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Los Angeles Unified Board of Education Honors Filipino Heritage Month (10-17-23)



News Release



Silvia K. Martinez, 213-241-8333                            


October 17, 2023


Los Angeles Unified Board of Education Honors Filipino Heritage Month


Los Angeles (October 17, 2023) – Today, the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education approved a resolution sponsored by Board Vice President Scott M. Schmerelson and co-sponsored by all members of the board, dedicating October 2023 as Filipino Heritage Month.


The resolution celebrates the importance of Filipino Heritage in Los Angeles and within the Los Angeles Unified School District, reminding all students, staff, and families to learn more about the rich history of Historic Filipinotown, influential community leaders such as Larry Itliong, and cultural symbols such as food, music, and art. Additionally, it requests Superintendent Carvalho to look into establishing a dual-language program in the Filipino language.

“The Filipino community has a big role in the history and modern-day California, being one of the largest Asian-American ethnic groups in the entire state,” said Board Vice President Scott M. Schmerelson. “Our efforts into diversity, equity, and inclusion go beyond just telling students to respect different people and cultures. At Los Angeles Unified Schools, we want to show students why they are important to our community.”


“Los Angeles benefits from the incredible diversity of cultures, experiences and contributions that abound within our communities,” said Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho. “We celebrate Filipino Heritage Month and recognize the invaluable contributions our Filipino families have made in Los Angeles Unified. We celebrate the amazing employees, students, families and the wider school community, and we are honored to represent and support our Filipino families.”


“Los Angeles is home to many ethnic neighborhoods that are vibrant with cultural, business, religious, and community institutions and our Filipinotown is no exception,” said Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III. “We celebrate Filipino month and look forward to learning more about the contributions to the Los Angeles region.”


"Our diversity is our strength. I'm honored to represent schools and communities in Historic Filipinotown, and to uplift the voices of this incredible community that has played such a vital role in the cultural and political growth of the United States,” said Board Member Dr. Rocio Rivas. “The legacy of Filipino-American labor leader Larry Itliong is alive and well in Los Angeles Unified, as we continue to advocate for the dignity of all workers in our District and our wider community."


“Our diversity makes us stronger—as a district, a city, and a country,” said Board Member Nick Melvoin. “We know that the AAPI community is not a monolith and are thrilled to celebrate the unique traditions, culture, and contributions of our Filipino community throughout the month of October and beyond.”


“I’m proud to recognize the culture, history, and contributions of Filipinos in Los Angeles and beyond,” said Board Member Kelly Gonez. “I’m eager to look at expanding our dual language programs and look forward to new lessons that will make our classrooms places where we uplift our Filipino community.


“With nearly 2,000 Filipino students in Board District 7 alone, we celebrate the rich heritage and valuable cultural contributions of our Filipino students, families, and staff today and everyday,” said Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin. “A special recognition to our former Student Board Member and BD7 student, Frances Suavillo for authoring our 2020 resolution to declare October as “Filipino Heritage and History Month," and these two resolutions addressing the language needs and cultural contributions for Filipino students and families.”


“It is an honor to celebrate a community that has had a significant impact in our Los Angeles community,” said Student Board Member Karen Ramirez. “Our Filipino students and families are an integral part of LAUSD and Los Angeles. Los Angeles Unified Students and I are thrilled to celebrate and learn about our Filipino brothers and sisters!”


“There is a lot of history shared in this resolution, but the present accomplishments of Filipino-Americans, both throughout the country and within this district, are just as rich, and I am ecstatic to see what the future holds,” said Former Student Board Member Frances Suavillo. “This resolution ensures that our culture, including our language, is taught and passed on to generations of Filipino-Americans.”