Archive for March, 2017

Announcing 2017 Soledad Fernandez Scholarship

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

IMG_5277(Click here to download the application)

Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ) started in Oakland in 1973 and opened a second office in Union City in 1983. FAJ’s mission is to build a strong and empowered Filipino community by organizing constituents, developing leaders, providing services, and advocating for policies that promote social and economic justice and equity.

The $5000 Soledad Fernandez Scholarship is endowed by the Cora and Pablo Tellez family who were inspired by Soledad Fernandez’s “zest for life and love for her family” among other qualities. Soledad provided loving care for Cora and Pablo’s infant son for which the Tellez family is eternally grateful. Tita was 74 years old when they met her.

Soledad “Tita” came to America after World War II with three young children. She was joining her husband who preceded her to the United States. Her excitement at finally joining her husband and starting a new life together was short-lived. A month after her arrival her husband died making her the sole breadwinner for her family.

While college-educated with a degree in teaching, Tita was unable to find work as a teacher. She worked as a cafeteria worker at Treasure Island. There, she worked hard, made many friends, and with her earnings, managed to buy a house and send all three children to college.

Tita was not one to dwell on her personal sacrifices or hardships. Her gentle smile said it all – persevere can transcend whatever hardships life presents. Her faith in her self and the universe made her a pillar of strength for her family and her friends.

“Remarkably,” says Cora, “she volunteered to care for our infant son and he was cherished and loved as though he were Tita’s own grandson. We were struck by her zest for life, her love for family, her intelligence, her intellectual curiosity, her interest in people, and her all-consuming love for baseball! She spoke three languages fluently. Her home was the gathering place for friends, family and newly arrived Filipinos seeking opportunities in America. A woman of grace and courage, Tita was always interested in young people – what they thought of the world, how they saw life and trends. She was also very interested in how young people in America were coping with the opportunities and challenges presented to them. Tita was proud of being a Filipina in America.”


DUE April 1st, 2017
Eligibility requirements:
Filipino descent (Full to 50% Filipino)
Cumulative GPA of B (3.0) or higher
Reside and attend high school in the SF Bay Area
If selected, attend an award ceremony and luncheon with scholarship benefactors
And the following year, attend the luncheon for the 2016 recipient

Note:  Gather #3, #4 and #5 below ASAP to have them ready to submit by the deadline date.  Mail the package to:

Filipino Advocates for Justice
310 – 8th St., Ste 309
Oakland, CA  94607
attention:  Scholarship
1. Cover Letter including the following:
a. Personal Information:
Phone Number
Email Address
Date of birth
Place of birth
b. Name of High School you are attending; name of college you will be attending
2. Essay – Statement of interest in the scholarship limited to 2 pages, single-spaced, typed or printed, include the following:
a. How are your values and personal characteristics similar to those of Soledad Fernandez?
b. Demonstrated sense of social justice, equality, or compassion for the less empowered or       marginalized of society.
c. Demonstrated community service experience
d. Demonstrated economic or financial need
e. What do you hope to do with your college education?
3.  Transcript of Academic Records directly mailed by high school to FAJ
4.  FAFSA or Guardian’s Income Tax Return5.  Letter of Admission to an accredited college or university. (Community College is acceptable, but grant is $2,500.)6.  Interviews will be conducted as needed.


DUE April 1, 2017

FAJ Selects New ED

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

13077051_1235603573118300_8071336776319867974_nDear community members,

Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ) board of directors and staff is very pleased to announce the hiring of a new executive director, Geraldine Alcid.  Starting March 6, she will be stepping into the role that Lillian Galedo has held for nearly 40 years.  As Lillian has done, Geraldine will continue to lead FAJ in the spirit of Bayanihan (people helping people) to foster a Filipino community with the power to advance social and economic justice, and to realize democratic and human rights for everyone.

Geraldine is keenly aware that the organization and its allies are facing a new political reality that will pose new and greater challenges in our fight for social and economic justice for all.  She is eager to ensure that FAJ can be a powerful partner in this fight.  We are confident that Geraldine’s experience, organizational knowledge, and values of shared leadership, social justice and collaboration are a great match for the work, staff, and the greater FAJ community.  Her leadership and management qualities will support Geraldine as a skillful change agent to preserve the core mission and programming while taking FAJ to its next levels of organizational infrastructure, strategic direction, and resource development.

If Geraldine’s name sounds familiar to you, it’s because she has deep roots with FAJ.  She served as Program Director for FAJ from 2006 – 2012, focusing on FAJs civic engagement work.  In that role, she provided leadership in numerous voter engagement efforts, including new access to Filipino voter data and shared state-wide analysis, Filipino voter mobilization and GOTV in multiple elections from2006-2012, participating in the Tagalog Language Advisory of Alameda County’s ROV, and coordinating volunteers with the Asian Law Caucus who poll monitored for language access.  She also led FAJ’s outreach for the 2010 census.  After leaving the Bay area briefly, she returned and worked alongside Lillian on fund development for FAJ.

The search process was a challenging undertaking.  The board and staff both are cognizant of the challenges we all face in the years ahead.  It is clear to us that the successful transition from Lillian to Geraldine will require thoughtfulness and care.  Lillian has agreed to support that transition through June of 2017 in a part time capacity.  During this transition we know that Lillian’s support will embody the values she has brought to the job for nearly 40 years – empowerment, collaboration, leadership development, community organizing and advocacy.  We also know that after June, Lillian will continue to be on the front lines of social justice and will forever be FAJ’s ally in our relentless fight for justice.

Join FAJ’s board and staff in welcoming Geraldine to our organization. We look forward to introducing her to each one of you over the coming months. Please also join us on the evening of April 27 as we reflect on this important moment for FAJ — recognize Lillian’s 37 years, and welcome Geraldine as our new executive director.  If you have any questions or comments about this announcement, please email me at

In solidarity,
Nelson L. Layag,  Board President
Filipino Advocates for Justice

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