kababayan x 2020 fil policy symposiumThe Kababayan Learning Community (KLC) and the Filipino Student Union (FSU) participated in the recently concluded annual statewide Filipino Policy Symposium held at the California State University, East Bay on February 1, 2020.

Skyline College students FSU President Marianne Millena, FSU Secretary Michael France Sagum, Nicholas Kossman, FSU SOCC Representative Gene Ryan Pangan and Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) Joedel Penaranda represented the Filipino Student Union. Meanwhile, Counselor Crystal Ayop and Language Arts Professor Liza Erpelo represented the Kababayan Learning Community (KLC).

The team participated in panel sessions on ethnic studies and education, housing justice, mental health, civic engagement, and immigrant and workers’ rights as well as plenary discussions on Pin@ys on Public Policy which were all delivered and facilitated by Filipinx American experts.

Attended by nonprofits, community, grassroots and student organizations, the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies and LEAD (Leadership, Education, Activism, & Dialogue) Filipino hosted the said policy event in order to address the lack of Filipino representation and political voice at the statewide level. Moreover, the symposium aimed at building the political agency of California’s Filipinx and Filipinx American community, involve the community in policy and legislative systems, and form a united front on quality of life issues that impact Filipinx and Filipinx American communities.

According to the steering committee, previous milestones of the said symposium include advocacies for Domestic Workers Outreach and Education Fund, AB 1482, and a one million dollar allocation to the UC Davis Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies. Furthermore, through community building, the offshoots of the symposium led to engaged new youth and student leaders in organizing advocacy efforts, broad and intergenerational coalitions and policies that protect marginalized community members.

The said steering committee was comprised of the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies, DJ Kuttin Kandi, Filipino Advocates for Justice Filipino American Educators Association of California, Filipino Mental Health Initiative, Solano County, KAAMP, Kirin Amiling Macapugay, SOMCAN Kumare Culture, LEAD Filipino, Little Manila Rising, New Haven PASE/FASE, Sean Tan, Sinig Tala, Team Kapwa/Filipino Family Health Initiative, This Filipino American Life Podcast, and UCLA Asian American Studies Center.

Article by Joedel O. Peñaranda |  Photo by Liza Erpelo

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