3.23 – FIERCE Coalition Policy Launch Talk on Sunday, 4/3


FIERCE Coalition Policy Symposium Launch Talk
Sunday, April 3
1-3PM (PST)

The Filipinx Igniting Engagement and Reimagining Collective Em(power)ment (FIERCE) Coalition invites you to join the virtual Policy Symposium Launch Talk on Sunday, April 3 from 1-3PM (PST), a statewide dialogue focused on social and economic issues of importance to California’s Filipina/x/o American community. 

Following the Launch Talk, FIERCE will host a week-long series of policy and educational workshops to dig deeper into this year’s Advocacy Day Agenda. Come to our virtual Symposium Launch Talk to learn about the FIERCE Coalition’s shared advocacy on issues impacting Filipinas/xs/os such as mental health and well-being, access to quality and affordable healthcare, Ethnic Studies, Public Safety, and more. 

The Launch Talk will feature representatives from FilAm nonprofits, service organizations, professional associations, and community groups statewide. Representing key Filipina/x/o nonprofit, service provider, and grassroots voices, the FIERCE Coalition is a statewide assembly of over 20 organizations that advances a progressive agenda for Filipinas/xs/os in California. Combining resources and expertise, the FIERCE Coalition creates pathways for Filipinas/xs/os to directly engage in legislative advocacy on issues of Ethnic Studies, Public Safety, Economic Justice, and Racial Equity. Since 2018, the FIERCE Coalition has organized educational conferences and policy symposia for the community.

As an enduring force, the Coalition has been instrumental in providing policy recommendations, coordinating with stakeholders, and passing key public safety and education bills in California. Past guest speakers at FIERCE conferences include Assemblymembers Mike Gipson and Alex Lee, Attorney General Rob Bonta, and Commissioners Jessica Caloza and Kirin Amiling Macapugay. 

Please register here: tinyurl.com/2022fiercesymposium

3.10.22 – Delano Manongs Park (DMP) Committee Continues Planning for Grand Opening

April 2021 made state and national headlines not just for San Jose’s Filipina/x/o American (FilAm) community but our national and transnational diaspora.

Almost a year ago, the City of San Jose – America’s 10th largest city – celebrated the historic naming of a new park in Eastside San Jose as “Delano Manongs Park.” The historic naming came as a result of a several-months-long public input gathering process sponsored by the City of San Jose. Community members responded to three different public surveys, whereby suggested park names were submitted and eventually polled with members of the public. Delano Manongs Park (DMP) amassed the most votes each time, solidifying its name within San Jose’s robust network of 200+ different city parks.

In response to this historic occasion, a multi-generational group of FilAm students, families, and seniors started convening to prepare for the grand opening of the park AND the continued artistic and visual development of the park.

We’re still early in our organizing efforts and welcome everyone that has an interest in working deeply around cultural and artistic development in the San Jose community! In our current discussions with the City of San Jose, we believe that Delano Manongs Park will officially open to the public in May-June 2022. We will share more details as they come.

The Delano Manongs Park (DMP) Committee meets the 2nd Thursday/month from 6-7:15PM (PST). For more information, contact us at info@leadfilipino.org.

The members of the Delano Manongs Park (DMP) Committee meet on Thursday, March 10th, 2022. Meetings take place the 2nd Thursday of the month.

Q1 Board Meeting – Salamat

Our Board of Directors spend a lot of time behind the scenes. This is just an appreciation post for the love, support, and commitment our Board has shown the organization since our founding almost 7 years ago.

The role our Board plays in propelling our organizational growth is invaluable and often understated in larger conversations on the importance of governance and accountability in the charitable sector. They identify growth opportunities, guide us toward financial resources, and help promote our mission and vision across their many networks.

Shout outs to our Board!

Happy Black History Month!

Happy Black History Month!

During the month of February, we honor and celebrate both the past and present contributions of our Black community. With this year’s theme being ‘Black Health and Wellness’, we acknowledge the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birthworkers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora, including activities such as rituals and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well. [ASALH]

Announcing Partnership with Stanford Cancer Institute (SCI) to Embark on a Major Action Study in Santa Clara County

January 26, 2022

We are ecstatic to announce our partnership with Stanford Cancer Institute (SCI) in a major year-long community action study focused on Cancer awareness and prevention with Filipina/x/o communities in Santa Clara County.

In a process that began over a year ago, L.E.A.D Filipino and SCI began discussions at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and rise in anti-Asian hate sentiment.

Since the global outbreak, L.E.A.D Filipino has worked to serve local Filipinas/xs/os impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through financial assistance, educational campaigns with Santa Clara County’s Public Health Department, and providing critical socio-emotional support to students, families, and seniors as the country faced sudden twists and turns, and most prominently – a reckoning with race. 

As one of the largest Asian Pacific Islander (API) groups in California at a population of 1.5 million and ~150,000 Filipinas/xs/os in Santa Clara County, not much is known about how Filipina/x/o communities approach Cancer prevention in their daily lives. Preventative measures include diet and lifestyle, exercise and movement, and regular health screenings. 

“Healthcare is a system that touches us all at some point in our lives. The necessity of ensuring our FilAm community accesses and navigates these systems to receive prevention (and intervention) services is one issue. The other is engaging them to understand the power they hold with their own health. Building this confidence means providing information on the various health services and resources available, educating around diet and lifestyle, and emphasizing regular medical screenings,” said Dr. Angelica Cortez, founder and executive director of L.E.A.D Filipino.

A leading champion and advisor for the study, Medical Director of the Stanford Cancer Center South Bay, Dr. Elwyn Cabebe remarked on the partnership, “As a Filipino American medical oncologist and a member of the community advisory board for the Stanford Cancer Institute (SCI), a key SCI mission is to conduct research in our ten-county “catchment area” and disseminate effective risk assessment, prevention and early detection practices to this and other populations in the state of California and beyond.  This pivotal study in partnership with community leader, L.E.A.D Filipino, is the first to look at unmasking the inherent barriers towards quality, life-saving cancer screening and care for the Filipino-American community.  This is one of many ongoing SCI projects looking to set an ambitious path towards ensuring health equity for minority and disadvantaged groups affected by cancer.”

On Cancer and its prevalence in ethnic communities, Dr. Cabebe stated, “It is due to a multitude of factors such as tobacco use, obesity, diet-associated tumors, wealth disparities, and environmental factors as well as others. In addition, effective health care delivery is also challenging in these communities. One study reported that almost half of minorities said it was at least somewhat important for them to be treated by a doctor who understood or shared their culture. But minority cancer survivors were 58% less likely than non-Hispanic white patients to be treated by a doctor who shared or understood their culture.”

Dr. Rachel J. Mesia, Program Director of Community Research and Capacity Building at SCI pointed at the discrepancies between FilAm representation in the healthcare workforce and invisibilization in health research, “This study is designed to bring more visibility to FilAm health by having community members inform about their knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs related to cancer. It is a powerful source of information for designing and implementing effective health interventions relevant for FilAms.”

The study will be driven by SCI and L.E.A.D Filipino’s Health Initiatives Team, led by community organizers and researchers Jennifer Cayanan and Michelle Nelmida. Both emerging leaders in the fields of healthcare. Jennifer shared her reflections on the journey ahead, “I am delighted that LEAD Filipino and Stanford Cancer Institute are partnering to do important and actionable research on the knowledge of Cancer in the FilAm community of Santa Clara County. As a rising professional in my field, I find it important now, more than ever, that we responsibly collect data for our community, by our community.”

In a similar sentiment, Michelle Nelmida remarked that “Through this action study, we will address the health needs of FilAm communities and understand the underlying factors, attitudes, and behaviors that lead to high Cancer risk. As an organization that advocates for advancing civil rights, racial equity, and economic stability for FilAms, we are excited to take on a community-based research approach to address these disparities using a health equity lens.”

Both groups hold strong relationships with local community-based organizations, grassroots organizations, faith-based congregations, and industry associations to begin the field work and electronic survey distribution efforts.

The action and community-based study begins March 1.   

Advisory Committee members include Dr. Elwyn Cabebe, Medical Director of Stanford Cancer Institute; Dr. Jennifer Briscoe of TeleCare and L.E.A.D Filipino’s Board of Directors; Dr. Joan Brown of University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine; and Razelle Buenavista or Asian American Recovery Services-HealthRight 360 and L.E.A.D Filipino’s Board of Directors.


San Jose Sharks’ Filipino Heritage Night

Looking for a belated holiday gifting opportunity?

Join us for the San Jose Sharks’ FilAm Heritage Night on Thursday, January 13th at 7PM vs. the New York Rangers! We’ll be right at the front entrance with the special giveaways and info about our org of course!

You, your friends, and family will have access to discounted seats at our annual Filipino Heritage Night and will also receive a special giveaway item at Section 115 on game night along with seeing local Filipino American singer Brian Dublin, who will be performing our national anthem. There will also be fun activities such as Zamboni rides, video board messages, and post-game photos!

Bring your friends and family and have a great evening with the Sharks! See you there! 😄🏒

Purchase your tickets as low as $35 now at https://fevo.me/filipinoheritagesharks and get a limited edition #FilAm and #SJSharks themed beanie!

[Please note: Tickets prices vary depending on your seating preference.]

2021 Impact Snapshot

2021 brought many gifts to our organization.

From welcoming new members and families, to becoming an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity, hosting two back-to-back virtual advocacy events statewide, celebrating the naming of Delano Manongs Park in San Jose, fostering a new partnership with Stanford Health Care and contributing to the passage of AB 490, The Justice for Angelo Quinto Act, our 2021 Community Report attempts to capture the feelings, emotions, and gratitude that we hold to be able to carry this work on with and for all of you.

We look forward to reconnecting in the new year. Maraming salamat sa lahat!

Pan de Sal Bake Fest Success!

Our Pan de Sal Bake Fest, a.k.a #PandeReplay, was an ultimate success!

Many thanks to Chef Kristen Dominguez with The Filipino Kitchen for partnering with us in a special edition workshop focused on all-things-wonderful: Filipino food! Through this holiday partnership, Chef Kristen brought the Filipino culinary arts to our organizers and families.

In a hybrid event, Chef Kristen was able to engage an in-person and virtual audience in preparing, making, and baking a Filipino staple: Pan de Sal. Additionally, she baked extra flavors, Ube and Pandan.

To those that tuned in, we’ll be uploading the recording later this week – so be on the lookout.