LEAD Filipino

LEAD Filipino

Since 2015, LEAD Filipino has organized to increase the civic participation, grassroots leadership, and economic empowerment of Filipino and Asian American communities. Originally formed to promote Filipino voter registration in Santa Clara County, the group has expanded its local and state policy work to include services such as providing supportive

LEAD Filipino

Since 2015, LEAD Filipino has organized to increase the civic participation, grassroots leadership, and economic empowerment of Filipino and Asian American communities. Originally formed to promote Filipino voter registration in Santa Clara County, the group has expanded its local and state policy work to include services such as providing supportive spaces for LGBTQ+ adults and families, leadership development, civic training, and health workshops. Most recently, we helped pass state legislation known as AB 490, The Justice for Angelo Quinto Act to ban knee-to-neck holds in California and executed the 3rd Filipino Day of Action in Sacramento. Bringing together our practice and policy, we believe civic leadership is strongest when community members drive the planning, communication, and execution of our campaigns and initiatives.

About the Organization:

Since 2015, LEAD Filipino has organized to increase the civic participation, grassroots leadership, and economic empowerment of Filipino and Asian American communities. Originally formed to promote Filipino voter registration in Santa Clara County, the group has expanded its local and state policy work to include services such as providing supportive spaces for LGBTQ+ adults and families, leadership development, civic training, and health workshops. Most recently, we helped pass state legislation known as AB 490, The Justice for Angelo Quinto Act to ban knee-to-neck holds in California and executed the 3rd Filipino Day of Action in Sacramento. Bringing together our practice and policy, we believe civic leadership is strongest when community members drive the planning, communication, and execution of our campaigns and initiatives.

organizational budget

$100,000 - $500,000

existence for

6-10 YEARS

The Issue:

Nearly 38% of all Filipinos in the United States reside in California. At a population of 1.6 million, we constitute the second largest and one of the fastest growing Asian immigrant groups in the country.

The Filipino experience in America consists of painful contrasts that beget multiple and different lived realities. Let us remember that Filipina healthcare workers represented nearly 21% of reported COVID-19 deaths despite being only 4% of the broader medical workforce population or that Filipinos comprise 15% of California's service-level workforce. From being overrepresented in low wage domestic help jobs and exposed to abuse and exploitation, to living in fear due to documentation status, to navigating anti-Asian sentiment, or being fortunate to obtain a higher degree, the experience of being Filipino in America is best understood as a spectrum of realities shared across one existence.

While we know that our collective presence is significant, we want to translate our presence into influence. Our community of 1.6 million is consequential and capable of being a margin of victory in broader calls for civil rights, justice, and liberation. With the erosion of Civil Rights in our country, we refuse to let our community be absent from state level decisions related to policies, legislation, and budget resources that impact our daily lives – and we are devoted to bringing our communities into these conversations.

The Solution:

Up until 2018, there was no statewide organization dedicated to convening Filipino groups to establish a unified policy agenda. To address this need, LEAD Filipino in partnership with the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies formed the "Filipinx Policy Steering Committee" to create and execute clearly defined civic efforts and policy goals with progressive Filipino grassroots and nonprofit organizations in California. As a group, the Committee would identify worker protections, immigrant rights, ethnic studies, health equity, and police accountability as its core issues. Operating as an informal network, the "Committee" would organize a 2018 Filipino Policy Symposium in partnership with the Asian American Studies Department at UC Davis and host the first-ever 2019 Filipino Day of Action in Sacramento.

In 2020, the Committee rebranded to the Filipinx Igniting Engagement for Reimagining Collective Empowerment (FIERCE) Coalition, a progressive coalition of over 15 Filipino organizations that serve immigrants, workers, students, families, and LGBTQ+ community members across California. Together, we have executed three Filipino Day of Action events at the state capital, enacted statewide campaigns such as Stop Asian Hate and Combatting Anti-Blackness in Asian Communities, and have created advocacy tools for members.

The FIERCE Coalition hosted its recent Filipino Day of Action in April 2023. In addition to hosting policy roundtables and voter registration events throughout the remainder of the year, the Coalition will also explore supporting Ethnic Studies teachers with free legal support as California prepares to implement Ethnic Studies as a graduation requirement beginning 2030.

Get Updates about the Gold Futures Challenge

Join our email list to receive challenge updates!