Like most ethnic studies classes, there is a ton of assigned readings and in-class discussion. But its conventionality ends there. Rather than locking yourself in Geisel and binge-studying for a midterm, you’ll be out in the San Diego community, helping make it a better place. One thing that I learned from this experience is to be open to learning. When I first got into my partnership with the Filipino American National Historical Society, I was expecting to meet other Filipino Americans (like me) and learn about the gentrification of National City, Chula Vista, and Mira Mesa — amongst other San Diego FilAm issues. Instead, IRead More →

Judy Patacsil is a professor of Filipino Studies and also is a licensed psychotherapist who leads Mental Health Services at Miramar College. Judy is a second generation Filipina American whose close ties with the community stems from her having grown up and studied here. In fact, her family represents many aspects of Filipino American history, from her father being a pensionado to her mother arriving as a war bride. Now, she serves as the National President of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) after being a founding member of the San Diego chapter and holding various leadership positions within the organization. FANHS’s missions isRead More →

Going to Chicano Park was a pretty emotional experience for me. Growing up in San Diego, I was never allowed to venture in that area because of its perceptions as a gang/unsafe neighborhood. But when we arrived, I was surprised to see modern apartment complexes and a new shopping center. It really made me question whether or not this was the neighborhood that my parents were terrified of. At the park, we met a woman named Caroline. She shared with us her personal connections with the park: from how she saved some of the playground materials to use for the garden, to how her mother’sRead More →