Please visit this post often for updates. Contact NaFFAA Region 8 Media Group, “connecting media + community, at NaFFAANorCal@gmail.com.
The NaFFAA Region 8 Board moved and passed a motion after going through its due process starting January 28, 2013: “NaFFAA Region 8, through its Alameda Chapter, will participate in re-naming a middle school in the New Haven Unified School District to be named after Filipino heroes, in whatever capacity we can provide to the Re-Naming Committee.”
Charito Benipayo is NaFFAA Region 8 - Alameda County Chapter’s Chair and Sansu Ramsey is NaFFAA Region 8 - Alameda County Chapter’s Vice Chair. Jim Navarro is the Union City Chair of the NaFFAA Region 8 Alameda Chapter.
For Immediate Release
April 17, 2013
The New Haven Unified Board of Education on Tuesday night approved the renaming of Alvarado Middle School to Itliong-Vera Cruz Middle School, effective September 2015. Itliong-Verz Cruz Middle School will be the first school in the nation named after Filipino Americans. The name change honors the work of Filipino-American labor leaders Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz, were organizers and labor leaders for Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, which initiated the 1965 Delano Grape Strike later joined by Cesar Chavez’s organization, the National Farmworkers Association. The two organizations eventually merged, forming the United Farmworkers (UFW).
An implementation plan will ensue in order to facilitate the transition and community groups have pledged to raise funds so that no cost will be incurred to the District for new signage, stationary, and other incidental expenditures related to the renaming. The anticipated costs have been estimated to be $15,600.
Of particular significance during the renaming campaign was the organizing and leadership of Union City’s Filipino-American youth groups. Their composure and perseverance in the face of adversity, and the passion with which they organized a local rally, a march, and an educational community workshop demonstrate their commitment to affecting real change.
Anthony Chavez, grandson of Cesar Chavez, attended the Board meeting to affirm the importance of Itliong and Vera Cruz in the development of his grandfather’s legacy and improvement of farmworkers’ rights. Chavez said his grandfather’s work would not have been possible without the help of Itliong and Vera Cruz and that renaming the school would “bring about a great unity.” Additionally, a letter of support sent by Dolores Huerta was read at the Board meeting. The support of these two individuals, as well as the support of organizations such as the Fred Korematsu Institute at the Asian Law Caucus, sent the very distinct message that the name change stems from and celebrates inter-ethnic solidarity and that the benefits of the change extend to all Americans, not just those of Filipino descent.
Fundraising and planning have already begun, headed by the Pilipino American Society for Education, Filipino Advocates for Justice, JLHS Filipino Heritage Studies class, and Kaisahan. Aside from raising money, the primary goal of these groups is to educate the community to build awareness and strengthen unity among Union City’s diverse communities.
Joe Ku’e Angeles email@example.com 510-471-2520
Erica Viray Santos firstname.lastname@example.org 510-378-9834
WHAT CAN WE DO TO SHOW OUR SUPPORT?
1. Forward this link to all your family and friends who know someone (or everybody) in Union City, California. http://naffaar8.com/naffaa-region-8-supports-re-naming-of-school-to-itliong-vera-cruz-middle-school/
2. Sign the ONLINE PETITION that supports this Re-Naming. Click here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/support_the_renaming/
It doesn’t matter if you are from Union City, Alaska, Philippines, or Germany. Show your support for DIVERSITY IN ACTION by signing the online petition.
NaFFAA Region 8 thanks KAISAHAN for sending this online petition via Facebook.
Support the renaming of Alvarado Middle School in Union City, CA after Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz!
Please show the Filipino Community in Union City, CA that they have your support.
Let’s honor our Filipino heroes!
1 in 3 students in New Haven Unified School District are Filipino.
1 in 5 people in Union City are Filipino.
No history, no self. Know history, know self.
Let’s make history!
3. Show up at the Public Hearings and Community Forums!
4. Send emails and letters of endorsement. (Please check again for updates.)
1. During the New Haven Unified School District’s January 15, 2013 Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to re-name Alvarado Middle School.
The School Board is hosting a public hearing on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm at the Educational Services Center, 34200 Alvarado-Niles Road, Union City, CA.
Please come and join the Public Hearing — and show for support for DIVERSITY IN ACTION.
2. On March 19, 2013 at the Educational Services Center for the New Haven Unified School District located at 34200 Alvarado-Niles Road, Union City, the five-member School Board will vote on the names suggested by the public.
Show your support by sending a LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT to the Superintendant of Schools and each School Board member about the Re-Naming of the Alvarado Middle School to Itliong-Vera Cruz Middle School.
(We will update this section with template letters and email addresses. Stay tuned!)
Oscar Penaranda, a Filipino American educator and author, says it best:
Go to this site: http://www.delanomanongs.com/ (password: manongs) and see a short trailer on a documentary being made on this history. I said one does not have to look far because it is written all over the record books of Logan High School ever since (and they say even before that) I taught there in the early 90s that the student body’s officers year after year are 90% Filipino Americans, and 90% of those 90% are girls! Our women are strong. And they did not obtain their leadership skills in a vacuum. They got it from the spirit of their ancestors such as Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz.
Union City was a farming community, an orchard town, historically and traditionally rooted in agriculture. The impact of Itliong’s and Vera Cruz’s labor struggles and achievements go beyond the Filipino community. Whatever impact the UFW brings, so also goes the footprints of Larry and Philip.
This naming shows more accurately the ethnic diversity of the New Haven Community and the presence of Filipino Americans in the District, whose forbearers were national heroes and whose contributions were under-represented in institutions. We are not an isolated minority in an isolated ethnicity. We are part of a larger multi-ethnic movement (see legislations of Rob Bonta and Leland Yee) to teach all students the Filipinos’ part in the farm workers’ struggle, a movement to bring this consciousness to all U.S. institutions.
One positive sign of a mature community is to recognize the contributions of
its diverse population. This actually is a very U.S. concept: E Pluribu Unum. “Out of many, One.” This means not just the recognition and acceptance of other cultures and ethnicities, but the welcome and collaboration as well, in all public welfare decisions.
Cesar Chavez was a great man whose leadership and charisma became the voice
of the UFW. The highlighting of the Filipinos’ part in the forming of the UFW is not to take anything away from Cesar Chavez and the Chicanos’ part in that struggle. Neither does the naming of this school. I just want folks to also know the Filipinos’ part in that history. It has been hidden. I do not see it as one against the other but as once again brothers and sisters in the struggle, in our long standing 500 year shared history, of Mexicans and Filipinos.