Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Philadelphia hosts Filipino/American empowerment conference.

ILIPINOS from across the United States, Canada and across the Pacific will converge in Philadelphia for the National Federation of Filipino American Associations' 12th NaFFAA Empowerment Conference.

Rep. Bobby Scott
The red, white and blue balloons from the Democratic National Convention are still floating over the City of Brotherly Love and thousands of Filipinos have begun preparing for a convention of their own.
Underlining the trans-Pacific link that ties all Filipinos together, the conclave will start with a U.S. congressman and culminate with the Philippines' newly elected vice president.

Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Virginia, the first Filipino/American elected to the U.S. Congress, will speak to the Aug. 5 opening plenary session that has a theme of "Envisioning the Future."

News junkies may recognize him from his introduction of Democratic Vice President nominee Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia.

Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo will close out the 3-day gathering on Aug. 6 with the induction of NaFFAA officers. Most likely one of the topics she will touch upon will be how Filipino/Americans can help their families in the Philippines.

The new officers and board of directors will attend to business on Aug. 7 to end the conference at the Valley Forge Casino Resort.
Vice President Leni Robredo
The NaFFAA delegates will focus on the development of key strategies to address the political, social, health, education and economic concerns of the Filipino/American community.

More than a dozen workshops will be conducted during the conference, focusing mainly on capacity building, civic engagement, professional development, and cultural identity/narratives. These workshops are designed to be interactive, which include Fil Am vote workshop, how to access valuable resources, jobs to name a few.

Issues critical to the Filipino American community will be taken up at plenary sessions. They include immigration reform, health care, voter participation, electoral politics, and business development.

To address those issues, a wide-ranging group of experts and activists from Gen. Antonio Taguba to businesswoman and philantropist Loida Nicolas Lewis to​ Ronnie Del Carmen of Pixar will participate.