Upcoming lecture looks at how Philippine migrants assimilate into the US

How do Philippine migrants integrate into the United States? That’s what Professor Jay Gonzalez of the University of San Francisco will discuss at the upcoming 2010 Philippine Studies Lecture.

In his lecture, “Kasamahan and Bayanihan: Understanding Filipino Migrant Cultural and Civic Capital”, Gonzalez will argue that Philippine migrants integrate into the United States in a “Filipinized” multiculturalist mode, rather than the assimilation that is often assumed.

The Philippine Studies at York: Symposium & Lecture will take place Friday, Sept. 24, from 9:30am to 5:30pm at 280N York Lanes, Keele campus. Everyone is welcome to attend. The symposium presentations will run from 10am to 3pm with the Philippine Studies Lecture beginning at 3:30pm.

Right: Jay Gonzalez

Chair of the Asian Studies Program and director of the Maria Elena Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program at the University of San Francisco, Gonzalez will describe how the Filipino community in San Francisco utilizes transnational, adaptive and intergenerational cultural (kasamahan) and civic (bayanihan) capital, which emanates from their San Francisco churches. He will conclude by offering suggestions for North American policy-makers and community organizations seeking to build stronger and more diverse societies.

In 2001, Gonzalez was appointed to the Immigrant Rights Commission of the City & County of San Francisco and in 2005 he was given a Special US Congressional Recognition for his exemplary work on human rights and immigrant concerns. His recent publications include Filipino American Faith in Action: Immigration, Religion, and Civic Engagement (New York University Press, 2009) and Religion at the Corner of Bliss and Nirvana: Politics, Identity, and Faith in New Migrant Communities (Duke University Press, 2009).

In addition to the lecture by Gonzalez, the Philippine Studies Symposium will feature 10 York researchers whose work focuses on various aspects of the Philippines and Filipino communities in Canada, including dance ethnography Professor Patrick Alcedo; Ferdinand Caballero, an master’s student in social anthropology and last year’s David Wurfel Award winner; Conely De Leon, a teaching assistant and PhD candidate in the School of Women’s Studies; Lou Janssen Dangzalan, a visiting scholar at the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR); Veronica Javier, a master of social work candidate; geography Professor Philip Kelly; Adam Lukasiewicz, a PhD candidate in geography; York georgraphy grad Nel Coloma Moya (BA Hons. ’85, MA ’10); Jennifer Payton, a PhD candidate in geography; Maita Sayo, a political science tutorial leader and PhD candidate; and Cesar Polvorosa, a PhD candidate in geography. They will share their research on topics ranging from colonial history to contemporary socio-cultural concerns.

The event is supported by the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, York International, the Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation and the York Centre for Asian Research.

To RSVP, e-mail ycar@yorku.ca. For more information, visit the YCAR website.