As we leave behind 2017, here are some things to look forward to in 2018.
For Filipino Americans who should care about political empowerment, the midterm elections present an opportunity to exercise one’s right to vote. Organizations like NaFFAA are already gearing up to register new voters and educate them about the issues. Among them: health care, race relations, and immigration – notably the plight of young people who were brought to this country without legal status. DACA, the program which has given them temporary relief, has been rescinded.
This past year was filled with turmoil over White Supremacist views and scandals related to sexual harassment. These threats could be turned into opportunities for education and enlightened discourse that will hopefully lead to greater civility and mutual respect.
Given these challenges, Filipino Americans need to look for leaders who can best address these concerns in a way that builds consensus and common ground. Filipino Americans can play an active role in moving this conversation forward.
The national campaign to enshrine the story of our Filipino World War II Veterans in America’s national museums and public education curriculum is a major initiative this year. We urge the community to support the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP) in its historic mission to make this happen.
The inauguration of the Philippine Embassy’s Sentro Rizal in March is most welcome. Its goal is to nurture talent and inculcate patriotism among Filipino youth. The community is invited and encouraged to take part in shaping the Center’s cultural programming.
And then there’s the Bells of Balangiga, held as “war trophies” in a military base in Wyoming. Their return to the Philippines, after many failed attempts, is definitely something to look forward to in 2018.