Home Phone Email Scroll Top

Awareness in Action: Filipino Studies & Civic Leadership Program


Awareness in Action (AAP) is a 10-week summer Filipino American Studies & Civic Engagement program. Pre-pandemic, AAP was held in Eastside San Jose and Union City. To meet the needs of our membership and community, we offered our program virtually. This summer 2023, we will offer a hybrid program, with virtual class sessions and 2 in-person field trips taking place in San José (some select classes may be hosted in-person from our downtown office space in San José). Virtual learning capabilities are also offered for our distance learning community members.

Through a series of educational workshops, community tours, guest speakers, and group projects, AAP focuses on building strong Filipina/x/o leaders who understand the importance of Coalition Building, Community Solidarity, Political Participation, and Civic Engagement through reflecting on their individual experiences and the stories of the larger Filipina/x/o American diaspora.

Our Purpose

The purpose of Awareness in Action is to educate, engage and expose young Filipina/x/o adults and students to developing their social identities through the lens of being informed, having deepened knowledge of public issues, and ultimately, carrying awareness in their actions as they grow to become the next generation of leaders.


Our Curriculum

Awareness in Action features Workshops, Guest Speakers, Exposure Tours and a Project. We center the program’s curriculum on professional and cultural leadership with core themes around:

Public Service
Filipina/x/o Psychology & Identity
Civic Engagement
Political Participation
Coalition Building & Social Movements
Local Awareness & Activism


Class participants will receive a syllabus with the weekly class topics after registration. Please email us at info@leadfilipino.org to inquire more about the syllabus.


Cultural understanding and leadership is the center of AAP’s gravity.  To provide a basis on the imperative of Filipinas/xs/os engaging in public service and civics, we interlace key teachings of Filipino American and Philippine history.  Incorporating our “History 360” model, we cover periods of Filipina/x/o history while also tying in relevancies to the Filipina/x/o experience today.  Through group dialogues, reflections, and local San Jose engagement, we aim to materialize the concepts we teach by bringing the students to action.  To achieve these goals, the AAP is composed of a series of thematic workshops which aim to broaden and deepen our cultural understanding.


During AAP, we feature guest speakers and organizations from the San Jose/Silicon Valley community to not only engage with our students, but to also share related insights.  Throughout the year, L.E.A.D. Filipino works exclusively with our “Mentors Circle” to build bridges between Pinxy professionals and students in our Valley.   For our summer AAP, we invite our Mentors to share their inspirational stories.  From career paths, to selecting their college major, and the role their Filipino culture plays in their lives, we strive to provide platforms which connect our Filipino community.

Guest speakers: Ellen Kamei, Mountain View Commissioner and Evelyn Chua, Milpitas Commissioner


As an exclusive feature, our AAP gives opportunities for students to participate in ~3 Community Exposure Tours.  Coordinated and guided by our Organizers, the purpose of our Tours is to expose young Pinxys to the industries, environments, and human issues which surround them in the Silicon Valley.  Through in-depth conversations with our Tour Hosts, we aim to deepen our students’ awareness and understanding of issues happening in our community.  We believe that although it’s important to follow global news, that it’s equally valuable to know what’s going on in your own locality. Past Community Exposure Tours included:  Google & Employee Panel with Googlers, Pie Ranch Farm, and the SOMA Pilipinas Ethno-Tour.

Pie Ranch Exposure Tour – Tying in relevancies to Filipino labor heroes Philip Vera Cruz and Larry Itliong


Be a part of our 2023 AAP Cohort

Important Dates & Program Schedule

Our 2023 AAP course registration will open early May via Eventbrite and will be held from late June to end of August. The program will be held in a hybrid format at LEAD Filipino’s office in downtown San José at Open San José. This year’s program schedule is as follows:

  • Class Session #1 – Wednesday, June 28 (6:30pm-8:45pm)
  • Class Session #2 – Wednesday, July 5 (6:30pm-8:45pm)
  • Class Session #3 – Wednesday, July 12 (6:30pm-8:45pm)
  • Class Session #4 – Wednesday, July 19 (6:30pm-8:45pm)
  • San José Pinoytown Tour Fieldtrip (in-person) – Saturday, July 22 (Time TBD)
  • Class Session #5 – Wednesday, July 26 (6:30pm-8:45pm)
  • Class Session #6 – Wednesday, August 2 (6:30pm-8:45pm)
  • Voter Registration & Outreach Day (in-person) – Saturday, August 5 (10:00am-2:00pm)
  • Class Session #7 – Wednesday, August 9 (6:30pm-8:45pm)
  • Class Session #8 – Wednesday, August 16 (6:30pm-8:45pm)
  • Class Session #9 – Wednesday, August 23 (6:30pm-8:45pm)
  • Class Session #10 – Wednesday, August 30 (6:30pm-8:45pm)
  • Salamat at Paalam Party/End-of-Program Celebration – TBD


Where and when does Awareness in Action happen?

Awareness in Action is LEAD Filipino’s 10-week program that runs from June-August every year. This year, we will be hosting the program in a hybrid format with virtual class sessions (select classes may be hybrid at our office space in downtown San José) and 2 in-person fieldtrips. Classes will take place via Zoom and at our office space in downtown San José.

Will there be homework or projects?

Yes, AAP participants will need to complete weekly readings & 2 projects throughout the program. The Know Hxstory, Know Self Individual Project & the FilAm Communities Group Project. There will also be readings to help prepare participants for the next class’ discussion.

Know Hxstory, Know Self (Individual)
Learn about your family’s immigration story by interviewing 1 member of your family and share your reflections with the cohort.

FilAm Communities Project (Group)
Each AAP participant is expected to complete a group Engagement Project. Assigned at the start of the course, students are tasked with identifying a local Filipino-based grassroots organization, historical figure/moment, or active organizer in which they’d like to learn more about. Each group will present a 10-15 minute presentation showcasing their findings at the end of the program.

How much is the program?

We offered tiered ranges for students & working professionals.

Do you offer scholarships into the program?

Yes, we do! We offer 5 spots to Filipina/x/o Americans in need of financial assistance. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship to be apart of this year’s Awareness in Action program, please contact us at info@leadfilipino.org.

What Past Cohorts Had to Say…

AAP was such an invaluable experience and I learned something new every session. As someone who never learned about Filipinx history or accomplishments in K-12 education classrooms, it was wonderful to not just gain that knowledge, but also do so in community with peers. The relationships that sprouted during AAP have lasted long beyond the scheduled sessions, and to be able to apply new knowledge and skills to civic engagement initiatives was so rewarding.

Isabelle Yisak

AAP Cohort ’21

The “Awareness in Action Program” (AAP) is a great introduction for community members who want to gain an overview of the issues that Filipinos and Filipino-Americans face, and how our community has contributed to addressing these issues. I enjoyed the cohort style of learning; it really allowed all the students to learn in an intimate setting and build rapport with one another. The organizers and facilitators have a history of advocacy work, so they speak from personal experience and can provide more insight into local lobbying efforts and how to put forth a political agenda that is inclusive of the Filipino community.

Jeff Stanley

AAP Cohort ’21

Seeing so many brown faces on my screen every week and knowing we shared the same fight in our hearts is an experience I’ll always be grateful for. If it weren’t for AAP, I wouldn’t have been introduced to and gotten involved with Fly Pinays, planning several beautiful events, and making so many joyful memories with them THROUGH ZOOM! WOW! Although 2020 was such a dark time, the people I met here were such a bright light for me. Thanks for everything, LEAD!

Trisha Fuerte

AAP Cohort ’20

Join our Program

Get involved in our program by registering for our 2023 Cohort!