Awareness in Action Program (AAP)



We hosted our first Awareness in Action Program (AAP) cohort of five students during the summer of 2016.

Since then, our AAP has steadily grown to attract local, regional and national participation. AAP is a 10-week multidisciplinary Filipino American Studies and Civic Engagement program that meets once per week throughout the summer. Pre-pandemic, AAP was held in Eastside San Jose and Union City. To meet the needs of our membership and larger community, our AAPis now offered virtually and for summer 2022, will be a hybrid course, with in-person sessions taking place during select exposure tours throughout the program. 

Participants are expected to attend each session to build relationships with their cohort members and engage in the subject matter. At the conclusion of AAP, we host a completion event for the students. 

Through a series of educational workshops, community tours, guest speakers and group projects, AAP focuses on developing the leadership and critical lenses of FilAms who understand the importance of coalition building, cross-racial and community solidarity, economic justice, political representation, history and identity and civic engagement. 

Our 2022 AAP runs from June 22 through August 31, read more here

Program Curriculum

AAP is facilitated and taught by our team of volunteer organizers with specializations in Philippines Studies, Filipino American Studies, Social Work and Education. Our Education Team members work in higher education and/or have taught in classroom and community-based settings. 

AAP features workshops, guest speakers, exposure tours and a series of mini and group assignments to engage students in their personal stories around social change. Such topics in AAP include:

  • Public service
  • Filipino psychology
  • Civic engagement and participation
  • Coalition building across FilAm communities
  • Social justice movements
  • Civil Rights
  • Contemporary activism
  • Sociopolitical events 
  • Grassroots campaigns

Cultural & Leadership Development Workshops

Cultural understanding and leadership is the center of AAP's praxis. To provide a basis on the imperative of Filipinas/xs/os engaging in public service and civics, we interlace key teachings of Filipino American and Philippine history.  Incorporating our “History 360” model, we cover periods of Filipina/x/o history while also tying in relevancies to the Filipina/x/o experience today.  Through group dialogues, reflections, and local San Jose engagement, we aim to materialize the concepts we teach by bringing the students to action.  To achieve these goals, the AAP is composed of a series of thematic workshops which aim to broaden and deepen our cultural understanding.

Guest Speakers

During AAP, we feature guest speakers and organizations from the San Jose/Silicon Valley community to not only engage with our students, but to also share related insights.  Throughout the year, L.E.A.D. Filipino works exclusively with our “Mentors Circle” to build bridges between Pinxy professionals and students in our Valley.   For our summer AAP, we invite our Mentors to share their inspirational stories.  From career paths, to selecting their college major, and the role their Filipino culture plays in their lives, we strive to provide platforms which connect our Filipino community.

Community Exposure Tours

As an exclusive feature, our AAP gives opportunities for students to participate in ~2 Community Exposure Tours.  Coordinated and guided by our Organizers, the purpose of our Tours is to expose young Pinxys to the industries, environments, and human issues which surround them in the Silicon Valley.  Through in-depth conversations with our Tour Hosts, we aim to deepen our students’ awareness and understanding of issues happening in our community.  We believe that although it’s important to follow global news, that it’s equally valuable to know what’s going on in your own locality. Past Community Exposure Tours included:  Google & Employee Panel with Googlers, Pie Ranch Farm, and the SOMA Pilipinas Ethno-Tour.


Filipino Communities Project

Each AAP participant is expected to complete an individual Engagement Project.  Assigned at the start of the course, students are tasked with identifying one local Filipino-based grassroots organization in which they’d like to learn more about.  They must conduct an interview with a staff member/organizer from that group, attend an event, and present their project.