave us life in early 2016, was our Filipino Studies/Civic Engagement Course called the Awareness in Action Program (AAP).

An eight-week, free and community-based course, AAP is interdisciplinary and ties lessons on Filipino language, cultural history, psychology, and community action through a Filipino Communities Project and various etho-exposure tours.  Since 2016, we’ve ran AAP out of AARS-HR 360 on the Eastside of San Jose. #ShoutOutAARSFamily

Our AAP has continues to grow, attracting not just high school aged youth, college students, and young adults, but families from across the South Bay region.

It wasn’t until earlier this year that we noticed an upward trend. 

Our summer 2018 AAP received 6 sign ups from distance learners:  one from Ohio, one from Pennsylvania, and three from the East Bay.  Not to mention, our 16 in-person participants.

Bootstrapping all the way, we offered live streaming, hosted weekly Google Hangouts, and shared our learning materials virtually with our distance learners.

With half of our AAP organizing team hailing from the East Bay, coupled with the increasing interest in our program, we made the decision to expand our summer AAP to the East Bay!

Through the gracious support and sponsorship of Filipino Advocates for Justice, we will excitedly begin running our program in Union City this summer 2019.

The East Bay expansion will be led by: Celeste Francisco, Michelle Nelmida, and Jeren Penalosa.  Our San Jose team will be led by:  Tyrell Malonzo, James Binauhan, and Karen Manalac.

Meet the 2019 Fly Pinays Team!

Our Annual Fly Pinays program is a p-r-o-d-u-c-t-i-o-n that begins nearly eight months in advance, and entirely the end-result of volunteer leadership, capacity, and vision.  Primarily run and owned by college students and young adults from the South Bay Area, the work of Fly Pinays simply wouldn’t exist without the bold vision of our volunteer organizers. Bound by a commitment to bringing something special and distinct to our community and locked in shared conviction in its purpose: elevating and putting our community on. 


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Marissa Martinez
Program Director
Alma Mater: Santa Clara University

About me:  Marissa is creative writer and advocate for youth and the arts, was born and raised in East San Jose. She writes plays and poetry inspired by her life as well as the lives of her close friends, family, and community.

Fave Filipino Dish?  Tocilog!

Fave Movie?  Moana

Why I’m involved with Fly Pinays.  I want to help create a space for fellow Filipinas to connect and thrive. Plus, I feel so empowered being surrounded by driven, successful Pinays!


GRADHEADSHOTKATIE MENDOZA
Mentee Co-Director
Alma Mater: San Jose State University

About me: I’m from LA but love living in the Bay! I have my BA in Psychology from SJSU and hope to be going to grad school soon (-:

Fave Filipino Dish? My mom’s Sinigang na Hipon

Fave Movie? A Cinderella Story

Why I’m involved with Fly Pinays. I’m involved with Fly Pinays because I want to help young Pinays not feel restricted when it comes to choosing their career path. I want to help provide resources they didn’t realize they had.

image1JENN CAYANAN
Mentee Co-Director
Current: San Jose State University

 

About me:  I am a fourth year at San Jose state university majoring in public health and double minoring in Asian American Studies and Psychology. I love reading and have been reading a lot of Pilipino/Pilipino American books or books by Pin@y authors or books with historical context/social justice. One of my goals this year is to learn Tagalog and I’ve been watching a lot of Filipino shows/movies to help aid my quest in learning.

Fave Filipino Dish?  I love Diniguan. I know people are turned off by it being pork blood but I love the taste!

Fave Movie?  The Hate U Give. A super powerful movie/book that showcases a lot of experiences I may never face because of the color of my skin.

Why I’m involved with Fly Pinays.  I love that Pinay students like myself can connect with Pinays already in their own work profession. As a first generation college student, I found it hard trying to understand preparation for interviews or even opportunities in my career path. I love that Fly Pinays can bring so many womxn together in one day to lift each other up and feel empowered.

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ISABEL BAGSIK

Social Media & Publicity Director
Alma Mater: UC Davis
About me:   I’m the Social Media/Publicity Director for this year’s Fly Pinays Leadership Summit! With my background in Design and Digital Media from UC Davis and as founder of the Brown Papaya magazine, I hope to bring a fresh exciting look and feel to this year’s 3rd Fly Pinays!
Fave Filipino Dish?  Tosilog.
Fave Movie?
Why I’m involved with Fly Pinays.  I was a mentee at the first ever Fly Pinays and felt this overwhelming sense of empowerment being among older Pinay womxn in their professional fields. As the oldest sister, I never had an Ate figure, so it was incredibly refreshing to have that space freshly out of college. I volunteered the year after, and continue to help out now with social media/publicity!

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ANGELICA CORTEZ

Fundraising & Mentor Director
Current: University of Southern California
About me: 
I’m a music-collecting, black t-shirt sporting, politics-following, sleepy iPhone-aficionado, with a love for travel, fervent conversation, and a great cup of cafecito.

Fave Filipino Dish? Pssh, bistek…one day later.

Fave Movie?  Coco!  Cried the second it started.
Why I’m involved in Fly Pinays. To contribute and give to a cause much larger, deeper, and broader than myself.  We saw and felt the need in our community and brought Fly Pinays to the South Bay; the program grows because it’s supported by shared belief in its importance — the importance of building sisterhood and forging connections that’ll transform and leave us better than we were.

Katrina
KATRINA FIGUEROA
Volunteer Director
Alma Mater: San Jose State University
About me:  My name is Katrina Figueroa! I recently graduated from SJSU with a political science major & human rights minor.  In my free time I’m either at the gym, playing video games, training my puppy, or at the movies.

Fave Filipino Dish?  I love everything my mom cooks so it’s hard to pick one.

Fave Movie?  I go to the movies almost every weekend so it’s hard to pick just one favorite. But I’m obsessed with the marvel franchise & Legally Blonde, haha.

Why I’m involved in Fly Pinays.  I love that it gives a space for women to network and attend workshops to develop their professional career. It also gives them an opportunity to learn more about their Filipina identity. I attended last year and I found is very empowering so I’m excited to be a part of the team that will put it all together.


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ELEAINE REYES
Assistant Program Director
Current: San Jose State University
About me:  I’m currently a third-year college student at San Jose State University, majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Sociology. Aside from being on the planning committee for Fly Pinays, I’m also an organizer for LEAD Filipino and active in my Filipino-American organization on campus. My hobbies include bullet journaling, exercising, and singing in the shower.
Fave Filipino Dish? Ginataang Hipon with Kalabasa and Sitaw.
Fave Movie?  A Walk to Remember

Why I’m involved in Fly Pinays.  I love how the summit ties in culture and sisterhood. Growing up, I never had a safe community of women to share experiences with, so planning an event that’s centered on Pinay experiences is really fulfilling.


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JENNA EDRA
Workshop Director
Current: San Jose State University
About me: 
I am a graduating senior majoring in Social Work at San Jose State University and an intern for Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence. In my spare time, I like to sleep, watch shows, (attempt to) play ukulele, and work out.
Fave Filipino Dish? Sinigang
Fave Movie?  Whiplash
Why I’m involved in Fly Pinays.  To support and uplift my community! We Pinays deserve to find mentorship and feel empowered.

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DORYN GOMEZ
Intern
Current: De Anza College
About me:  I was born in Cebu, Philippines. Currently a full-time student at De Anza College  pursuing a degree in psychology and also captain of Women’s Basketball team.
Fave Filipino Dish?  Tocilog
Fave Movie?  Lilo & Stitch
Why I’m involved in Fly Pinays.  My involvement in Fly Pinays as an intern is an opportunity in itself to connect with other strong filipina women and to follow the steps of my Nanay! Being part of this experience I hope to grow as a community leader and to develop my capacity to be able to become a mentor in the future!