The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) is recognized by Washington policy makers, private industry and national advocacy groups as the voice of the Filipinos and Filipino Americans throughout the Unites States. It empowers the Filipino American community to take its place in the American mainstream and participate in decisions affecting its interest and harmonizes the diverse voices of the community into one clear, powerful voice that is heard by government, business, media, and the American public.
NaFFAA capitalizes on its relationship with federal policy makers and with its partnerships and alliances with partners in the civil rights community. It works with them to promote the interests of Filipino-Americans, particularly on such issues as immigration, voting rights, discrimination and racial stereotyping in the media, and equal opportunity in education. NaFFAA continues to promote its empowerment agenda through advocacy, coalition building, voter education, and civic participation.
To support NaFFAA’s major goals, below are some of the Key Initiatives for 2015-2016:
Educate the Filipino American community on issues that impact them directly or indirectly
Regional Town Hall Meetings on current issue:
Now is the time to speak up. As people of faith and moral courage, our voices are especially needed now to help our communities understand the big news. Let your prophetic voice be heard in social media, op-eds, direct actions, etc. Additional background information showing the President’s legal authority signed by 136 leading experts on immigration law can be accessed at pennstatelaw.psu.edu/_file/Law-Professor-Letter.pdf.
Remind anti-immigrant leaders of the human impact of this debate. There is going to be push back. Let us hope that Congress move past divisive rhetoric and seek the highest level of cooperation, not the lowest common denominator. Absent from political rhetoric is acknowledgment of the dignity of immigrants who are trapped in the shadows and the sanctity of immigrant families. Call your representatives at 1-866-940-2439 and let them know you support the President’s plan to grant temporary relief from deportation.
Prepare now for implementation. Although administrative relief is not likely to go into effect for another few months, we can all help eligible families get the protection they need to stay together by hosting education forums and legal clinics, fundraising for application fees, and conducting community outreach. To help mixed-status families find out if they qualify for the new protections and safely navigate the application process, visit www.iAmerica.org — a streamlined online resource sponsored by allied faith groups, labor leaders, and immigrant-rights organizations. A checklist of the documents you’ll need to apply for relief will soon be available in Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Creole.
Encourage Filipino Americans to participate in the political process
It is equallly important to register Fil-Ams to Vote, as it is to make them understand the Issues on the ballot. An aggressive voter registration program will increase the number of eligible Fil-Am voters . Voter education will allow Fil-Ams to learn the issues that effect their everyday lives. A GOTV program will encourage Fil-Am voters to participate in the electoral process. A voter protection will ensure that voters are free to exercise their choice. For more information of the FilAm Vote please contact the following NaFFAA FilAm Vote Directors:
Increase the percentage of Fil-Ams living a healthy lifestyle and with health insurance
NaFFAA is working to encourage Fil-Ams to practice and maintain a healthy lifestyle (improved diet & physical activity & avoidance of substance abuse) and to increase the percentage of Fil-Ams with health insurance. It is doing that through the following programs:
- National Health Education Program
- Publish Health and Healthcare articles on the NaFFAA Newsletter
- Organize Health and Healthcare-related workshops and seminars in Local, Regional, and National summits
- Prepare Health/Healthcare Survey Form to collect health and healthcare data from regions
- Establish Internships including criteria for the recruitment, guidelines, and policies for Internships
- Publish collected data in a NaFFAA National Health and Healthcare Database for presentation at the National Empowerment Conference in 2016.
- National Filipino Health Project
- San Francisco Pilot Project Set up – Increasing awareness on chronic disease burden and intervention focus on lifestyle modification (diet/physical activity)
To learn about these programs, please contact NaFFAA’s Health Director, Doctor Rommel Rivera.
Educate public on NaFFAA’s history, advocacies, organization,
In coordination with Tom Torlakson, the Superintendent of CA Public School, an Initiative is underway on the Filipinos in WWII Social Studies Curriculum Act, which could be implemented in the social science instruction in grades 7-12. Please contact Rudy Asercion for more information.
Attorney Rodel Rodis leads an Initiative to incorporate the history of the Delano Manongs: Forgotten Heroes of the United Farm Workers Movement into the US textbooks. The documentary of the Delano Manongs can be acquired through www.delanomanongs.com/purchase.
The 50th anniversary of the Grape Strike will also be commemorated on September 2015. Please check with your Region on commemoration information or email email@example.com.
To educate the Fil-Am community on what we are doing as an organization and the people that make things happen, we publish the monthly NaFFAA National Newsletter. To subscribe, please contact our Editor, Ryan Tejero.
Address safety for children and seniors through nationwide
educational/informational sessions to be adopted by 2017
To learn about this program, please contact Pacific Region Director, Rudy Asercion.
Tax Preparation Assistance Program
Assist taxpayers in completing Filipino Americans and Filipinos in the US income tax returns consistent with the rules and policies of partners (sponsors) and the IRS in maximizing the benefit for the taxpayers. This program was started at Region 11 in 2008 and has been ongoing with the support of volunteers from VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). To create or sponsor a program in your city or state, please contact NaFFAA Finance and Funding Director, Jing Espiritu or Rey Lopez, a retired IRS Auditor.
Educate, train, and develop Filipino American community leaders
The Alex Esclamado Scholarship Award creates a pipeline of emerging leaders. The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) is inviting qualified applicants to the Alex Esclamado Scholarship Program for Human Services. To be eligible, applicants must:
- Be Filipino or Filipino of descent residing anywhere in the United States
- Currently registered in second year in college pursuing a Bachelor’s degree program in Human Services field
- Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 Scale in the first year of college
- Submit one (1) Letter of Recommendation from an authorized officer of a community service organization (or church or civic organization), who can attest to the applicant’s on-going involvement
- Submit an essay in one of the following topics:
- Alex Esclamado’s vision was to encourage the active participation of Filipinos in America in this country’s political and economic life. Why is civic engagement, such as voting in elections or running for public office, important for the Filipino American community?
- Do you agree with the observation that Filipino Americans are “invisible” in the American mainstream? Explain why you agree, or disagree and provide your thoughts on how best to enhance our presence in this country.
- How would you strengthen the Filipino American community?
To learn more about this program, please contact Programs Director, Amie Belmonte
11th National Empowerment Conference Corporate Sponsors
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.