Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Alameda County Board of Supervisors Votes to Support AHEAD Act

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Oakland, CA – Yesterday, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to support the Accounting for Health and Education in Asian Pacific Islander Demographics (AHEAD) Act, authored by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland). This act, Assembly Bill 1726, requires California’s public institutions of higher education and the state’s public health agencies to collect, analyze, and report data for more Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) subgroups.

Eddy Zheng, co-director of the Oakland-based Asian Prisoner Support Committee, stated, “The Alameda County Board of Supervisors recognizes that AB 1726 is important for our communities because it allows for equal access to culturally competent resources for the Southeast Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander subgroups that have been frequently marginalized due to the model minority myth.”

“The unique needs of our community are often overlooked in many health studies which can make addressing health disparities among subgroups very difficult,” said Chris Cara, Youth Services Director of Filipino Advocates for Justice based in Oakland. “AB 1726 would shine a light on those disparities.”

Alameda County-based organizations representing diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander communities pushed the Board of Supervisors to endorse the bill, including Asian Health Services, Asian Prisoner Support Committee, AYPAL, and Filipino Advocates for Justice.

The U.S. Census Bureau has identified 23 distinct communities within the Asian American population and 19 within the NHPI population. Between 2000 and 2010, the Asian American population grew by 34% and the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) population grew by 29%, making these among the fastest growing

ethnic groups in California. However, many of California’s state agencies place all of these groups into the same category of “Asian/Pacific Islander.”

Without the collection and reporting of state data on smaller Asian American and Pacific Islander subgroups, their needs are likely to be overlooked or underestimated. Among adults age 25 or older in Alameda County, 32.4% of Asian Americans hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. Among Cambodian Americans in Alameda County, the rate is just 9.9%. While only 14.8% of Alameda County’s Filipino population relies on public health care, over 30% of the Vietnamese population in Alameda County depend upon public health care. [1] Unless these trends are revealed through disaggregated data they remain invisible.

AB 1726 is sponsored by Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, and Southeast Asia Resource Action Center. The bill is supported by a coalition of over 100 Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian organizations in California and from civil rights, education, and health leaders, including the California Teachers Association, Campaign for College Opportunity, PolicyLink, American Cancer Society Action Network, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), and Western Center on Law and Poverty.

The bill is set to be heard by the full California State Senate later this month. Once it passes through the California Senate, it will head to Governor Brown’s desk for a signature.

[1] American Community Survey, 2010.

Contact: Christopher Cara, Youth Services Director, Filipino Advocates for Justice, 510-487-8552.

Download press release here.

DAPA/DACA+ Decision

Friday, June 24th, 2016

Filipino Advocates for Justice is angered and saddened — but not defeated — by the Supreme Court’s split decision (4 – 4) in the case of United States v. Texas.  This decision blocks the implementation of President Obama’s humanitarian efforts to expand DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and provide relief from deportation for parents of American citizens and legal permanent residents through a program called DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans).  The decision means that DACA expansion and DAPA are still on hold.  The case will now be sent back to the Texas district court to determine the whether the programs are constitutional.  The original DACA program, launched in 2012, is still available and is NOT affected by the Supreme Court’s decision.

“This decision hurts because we fought hard to protect young people and families from deportation.  But we are warriors.  We will organize harder, raise our voices louder, and come together even stronger than before.  This includes getting out the vote for leaders who will fight for the rights of immigrant communities,” said Beatrice Sanchez a DACA recipient.

“This decision does not change the existing DACA program,” says Rachel Aceberos, FAJ Immigration Counselor.  “Eligible undocumented immigrants should continue to apply for and renew DACA in order to access its many benefits.  For those who are DACA eligible, don’t be discouraged.  The more young people access DACA, the clearer it is that relief from deportation is needed and that we need a real legalization program.”

While this decision is a temporary setback, immigrant communities, our allies, and others committed to human rights will double our efforts to push for immigration policies that uphold the dignity of immigrants.  This is a call to action for the new American majority to use our vote this November to remove immigrant-hating legislators — particularly Governors – and replace them with public officials who recognize the contributions of and embrace immigrant communities.

In this light, we applaud the more rational direction of the California State Legislature who, just yesterday, passed the Dignity Not Detention Act (SB 1289).  SB 1289 prohibits municipalities from contracting for-profit immigration detention companies (like GEO Group and CCA), requires all detention facilities in California to uphold humane standards, and allows immigrants to sue if their rights are violated.


Beyond the elections FAJ will continue to fight for the protection and expansion of immigrants’ rights including fair and humane legalization of the undocumented.




Rock the Balut! Mobilizing the New Majority April 30th

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016


Saturday April 30, 2016


Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th Street #290, Oakland, CA 94607

Purchase your tickets today: 

Join us to celebrate Rock the *Balut! Mobilizing the New Majority our 43rd anniversary.  With the theme of mobilizing our share of the new majority, this year’s annual event kicks off FAJ’s 2016 election work.

Our featured speaker is Steve Phillips, Founder and Chairman of PowerPac+ and bestselling author of the game changing Brown is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Created a New American Majority.  In it, he delivers a compelling call to action to the progressive community citing the crucial need to mobilize the growing populations of people of color.

We will also honor the voter mobilization leadership of:

Aparna Shah, Executive Director of Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, will serve as our emcee. (more…)

Accepting Applications for the Soledad Fernandez Scholarship

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Deadline MARCH 7, 2016


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 MARCH 7, 2016
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 MARCH 7, 2016


Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

2016 will be an important election year and the voices of the API community need to be heard and counted. Filipinos are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in California, yet our electorate, voter participation, and the number of bilingual poll workers do not reflect this. Let’s make sure our community’s voices are heard!

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Please consider being a monthly SUSTAINER to support FAJ through the busy 2016 election year.

Thank you for all your support!

Free Legal Consultations with Immigration & Labor Lawyers

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

And Worker’s Rights Information
October 24, 2015

Quite a few improvements to working conditions for caregivers and other low-wage workers have been won over the last few years, some of these areincreases in the minimum wage, over-time pay, personal time off, and improved ways for collecting wages that you have been cheated out of (wage theft).

Come to a know your rights presentation to learn more, Saturday, October 24 at 10am, at the Asian Resource Center (ARC), 310 – 8th St., Oakland Chinatown (corner of 8th and Harrison Streets).  ARC is walking distance (3 to 4 blocks) from the 12th St. and Lake Merritt BART stations.

At 10:30am Jannah Manansala, labor lawyer and, labor policy and law professor at Cal State East Bay, will share workers rights information.  “California is often considered a pioneer in the area of workers’ rights.  The recent increased protections are important for California workers and businesses.  When workers are protected, California thrives.”

You can also get a FREE 25-min individual consultation with an immigration or employment lawyer.  Those interested in an appointment with a labor or immigration lawyer are required to reserve a slot in advance by calling Judith at 510-465-9876.

The pro bono lawyers are able to accommodate English, Spanish and Tagalog speakers.   If you need a different language please bring someone to interpret for you.

Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ), the California Domestic Worker Coalition (CDWC) and Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) are the co-hosts.  Food will be available.

Join Us This Friday For Ang Kwento Natin

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015
Join FAJ for a night of exploring Filipin@ diaspora and migration in Ang Kwento Natin: Our Stories of Migration.We will lift up the different struggles, joys, and experiences of the Filipino Migrant community via a night of art, music, food, and story. Explore these narratives with DACA-mented Activists, First & Second Generation Filipino American Youth, Immigrant Rights Activists, and Immigrant Workers. Come and share your own experiences in our interactive art gallery because your story is our story.

5:00 – Interactive Art Gallery
• Screen Printing – Original Design by BYG’s Sione Abellera Ealelei
• Airing Out Our Laundry – Our Family’s Immigration Stories
• Mapping Our Migration – From Here To There
• Balikbayan Box Altar

6:00 – Introduction & Performances
• Hosts Erin Subido & Mikee Ner
• Spoken Word by PYC
• Guerilla Theater with BYG

6:25 – Immigration Panel
• ASPIRE – Beatrice Sanchez
• PAWIS East Bay – Jake Roxas & Matthew Manos
• Filipino Advocates for Justice – Lillian Galedo

6:55 – Performances & Video Premiere
• This Land is Your Land Sing Along by Ghemarson Deang & BYG/PYC Youth Interns
• Spoken Word by BYG
• Premiere of DACA Outreach Video by PYC’s Mikee Ner & Robin Aquilizan

7:30 – Closing


Happy National Voter Registration Day

Monday, September 21st, 2015


In 2015 there were 5.9 Million Asian American Registered Voters, in 2040 Asian American Registered Voters are projected to be at 12.2 Million. Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing immigrant populations in the United States and in states like California in competitive races the Asian American vote could mean the margin of victory, yet are largely ignored. Filipin@ Americans make up the largest Asian group in California, when we vote we vote not just for ourselves – we vote for our families, our kabayan, our community. Register to vote and better represent the face of America. Click on the picture above to register online.
Did You Know: California allows Preregistration for Young Voters. Youth 17 years old can preregister for the 2016 Election if they will be 18 by November 8th, 2016 (Election Day 2016).

Register Today for Kilusan!

Monday, June 1st, 2015
“We have to look beyond symptoms . . . improve health where it begins . . . where we live, where we work, where we spend the majority of our lives . . . “ – Dr. Rishi Manchanda, ‘Upstream Doctor’

Kilusan1Join Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ) at a day-long conference on Saturday, June 20, at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th St., in Oakland Chinatown.

8:30 – 9:15 AM: Registration & Breakfast

9:15 – 9:20 AM: Welcome
* Nelson Layag, Board President, Filipino Advocates for Justice

9:20 – 9:30 AM: Opening Remarks
Speaker: Fatima Angeles, Vice President of Programs, The California Wellness Foundation

9:30 – 10:30 AM: Panel – Low-Wage Worker Health
Moderator: Mila Thomas, SEIU Local 1021
* Joyce Lam, Senior Community Organizer, Chinese Progressive Association
* Honor Nono, Worker Leader, People’s Association of Workers and Immigrants (PAWIS)
* Nixie Lagados, Worker Leader, Fight for 15

10:30 – 11:00 AM: Sustaining Healthy Activism through Mindfulness
* Jonathan Relucio, Yoga Instructor, Niroga Institute

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Panel – Healthy Environments
Moderator: Aileen Suzara, Board Member, Filipino American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity
* Mari Rose Taruc, State Organizing Director, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
* Justin Rausa, Policy Director, Roots of Change

12:00 – 1:30 PM: Lunch and Caucuses  Speaker: Alex Briscoe, Director, Alameda County Health Care Services Agency

During the lunch hour, participants are encouraged to attend caucuses to discuss issues they are interested in exploring further. Caucuses will be proposed during registration and participants will be able to choose which caucus they would like to join.

1:30 – 2:30 PM: Panel – Youth Health
Moderator: Dr. David Rebanal, Senior Associate for Evaluation and Research, Health Equity Institute
* Chris Cara, Youth Services Director, Filipino Advocates for Justice
* Charisse Domingo, Community Organizer, Silicon Valley De-Bug
* Peter Le, Youth Board Member, California School-Based Health Alliance

2:30 – 3:00 PM: Sustaining Healthy Activism through Generative Somatics
* Jay Conui, Project Manager, Generative Somatics

3:00 – 4:00 PM: Panel – Immigrant Health
Moderator: Ben Cabangun, Capacity Building Manager, Asian & Pacific Islander Health Forum
* Akiko Aspillaga, Community Organizer, Asian Students Promoting Immigrant Rights Through Education (ASPIRE)
* Jidan Koon, Deputy Director, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote
* Louella Penserga, Director Policy & Planning, Alameda Health Consortium

4:00 – 5:00 PM: Caucuses & Networking
During this hour, participants will be able to join caucuses to further discuss issues they are interested in exploring. Caucuses will be proposed during registration, and participants will be able to choose which caucus they would like to join.

5:30 – 7:00 PM: Dinner Program Speaker:
* Dr. Art Chen, Family Physician and Senior Fellow, Asian Health Services

Register Today!



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Fifth Circuit Court Disappoints; But we continue to push for DACA/DAPA Implementation

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

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We knew it wasn’t going to be easy given the anti-immigrant sentiment in parts of the country and the pre-2016 general election posturing, but we are none the less disappointed that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) denied President Obama’s request to lift a hold on the President’s Executive Order. The President’s Order extends work permits and protection from deportation to millions of undocumented young people and parents of US citizen or legal permanent resident children in our communities. Given the long overdue legalization of our undocumented brothers and sisters, President Obama’s proposal is a welcome alternative that would provide some relief for immigrant families.

The road to DACA+ and DAPA is not over. It will take longer than we want. But we are committed to pushing for DACA/DAPA’s implementation and continue to do outreach and education in the community to prepare for it’s eventual implementation. We urge the Department of Justice to continue its fight to lift the injunction on behalf of states like California — where most immigrants actually live. Unlike some states, we support and understand the value to the state’s economy of implementing DACA/DAPA

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