Remixing Philosophy at Policy, Politics & Puto Talks

Remixing Philosophy at Policy, Politics & Puto Talks

We hosted our first Policy, Politics, and Puto Talk in 2017. The featured topic and speaker was helping FilAms navigate the appointment and application processes for public Commission service across our cities, counties and state.

In 2021, we’ve brought back our Policy, Politics and Puto Talks – but with a remix, a remix on our memories of Philosophy class.

In doing so, we discuss and question the relevancies of centuries-old ideas that still run our country today. Whether or not these ideals are “good” or “bad” is up for debate in our – and broader – communities, however, the point of our Policy, Politics, and Puto Talks is to create a forum that encourages questioning and curiosity while prioritizing collective learning and development.

Our monthly “Philosophy remixes” look at our society’s revered and greatest thinkers of all time and pairs their main arguments with social ills and public problems that are rampant today.

Our Talks center FilAm and broader Asian Pacific Islander ideas, opinions, and values to modernize and revolutionize our approach to public policy and civics.

Register for our next Policy, Politics, & Puto Talk
Sunday, March 28 from 4PM-5:30PM (PST)

Magkasama Listening Sessions on Anti-Asian Violence with City of San Jose

LEAD Filipino, a San Jose-based nonprofit organization driven by students, adults, and families, stands united to condemn and decry the rash of violence toward Asian Americans.  

We invite you to join us next for our South Bay Magkasama Sessions on Saturday, 3/27.

Please share this invitation with anyone you know in the San Jose/Greater Silicon Valley Area.

From San Jose, to San Francisco, New York, and Atlanta, we have watched the grisly atrocities and in response extend our hands, hearts, and joint powers of healing energies to the victims and families. 

It is unconscionable that during a time that has necessitated that we prioritize our, and each other’s, health and safety, that we find ourselves facing a 1,900% increase in violence with rates continuing to climb.

We must act now.  

There are concrete actions that we can take in San Jose to engage in constructive solutions – one’s that do not exacerbate current tensions between communities and law enforcement, but instead consider alternative ways to educate, spread awareness, and protect everyone. 

Please join LEAD Filipino and the City of San Jose next Saturday, March 27 for two Listening Sessions from 9-11AM and/or 6-8PM.

If you would like to submit a written statement to be shared with the City of San Jose, please click here:

For Immediate Release: Justice for Angelo Quinto

For Immediate Release: February 24, 2021
Contact: Board@leedfilipino

Press Release: LEAD Filipino Demands Justice for Angelo Quinto

San Jose, CA – The Board, organizers, members and families of LEAD Filipino in the strongest terms denounce the actions of the Antioch Police Department (APD) and demand Justice for Angelo Quinto.

Angelo Quinto was a 30-year-old Filipino man (son, brother, cousin and friend) that was senselessly murdered by Antioch police officers on December 23, 2020. He was a former Navy Seal that had recently suffered a head injury.

He was experiencing a mental health crisis when his sister dialed 911 to seek safety and de-escalation for her brother.  When the Antioch police officers arrived to the scene, Angelo’s mother Maria Quinto-Collins had returned from work and calmed her son.

The police officers immediately apprehended Angelo, who was unarmed and compliant, threw him onto the floor, and proceeded to handcuff and contort his legs behind his body.  While subduing him, another officer crushed Angelo with a knee-to-neck restraint for 5 minutes, ignoring his family’s pleas to relent. 

Angelo fell unconscious, blood pouring from his mouth, and died 3 days later on December 26, 2020. 

As of February 24, the APD has not released the names of the officers involved.

We stand in solidarity with the Quinto-Collins family and call for a series of immediate actions by the APD:

  1. That the APD ends knee-to-neck restraints.
  2. Hold the officers accountable for excessive use of force.
  3. Require APD to wear body cameras and use dash cameras.
  4. Invest in mental health response teams.
  5. Cut the police budget by an amount commensurate with the work they will no longer perform.

LEAD Filipino is a community organization based in San Jose that works to increase the representation of Filipinx Americans in civic leadership and public policy advocacy. The organization provides year-round programs to build community and encourage learning, promote Filipinx Studies, and advance state legislation focused on Education, Electoral Reform, Human Services, and Civil Rights.

To read more about LEAD Filipino, please visit


Community Letter:
Instagram: @justiceforangeloquinto

End AAPI Hate Now: Take Action in Santa Clara County

In the first few weeks of 2021, several U.S. cities have reported brutal crimes against Asian Americans, particularly Asian-owned small businesses and our most vulnerable seniors. Between March and August of last year, over 2,600 reports of violence and anti-Asian incidents were filed representing a 1,900% increase in cases since 2019.

We feel these impacts across our Asian American community, but most acutely when it hits the San Francisco Bay Area. As a result of xenophobic attitudes and beliefs at the start of the pandemic, Asian American small businesses and older adults have been targeted in a wave of burglaries, robberies, and attacks. Most recently, an 84-year-old was attacked and killed in San Francisco. In over 20 different instances, seniors were assaulted in Chinatown’s Oakland according to the Oakland Chamber of Commerce. An elder Asian American man was robbed in San Leandro and most locally, an elder Asian American woman was robbed in broad daylight in San Jose – a week before Lunar New Year Celebrations were to commence.

Let us be clear: there is no tolerance for hatred, prejudice, and xenophobia in our society.

We condemn perpetrators and encouragers of violence and hateful rhetoric targeted toward Asian Americans.

LEAD Filipino will be working in concert with Asian American-serving and broader community and nonprofit organizations to address this issue throughout San Jose.

These initial activities include participating in listening sessions on AAPI reactions with City of San Jose administrators and coordinating community events for seniors in Japantown and other districts across the city.

Please message to receive more information on getting involved in these efforts.

Tickets Live! 2021 Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit

Since 2017, we’ve had the delight and honor to host our Annual Fly Pinays – a Summit that lifts up our values of sisterhood, stewardship, and mentorship.

Intentionally held in March to observe Women’s Herstory Month, we invite you to join in our virtual 2021 Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit with keynote speaker Soul Shoppe Founder and Executive Director Vicki Abadesco and featured speakers Dr. Rowena Tomaneng, Gayle Romasanta, and many more.

Join us in Doing The Heart Work!

Virtual 2021 Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit
Saturday, March 20th

FASTER | Asian American Recovery Services – HR 360 | ASPIRE at Evergreen Valley College

For Immediate Release: Meredith “Mer” Curry joins LEAD Filipino’s Board of Directors

For Immediate Release: February 1, 2021
Contact: Board of Directors, 

Press Release: Meredith Curry joins LEAD Filipino’s Board of Directors

San Jose, CA – Leadership, Education, Activism, and Dialogue (LEAD) Filipino a San Jose-based nonprofit is delighted to announce that Meredith “Mer” Curry has joined the organization’s Board of Directors. 

“Mer has been foundational to growing the capacity of our Fly Pinays and advocacy programs the past two years.  To have her expertise and incoming leadership on our Board of Directors is a privilege and gift, and one that we’re all looking forward to”, said Gel Cortez, LEAD Filipino’s Founder.

Mer Curry is a Bay Area education practitioner, consultant, and advocate.

With her firm AdvancED Consulting, LLC, Mer supports organizations and initiatives that lead to sustainable systems change for the benefit of disadvantaged communities throughout California. Her clients include organizations working to uplift first-generation, underserved students to reach their highest potential here in California, and across the country. She serves as the Director of Education Partnerships with Moneythink, Fellow for the Northern California College Promise Coalition, and is the current Chair of the County of Santa Clara’s Commission on the Status of Women

In her personal time, Mer volunteers with AAPI Women Lead, is a member of AAUW San Jose, the Filipina Women’s Network, and the Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute civic leadership network. She was recently inducted as a 2020 Honoree of the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative Eudaimonia Society for “living a life rich in purpose and meaning” and embodying the core concepts of generosity, resilience and overcoming hardship, selflessness, dedication to the common good and society at large, and commitment to long-term goals in the face of obstacles.

Founded in 2015, LEAD Filipino works to increase the involvement of Fil Ams in civic engagement and public leadership through programs and campaigns.  The organization serves hundreds of local and regional community members each year.  

To read more about new Board Director, Mer Curry, please visit