9.14.22 – Stop Asian Hate Workshop at SJSU

We are honored to partner with Akbayan SJSU to host a Stop Asian Hate “FilAms Fighting Anti-Asian Hate” workshop this evening at San Jose State University.

The 2-hour workshop includes a historic overview of America’s long history of anti-Asian sentiment, presents current national hate crimes and incidents data from Stop AAPI Hate, and educates participants on how to be an effective bystander should you witness anything.

If your organization would like a Stop Asian Hate training from our team of community members and concerned parents, please contact us at info@leadfilipino.org.

9.10.22 – Save the date for FAHM JAM!

The official countdown has begun for the national celebration of Filipino American History Month (FAHM) throughout the month of October and we do it big in San Jose every year!

We are delighted to be bringing back the FAHM JAM Festival with the Filipino Americans in Community Together (FACT-SJ) Coalition.

Save the date: Friday, October 21 from 5-9 PM at San Jose’s Garden at the Flea!

About FAHM #PaintTheNationBrown

First observed in October 1992, the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) has pioneered the national honoring of Filipino American contributions, stories and experiences for the past 30+ years.

Celebrated with an annual theme, the 2022 theme for FAHM is: Celebrating our Histories and Legacies: 50 Years of Filipino Studies.

8.29.22 – Shout outs to our 2022 AAP Cohort!

For the past 10 weeks, we have gathered every Wednesday evening for our summer Awareness in Action Program (AAP), our signature program that develops community-conscious and grassroots FilAm leaders.

Throughout our program, we look at the major waves of Filipina/x/o immigrant to the United States, our contributions and struggles in America, and the current status of FilAm representation and power in institutions and systems. As part of our participants’ learning journey, they complete reflective and group projects that ask them to inquire about their own family’s immigration story. We believe that when we are equipped with self-knowledge and awareness of our community’s larger story that we are empowered to challenge the status quo and present alternatives to the current systems we see and experience today.

Many of our AAP graduates go on to serve on commission and boards, work in local government, or run for public office.

This year’s cohort brought together a national participation of FilAms, hailing from across California, Utah, and Oregon. This Wednesday will be our final session to wrap up this summer’s AAP. We are looking forward to celebrating everyone!

8.16.22 – Cancer Study Has Officially Launched!

For Immediate Release: L.E.A.D Filipino and Stanford Cancer Institute Launch Cancer Action Study Exclusively Focused on Filipinos in Santa Clara County

Contact: Dr. Angelica Cortez, 408.614.8734, angelica@leadfilipino.org 

August 16, 2022

SAN JOSE, CA – Leadership, Education, Activism, and Dialogue (L.E.A.D Filipino) and the Stanford Cancer Institute (SCI) have launched a major regional action study focused exclusively on exploring the attitudes and behaviors of Filipinos and Cancer. The study will be conducted in Santa Clara County. 

Among one of the first studies of its kind, L.E.A.D Filipino and SCI’s partnership was prompted by earlier research efforts performed by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with Filipinos in Southern California. By using the same survey instrument, the partnered organizations intend to contribute to the growing body of medical research dedicated to better understanding the knowledge levels, behaviors, and attitudes of Filipinos, California’s largest Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) demographic. 

According to the recent 2020 Census, Filipinos constitute 19% of the country’s total Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) population, with an estimated 4.2 million Filipinos in the United States. Of that number, 1.5 million Filipinos reside in California, with Santa Clara County serving as the fourth largest Filipino community in the state at 150,000. While the San Jose/Silicon Valley Area boasts the likes of global technology brands and standing as the world’s innovation capital, disparities across public and private systems of healthcare persist – with minority communities acutely experiencing these barriers to care, high costs of living, and economic burdens spurred by inflation. 

The Cancer action study is being sponsored by SCI and conducted by L.E.A.D Filipino. Research team members include Abigail Adziz, Jennifer Cayanan, Michelle Nelmida, and Dr. Angelica Cortez with advisory board members Dr. Elywn Cabebe, Dr. Emily Cabebe, Dr. Jennifer Briscoe, Dr. Joan Brown, Dr. Rachel Mesia, and Razelle Buenavista. 

The survey is available online at tinyurl.com/filipinxcancerstudy, is voluntary and open to any Filipino individual that is 18 and over living in Santa Clara County.

The survey will run through July 1, 2023.

Read more about our efforts with Stanford Cancer Institute (SCI).

8.14.22 – 2022 FANHS Conference Workshop on “Delano Manongs Park: Naming a Landmark for the FilAm Community”

From August 11-13, 2022 our team traveled to Seattle, Washington to present at the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) Biennial Conference at Seattle University.

The conference brought together 42 FANHS Chapters from across the United States, 500+ attendees, and featured 180+ workshops, roundtables, and plenary sessions all dedicated to the past, present and future stories of FilAm communities.

During the 2022 FANHS Conference we co-presented with FANHS-SCV Chapter on “Delano Manongs Park: Naming a Landmark for the FilAm Community”

Our Lola Scholarship Director, Daniel Lazo, co-presented with Ann Reginio, President of the FANHS-SCV Chapter and BNK Filipino School Founder and Manong Robert Ragsac with SJ Pinoytown, to share with a national audience the story of the historic naming of Delano Manongs Park in San Jose.

Daniel, a lifelong San Jose resident, Filipino Youth Coalition alumni, Akbayan SJSU past president, and LEAD Filipino organizer submitted the name “Delano Manongs Park” during the City of San Jose’s public park naming process in 2020. Fast forward to February 2021 and we find ourselves organizing 30+ community testimonies at the City of San Jose’s Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (PRNS) Commission to advocate for the naming of a new park in San Jose to be named Delano Manongs Park.

Our workshop on “Delano Manongs Park: Naming a Landmark for the FilAm Community” retold the personal connection, history, and process by which to name public landmarks, monuments, and physical structures in municipalities. Highly instructive, our workshop laid out the public process and steps that others might consider as they advocate for naming buildings and structures within their own communities. Through our session, we aimed to spread knowledge, inform our national community, and amplify the future opening of Delano Manongs Park.

Thank you to everyone that attended our session. Meeting folks from across the country was an invaluable and memorable experience.


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.