What’s Informing Us

This October contains many important holidays and observances, from honoring Indigenous Peoples Day to celebrating LGBTQ+ History and Filipino American History this entire month. We’re reminded that these communities have been part of the U.S. for centuries and that these histories are American history.

Our team wanted to gain a better understanding of these groups and reflect on what intersecting issues might be affecting them to drive conversations and reflections within our team and to better inform our work and practice.

Resources we are finding especially relevant and informative this month are:


NextDayBetter YouTube | A Filipino American Story Since 1587.

This video laid the groundwork for us to gain a deeper, more complex understanding of Filipino American history. We appreciated learning about the impact of the American colonization of the Philippines, and how those historical events contributed to Filipino immigration to the United States. More importantly, the resilience, movements, and contributions of Filipino Americans was highlighted and central to the narrative of the video.

KTLA 5 News | His LGBTQ teen book is one of the most banned in the U.S. Here’s why he keeps writing

As Banned Books Week occurred earlier this month (October 1-7), this news article is very relevant as well. Learning about Filipino American author Mike Curato, his story, and his book Flamer illustrates how book ban laws further perpetuate discrimination, since they disproportionately target themes and authors of color and the LGBTQ+ community based on research from PEN America.

Color Bloq | English Isn’t Enough: The Bakla, Two Spirits, and Hijra

Contributor Major Julian gave us insight into their experience as an LGBTQ+ member of the Filipino American community. His 2017 essay shed light on the history of the Tagalog word “bakla,” its significance in his life, and how gender-diverse people exist in cultures around the world. He engaged us beautifully through his storytelling and reminded us of the role that European colonization played in the oppression and marginalization of LGBTQ+ people all over the world, including in the Philippines and Native American communities.

NDN Collective | NDN Collective Launches Indigenous Climate and Just Transition Fund

Recently, the NDN Collective launched a special fund to ensure that Indigenous-led organizations are prioritized and receive support in federal investments for their climate change work. With the goal of distributing $100 million to organizations, the Collective also hopes to create visibility for the work many frontline groups have been doing for decades. We hope more corporate and governmental philanthropic efforts continue to grow in their support of Indigenous and minority-led organizations throughout the U.S.