by Jasmine M. Pulido
What does the making of modern history feel like to those of us who have been systematically erased from it?
In Washington State, it was only a little over two years ago, on May 7, 2019, when our Gov. Jay Inslee officially signed Filipino American History Month (FAHM) into law. While the Washington State Legislature has proclaimed October as Filipino American History Month since 2010, organizations like Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS), along with other local Filipino community members and activists, have recognized it for decades and have pushed for it to be commemorated more seriously by lobbying for the signing of SB 5685.
Passing FAHM into law was a major event of modern history for Filipino and Filipino American community members. For Filipino American community members with real stakes in the larger goal of Filipino American culture and identity, having a legitimate home within our rainy city, it feels like the beginning of a deep wrong finally becoming right.
Local Filipino American community members and educators don’t take this step lightly and, in fact, have used it as a means to catapult Filipino American studies and language into Seattle’s public school curriculum within just a month’s time.
This October, multiple Filipino American organizations in Seattle have worked together to rapidly progress two City initiatives within the public school system — the development of a Filipino American curriculum and, separately but within the same month, the paving of a way for students to more feasibly receive school credit for learning or already knowing Filipino languages like Tagalog, Ilocano, and Visayan.
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