Currently, about 4,700 Filipinos leave the Philippines every day in search of finding jobs and wages that they desperately could not find in their homeland. Many of these Filipinos migrate from the Philippines to the United States, where an estimated four million Filipinos live. Of these four million Filipinos, one-fourth are undocumented immigrants. These migrants seeking better lives for their families often find nothing but oppression, injustice, and suffering. With such staggering statistics, why is so little known about the struggles and challenges faced by Filipinos and Filipino-Americans?
Join us this winter as we seek to address the underlying issues leading up to the Filipino diaspora by following the stories of immigrants from the Philippines to America. We will shed light upon the roots of the modern day challenges of Filipinos, from issues of identity, family, and basic human rights. This includes unjust immigration policies, workers’ rights, access to affordable housing and education. Through a close examination of Filipino and Filipino-American histories, we hope to gain a comprehensive understanding of the factors that have led to the current conditions of Filipinos. By providing deeper insight on contemporary issues affecting the Filipino community, we hope to empower participants to consider our roles as Stanford students and our individual capacities for creating social change.
During spring break, we will bridge lessons and themes from the classroom to the community by integrating with local grassroots organizations from the Bay Area to Central and Southern California. Some of these organizations include community centers, cultural art collectives, workers’ rights organizations, government agencies, and professional associations.
While our studies focus on one particular ethnic group, many of the conditions that plague Filipinos transcend ethnic and cultural boundaries. Our goal is to instill a greater understanding within each participant - regardless of their ethnicity - of the social conditions that surround them. While the subject matter may seem enraging, we challenge our participants to take action and go beyond the rage.