Our History



Salamat sa iyong oras.  We appreciate your time, thank you for visiting our website. We are Leadership.  Education.  Activism.  & Dialogue [Filipino].  Or simply, “L.E.A.D”.  Our community work is dedicated to creating spaces that show what it means to “Lead Filipino”.  We focus our programs on developing the social and cultural lenses of young Pin@ys while addressing how we can be change agents from within.  Bound by the charge of growing Pin@y leadership, our small & mighty vessel is run by a group of committed volunteers.  Our programs and core work are based in the Silicon Valley.

To give context on L.E.A.D Filipino’s beginnings and mission, I’d like to share a bit about what influenced me to start this budding organization.

In late-2015, I asked close friends and colleagues to consider joining L.E.A.D’s Organizing and Advisory Teams.  In each individual meeting, I asked how they envisioned building a continuum of cultural pride, professional success, and civic representation for Filipin@s in our community.  As the largest Asian subgroup in California, and the second largest — and growing — Asian subgroup in the U.S., I was driven to challenge the perception that Filipinos are marked as “passive” and “unseen” across professional sectors and decision-making tables.  For these reasons, we have set out to disprove our historic and current naysayers.  With histories stretching back to 1587, at the landing of Morro Rock, Filipinos have deep roots in our American fabric.  We are among some of America’s first innovators, inventors, and entrepreneurs.  We have faced ridicule and outright discrimination.  We have laid our footprints in the sprawling fields of the West.

L.E.A.D Filipino wants to create change.  In doing so, we are thoughtfully bringing programs and materials that reflect our experiences, narratives, and triumphs.  Through our work, we strive to incite young leaders in their localities to take a stand and get involved in larger causes.  We focus on developing the social awareness, civic engagement, and local exposure of young Pin@y leaders in the San Jose/Silicon Valley.   Year-round, we organize cultural leadership programs, such as our spring Pin@y Policy Leaders intensive and our summer Awareness in Action program.

We each hold our own destiny.  We define our own paths.  As young leaders take this journey, we strive to support and equip Filipin@s with a stronger sense of cultural pride, greater awareness in how our community can interact with public policy change, a deeper understanding of the history of Filipin@s in the U.S.A., and furthermore, how we can make positive change in the future.

We are grateful for your support and belief in L.E.A.D Filipino.

Lubos na gumagalang,

Angelica Cortez, L.E.A.D Filipino Founder