Celebrating Filipino American History Month

October 2, 2023

Dear campus community,

As we enter Filipino American History Month (FAHM), we celebrate and recognize the vibrant and diverse Filipinx* community at UC Berkeley. Our campus is home to 3.4% of undergraduate and 1.5% of graduate students who proudly identify as Filipinx, along with 3.9% of our dedicated staff members and 0.4% of our ladder faculty and Lecturers with Security of Employment (LSOE).

We are thrilled to celebrate the first anniversary of the Filipinx Faculty & Staff Association, a vital group dedicated to community-building and advocating for social justice through a decolonized framework. We encourage you to check out their new logo and faculty and staff profiles on Instagram at @filipinxfsa_berkeley. The Pilipinx American Alumni Chapter (PAAC), active since 1987, continues to be a vibrant community, and we encourage you to engage with them on Instagram at @calpilipinxalumni for events and resources. 

We also take this opportunity to acknowledge the exceptional contributions of our Filipinx faculty. Faculty members like Joyce Dorado in Social Welfare, Eos Trinidad in Education, James Nuñez in Molecular and Cell Biology, as well as Vernadette Gonzalez and Catherine Ceniza Choy in Ethnic Studies, among others, exemplify our commitment to fostering academic excellence and diverse perspectives.

Advocacy and progress are also essential components of FAHM. We recognize the ongoing efforts of the Filipinx community, both locally and nationally, including organizations like the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, BAYAN-USA, SOMA Pilipinas and Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ) located in Oakland and Union City. FAJ is celebrating its 50th anniversary of  advocating for issues that matter to our community. 

Get involved 

Berkeley offers various avenues for engagement within the vibrant Filipinx community. The Berkeley Club of the Philippines connects alumni residing in the Philippines, providing a strong network for those abroad. For students, consider joining one of the 10+ student-led organizations such as Pilipinx Academic Student Services (PASS), Pilipinx Academic Alliance (PAA), Filipinx and Philippine Studies (FPS) Working Group, Pilipinx American Graduate Student Association (PAGaSA), and more. These organizations offer opportunities for community building, cultural enrichment, and advocacy for the Filipinx community on campus and across the Bay Area. We encourage you to check out CalLink for more information and ways to get connected. Throughout the month of October, these organizations will be offering a wide selection of events and programs in celebration of FAHM.

Filipino American History Month events

There are numerous FAHM events to participate in, including the inaugural Sama-Sama Homecoming Tailgate (Oct. 7), the Bancroft Library Roundtable: Centering Philippine and Filipinx American Histories (Oct. 19), Fireside Chat with Leni Robledo (Oct. 26), and more.

As we celebrate Filipino American History Month, we are committed to fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice at Berkeley. We appreciate your support as we continue on this journey toward becoming a more inclusive campus.

This message was developed in partnership with Fritzie de Mata, Alex Mabanta, and Melissa Urbano. The Divisions of Equity & Inclusion and Student Affairs offer deep gratitude to this network of students, faculty, alumni, and staff who contributed their insights and expertise.

In community,

Dania Matos
Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion

Stephen C. Sutton
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Miya Sommers 
Interim Co-Director, Asian Pacific American Student Development (APASD) 

Edwin Carlos
Graduate Student Liaison, Asian Pacific American Student Development (APASD)

Victoria Plaut 
Vice Provost for the Faculty

Eugene Whitlock 
Chief People and Culture Officer

*We acknowledge the conversations around using  multiple “umbrella” terms, such as Filipino/Filipinx/Pilipinx, and the many intersectional identifying terms people embrace. While we use the term Filipinx for this message, we respect and appreciate how community members choose to self-identify.

To help create an environment that lives up to our Principles of Community, we will send regular messages to acknowledge various heritage months and holidays. While we won't include every month or holiday, we will make an effort to ensure members of our community feel represented. Additionally, news.berkeley.edu will often post articles highlighting people, programs, and research that align with these heritage months and holidays. 

This message was sent to all staff, faculty, and students.

If you are a manager who supervises UC Berkeley employees without email access, please circulate this information to all.

Editor’s Note: In our commitment to inclusivity and responsiveness to community feedback, we have made updates to our terminology. Going forward, we will refer to the month as Filipino American History Month to align Congress' resolution that officially recognized October as "Filipino" American History Month and use "Filipinx" when addressing individuals and the community. We recognize that consistency in terminology is important, and we appreciate your understanding as we continue to evolve and adapt our language to better reflect the diverse identities within our community.