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MAT Leadership Team Members
Photo on left: Shanika Parker, Jose Uriarte, Albert Green and Quilla Copeland
Photo on right: Margaret Boddie, Josephine Tamayo Murray, David Beke, Courtney Smith
and Ellen Hegenauer
Not pictured: Natalia Pierson
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September is
Filipino American Heritage Month

October was established 21 years ago as Filipino American Heritage Month to commemorate the first documented landing of Filipinos in what is now kown as the continental United States over 425 years ago. Here are some interesting facts about Filipino Americans and their contributions to America:

  • The earliest documented Filipino presence in the continental United States was on October 18, 1587, when the first “Luzones Indios” set foot in Morro Bay, CA, on board the manila-built galleon ship Nuestra Senora de Esperanza. 
  • In 1763, the first permanent Filipino settlement was established in the United States in St. Malo, Louisiana.The Filipino American community is the second largest Asian American group in the United States, with a population of approximately 3,100,000 people.
  • Filipino American servicemen and servicewomen have a longstanding history in the Armed Forces from the Civil War to the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, including the 25,000 Filipinos who fought under the United States flag during WWII to protect and defend this country.
  • Nine Filipino American have received the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Please visit the Filipino American National Historical Society (FAHNS) for more information.

Information excerpted from 2009 House Resolution 780, in concurrence with Senate Resolution 298.


presented by

Join us for a literary exploration of how culture and race
shape our communities and the world.    

October's Featured Book Recommendation

When the Elephants Dance

by Tess Uriza Holthe

In the waning days of WWII, as the Japanese and U.S. Forces battle tosses the Philippine Islands, the Karangalan family hides with their neighbors Ina cramped cellar, where they glean hope from the family stories and folktales they tell each other. These stories of love, survival, and family blend the supernatural with the rich, little known history of the Philippines, the centuries of Spanish colonization, the power of the Catholic Church, and the colorful worlds of the Spanish, Mestizo, and Filipino cultures. As the villagers tell their stories in the darkened cellar below, Holthe masterfully weaves in the stories of three brave Filipinos—a teenage brother and sister and a guerrilla fighter—as they become caught in the battle against the vicious Japanese forces above ground.

Inspired by her father's firsthand accounts of this period, Tess Uriza Holthe brings to magical and terrifying life a story of the hope and courage needed to survive in wartime.. Learn more.


If you would like to host a CCS/CHS Reads lunch and book discussion in your area, please contact Margaret Boddie.

Here are some highly recommended books that explore diversity. Two books whose stories are set in the Philippines are highlighted.

7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas
A Little Yellow Dog by Walter Mosley
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolpho Anaya
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Buffy Sainte-Marie
Children in the Holocaust and World War II by Lauren Holliday
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Daughters Are Forever by Lee Maracle
Daughters of the Earth by Carolyn Niethammer
Dream Jungle by Jessica Hagedorm
Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
Evidence Not Seen: A Woman's Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of WWII by Darlene Deibler Rose
Extraordinary Acts of Native Life on the West Coast by Kathryn Bridge
Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States by Seth Holmes
Honolulu by Alan Brennert
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
How the Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev
I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Kindred by Octavia Butler
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith by Gina B. Nahai
Native Son by Richard Wright
No Language but a Cry by Dr. Richard Anthony D'Ambrosio
Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family by Pauli Murray
Savage Continent by Keith Lowe
Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford
The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman
The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan
The History of White People
by Nell Irvin Painter

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
The Toughest Indian in the World by Sherman Alexie
Things Fall Apart
by Chinua Achebe
When the Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe
Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit by Leslie Marmon Silko



We gather in our diversity to challenge ourselves and our communities to love one another.

We gather together in our diversity to listen to and speak our respective truths.

We have everyone’s uniqueness, talent and gifts engaging people so they feel free to speak openly about issues and concerns.

We gather our diversity to celebrate our varied histories, cultures, and triumphs.


“Diversity and inclusivity in an organization cannot be accomplished in an unstructured and informal manner. Creating the enterprise necessitates a responsive, comprehensive, and effective methodology developed specifically for creating process innovation and lasting organizational transformation. The goal is not to engage in a series of unrelated activities and or quick fixes. Rather the goal is to create a process, which would transform the organizational structure and become a part of day-to-day operations.”
(Catholic Charities USA) 

CS/CHS Employee Pledge
CCS is committed to making our services, our agencies and our communities free of the divisive and dehumanizing ravages of racism. To live out this commitment every employee is expected to pledge the following:

I will not tolerate attitudes, behaviors, or statements that alienate, offend or injure any person associated with CCS because of their racial or ethnic origin;

I will enable and support all efforts to become aware of and eliminate racism and racist behaviors within CCS and the broader community;
I will take exceptional steps to identify and root out such biases, especially where there appear to be long-standing, institutional patterns of unacceptable behavior or lack of performance.
CCS is committed to employing staff that reflect the diversity of the regional population. Professional Ethics, Mission orientation and Cultural Competency trainings are required of all employees to assist the organization in meeting its commitments in this arena.
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MAT Co-Chair
Margaret Boddie

MAT Co-Chair
Jose Uriarte
Community Partners
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El Centro de la Raza
Click here to to visit the
El Centro de la Raza website.

Minority Executive Directors CoalitionClick here to visit the
Minority Executive Directors Coalition website.

United Indians of All Tribes
Click here to visit the
United Indians of All Tribes Foundation website
Click here to visit the
First Place website
Black Dollar Days
Click here to visit Black Dollar Days Task Force website


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