This event aimed to discuss ongoing issues of Filipinx/a/o labour and lack of representation that have been illuminated in the past months due to COVID-19. We wanted to centre Filipina women’s voices regarding topics that impact their community and their visions for moving forward, to establish Filipinos not only as key components to Canada’s economic and social sectors, but leaders who deserve to represent their community.

This event was held in June 2020 via Zoom and was facilitated in English and Tagalog for over 60 viewers from Canada, the United States, and the Philippines. Panelists working in immigration, arts, activism, and social services initially discussed topics such as the history of Filipino migration to Western Canada and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their work. The conversation evolved to unpack larger issues of colonialism, colonial mentality, mental health, and racism with the guidance of audience questions, and became a space for learning, un-learning, and healing. After the event, there was an optional ‘chikahan’ session where attendees could debrief and connect with one another.

This event was organized by community members volunteering with Tulayan BC, Gabriela BC, and Filipinos Rising AB. We’re grateful to Hummingbirds Rising Consulting for sharing their Zoom account with us, and for Neighbourhood Small Grants for giving us the financial capacity to compensate our panelists for their emotional and educational labour.

Organizers hope to host more Tara, Usap Tayo! events to continue these conversations with Filipinos in the diaspora have been looking for, and are eager to be a part of.
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