Published Date: August 19, 2022

Summary: In this community case study, authors describe their efforts to organize a multidisciplinary, multigenerational, community-driven collaboration for Filipinx American (FilAm) community wellness. . By building a virtual, intellectual community that centers on FilAm voices, FilCHA shifts power through partnerships in which people who directly experience the conditions that cause inequities have leadership roles and avenues to share their perspectives. Catalyzed by the disproportionate burden of deaths among FilAm health care workers at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying silence from mainstream public health leaders, authors formed the Filipinx/a/o Community Health Association (FilCHA).

Authors drew on two forms of data collection to make sense of FilCHA's development. They reviewed documentation (e.g., emails, agendas, internal documents, social media) that chronicled FilCHA’s milestones. Concurrently, researchers reflected together on the process as active members and/or co-founders, and thus participant-observers, to facilitate meaning-making of what transpired. The authorship group for this commentary includes five members of the inaugural FilCHA board, including senior researchers and current students.

Findings: Authors summarize findings through the Pinayism process of pain + love + reflection = liberation. By naming their collective pain, building a counterspace for love of the community, and generating reflections for their communities, authors work toward shared liberation.

Pinayism guided the authors’ realization that kapwa — the Pilipino core value of unity with others, indicating a deep connection with and commitment to community — has been their strategy for survival. Using critical kapwa for their collective healing restores their shared power, driven not by obligation but a loving commitment to community. FilCHA has become a site for exposing struggle and reclaiming collective power.

Read the Publication: