Census Activation with Kappa Psi Epsilon!

Last night marked the beginning of our Fall 2019 Census Outreach and Engagement campaign with Fil community-based and student organizations — woohoo, sound off!

Katie Mendoza, an organizer on our Civic Engagement Team (also a graduate student in SFSU’s MPA program and a staff of Filipino Advocates for Justice), led our first Census Activation with Kappa Psi Epsilon at SFSU last night. Katie’s workshop included contextual information on California’s Bay Area Fil Community, the importance of the Census, and a technical timeline of the Census’ deployment in April 2020.

LEAD Filipino’s Census Education & Outreach Campaign:

From October through January, our Civic Engagement Team will be hitting the field and leading curated Census Activations/Workshops within our neighborhoods and communities on the Filipin@ community’s relationship to the 2020 Census (which begins on April 1, 2020).

Did you know that the Census is like a high school reunion? It’s completely abstract, happens every 10 years…and people only think about it, when it’s right around the corner — EXCEPT that the Census has deep implications for social service financial resource allocation to cities, counties, and states; the Census determines district boundaries for congressional seats; and the Census tells us how many people live in the U.S. and where — with specific details on race, ethnicity, age, and socioeconomic status.

With 1.5 million Filipin@s in California, our community — alike others — has a big stake in the outcome of the Census, particularly with ensuring that our community is counted.

The 2020 Census will be the first in its 230-year, 22 times implemented, history that it’ll be completely paperless. Because of this, the state of California has identified 7 unique categories of “hard to count communities” and Filipin@s hit 3 of these 7 categories. The hard to count categories are:

  • Homeless community members
  • Seniors and aging adults
  • Multi-generation households (includes college dormitories, apartments, and condominiums)
  • Undocumented community members
  • Low socioeconomic status community members
  • Young children (mainly under 5 y/o)
  • Non-english speaking community members*

The 2020 Census questionnaire will be offered in 12 non-English languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Haitian, Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.*

In the coming months we’ll be leading Census workshops with:

  • De Anza College (Nov 2019)
  • California State University East Bay (Nov 2019)
  • Stanford University (Nov 2019)
  • Santa Clara University (Nov 2019)
  • San Francisco State University (happened Oct. 28, 2019)

For more information on our Census work, please contact Angelica Cortez at Angelica@LEADFilipino.org.

FAHM x Career Day x FGN

On Friday, October 4th, through the leadership and efforts of Alex Bautista, on our Board of Directors, one of our lead interns Shivangi Sharma, and the members of the Filipino Googler Network (FGN), we co-hosted ~25 college students and recent graduates in a Career Day.

With special shout outs to Shivangi, who interned with our organization this past summer-fall, we were able to host students from Mission College, De Anza College, St. Mary’s College, and San Jose State University. Another huge thanks to Alex for her gracious support and belief in our community work.

Oriented around Fil Am History Month (FAHM), our Career Day featured Filipin@ “Googlers” (i.e., professionals that work at Google) that volunteered their time to provide one-on-one career guidance and engage in small group discussions. Such topics that were covered included pivoting and re-inventing one’s career, college majors/minors not aligning with future professions, and deviating from parental expectations on career choices.

Our day ended with a cherry on top: with a kamayan style FEAST and karaoke.

Maraming salamat to FGN — we look forward to continuing to build in community with all of you!

Recap: 2020 Fly Pinays Info. Night

Last Wednesday, October 23rd, we hosted our 2020 Fly Pinays Info. Night to all interested community members that wanted to learn more, help inform, and contribute to our upcoming 4th Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit which is slated for Saturday, March 14th, 2020!

Consisting of returning Fly Pinays volunteers, current mentors and mentees, and our own organizing team, our Fly Pinays Info. Night boasted a wonderful turnout.

Our attendees were able to learn about the historic context of our 1st Annual Fly Pinays (held in 2017), the partnerships that we’ve formed, and the guiding themes of our Summit: sisterhood and mentorship.

Led by our Fly Pinays Program Director, Marissa Martinez, our attendees also engaged in leadership activities that showed the various styles that compose teams in light of broader community organizing in our community.

If you’re interested in joining our 2020 Fly Pinays volunteer/committee efforts — it’s not too late!

Reach out to Marissa Martinez, our Program Director to get involved.

Here & Queer: Building Allyship in the Pilipinx Community

On October 15th, Akbayan, the Pilipino collegiate organization at San Jose State University welcomed Daniel Lazo, on our organizing team, in a 75-minute workshop centered on building understanding and awareness on issues impacting the LGBTQIA+ community.

First developed and debuted in 2016 by Jenna Edra and Daniel Lazo on our organizing team, our “Here & Queer” workshop has been led across several local and regional campuses since its creation.

Addressing personal reflection and engaging participants in scenarios based on empathy and understanding, our Here & Queer workshop integrates Fil cultural and ethnic dynamics into broader conversations on LGBTQIA+ leadership, stories, and transcendence in the United States context.

In June 2020, we will be presenting a Queer Pilipinx Conference in the Bay Area. Among the topics, themes, and workshops that will be offered, Here & Queer is only a small sneak peek of what’s to come!

For more information on getting involved in our Queer Pilipinx Conference, please reach out to Daniel Lazo on our organizing team at Daniel@LEADFilipino.org.

2020 Fly Pinays Info Night

Calling all our Fly Pinays!

It is THE season — it is FLY PINAYS season and we’re calling on all Pinay-identifying and supporting community members that are interested in learning more about joining in the leadership and planning efforts of our largest event of the year, our Fly Pinays Leadership Summit!

We will be hosting our Fly Pinays Info Night on Wednesday, October 23rd at 7pm at the MLK Jr. Library in Downtown San Jose.

Join us — and bring a friend or two — on Wednesday, Oct. 23rd to learn about the history and purpose of Fly Pinays, how we’ve scaled, and how you can contribute and support these efforts in the San Jose/South Bay region.

Fly Pinays engages ~200 Pinay women and girls every year in issues and themes related to sisterhood and mentorship. 2020 is a BIG YEAR and we want anyone and everyone involved in these efforts!

For any questions or more information, please contact Marissa Martinez, our 2020 Fly Pinays Director today!


With Fil Am History Month a mere 5 days away, we’re so proud to be collaborating with numerous San Jose/South Bay Fil Am nonprofits, grassroots organizations, and community groups in presenting FAHM JAM a uniquely-San Jose gathering of Fil performers, musicians, instrumentalists, artists, makers, vendors, foodies, and more!

Saturday, October 19th
Garden at the Flea
1590 Berryessa Road
San Jose, CA

FAHM JAM is a re-presentation of “Street Jam” a public, community-based music showcase and festival that took place in San Jose from 1994 to 2001. Street Jam would gather emcees, turntablists, B-Girls and B-Boys, and performers from across the Northern California region in music and rhythm.

Inspired to continue this rich tradition, with somewhat of a new flair, FAHM JAM is purposely being held during October, Fil Am History Month, and will feature emerging and seasoned Fil Am artists alike.

FAHM JAM 2019 Collaborators: LEAD Filipino, Filipino American National Historical Society Santa Clara Valley Chapter, Filipino Youth Coalition, PAWIS, Malaya Movement, and the Public Space Authority

To read more: www.fahmjam.com

Recap: Fil Am Heritage Day x San Jose Giants

On Sunday, September 1st, we — alongside the Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants (PAWIS), the Filipino Youth Coalition (FYC), UGAT Clothing, VST Customs, Akbayan SJSU, and Kawayan Folk Arts — were delighted to co-host a Fil Am Heritage Day with the San Jose Giants!

For the first ninety-minutes of the event, all Giants patrons and attendees could hear the stringed harmonies of Kawayan’s live Rondalla, witness Akbayan’s cultural dance performances of “Bulaklan” and “Tinolabong”, and enjoy the talents of acclaimed R&B Singer, Tracy Cruz, and Lyshia Mangulabnan, who sang the Philippines and U.S. national anthems, respectively.

9.1.19 | UGAT Clothing at the Fil Am Heritage Day with the San Jose Giants.

Our team stood at the entrance gate, alongside DJ Mark Macala on the 1s and 2s, and helped distribute t-shirts and programs to supporting community members.

9.1.19 | Akbayan SJSU at the Fil Am Heritage Day with the San Jose Giants.

On the field, we were pleased to celebrate the first game’s pitches being thrown by community leaders with PAWIS and Uncle Ben Menor. (They threw some mean curveballs and change-ups.)

9.1.19 | Members of our team with Uncle Ben and community members, holding the game’s first pitch ball!

Shout outs to everyone that contributed, supported, and participated at our first Fil Am Heritage Day with the San Jose Giants!

9.1.19 | Kawayan Folk Arts’ live Rondalla at the Fil Am Heritage Day.

In Community,

LEAD Filipino

Recap: 4th Annual Salamat at Paalam Party!

Last Friday, we had the delight of celebrating the culmination and completion of our East and South Bae Awareness in Action Program (AAP) summer cohorts.

Our cohorts were comprised of students, young adults, and families from across the greater South and East Bay Areas, with some attendees traveling from cities such as Pinole and Hercules to laugh and learn with us all summer!

A four-year tradition, our “Salamat at Paalam” has become a treasured practice within LEAD Filipino.

Our “Salamat at Paalam” holds great symbolism for our organization. First, our inaugural celebration was hosted back in 2016 and served as not only a place to debut our AAP, but to also recognize the end of summer!

Our Salamat at Paalam program featured Dr. Jennifer Briscoe, on our Board of Directors, as our keynote speaker and welcoming words from Carla Bernal with the Hewlett Foundation, an active mentor in our Fly Pinays program.

Four years later, our Salamat at Paalam continues to grow in festivity and conviviality, as we use the time and space to acknowledge the completion of our AAP graduates, but to also reflect on our intentions for the remainder of the year.

To our East and South Baes, congratulations on completing our 8-week AAP. We’ve been so honored and privileged to have gotten to know each of you these past two months.

To serve our students, adults, and families from universities such as SJSU, CSUEB, De Anza, and more, is a true achievement in our eyes, and we thank each of you for trusting us with such a noble responsibility!

We hope that you each found your own connection to the AAP message, and that you all continue to carry your Awareness into Action!


LEAD Filipino

Recap: AAP in Stockton’s Little Manila (7.27.19)

Composed By: Karen Manalac, LEAD Filipino

Awareness in Action is an eight-week educational program that teaches participants the Filipino culture, identity, history, and the importance of civic engagement. Through this program, participants learn through presentations, videos, articles, and interactive activities that also challenges their beliefs and learn how to exercise their rights through class discussions. AAP also provides participants an opportunity to learn about the past by giving them an opportunity to visit historical sites such as Little Manila. 

On July 27th, both the East and South Bay cohorts gathered together and visited Little Manila in Stockton where we were accompanied by Little Manila Rising Executive Director, Dillon Delvo, a civic leader who helped the Filipino community alongside Manang Dawn Mabalon. During the tour, we went to the streets that were an important site that had Filipino influence. We learned the stories about the Manongs who came to America at a young age and how Stockton was an important landmark to Filipino/as. 

In this tour, we also visited the Little Manila Center, where we further learned about the Manongs and also had the opportunity to see artifacts from the past that the Manongs had.

Overall, we learned about the importance of understanding our history and what we could do to change it. Through Manang Dawn and Dillion, we learned how they helped strengthen the Filipino community by providing the resources and through fighting for our place here in America. Along that, we visited the FANHS museum, where we learned more about the different waves of migrations and the impact that Filipinos had in different professions such as business and in public health.