UniPro Summit 2012: "Renaissance"

Riding the momentum of our first Summit, our second Summit, “Renaissance” wanted to highlight the accomplishments of our community in multiple sectors and shed the label of the invisible minority.  “Renaissance” also focused on creating an environment that would continue the Pilipino American Renaissance by equipping delegates with knowledge and inspiring them as they worked to push progress forward.


“Renaissance” featured a guided networking session, a panel on the Pilipino American Renaissance, a panel on health and medicine, a panel on business and entrepreneurship, a panel on politics, activism and civic engagement, a panel on arts and entertainment, a panel on storytelling and education, two workshop sessions and three Keynote speakers. The Keynote speakers were; Tony Melotto, Jose Antonio Vargas and Ayesha Vera-Yu.

Tony Meloto.jpg

After receiving Asia’s most prestigious Ramon Magsasay Award for Leadership in 2006 (a Rockefeller Foundation initiative), Antonio “Tony” Meloto did not rest on the laurels of a dramatic and growing success of the work he founded, Gawad Kalinga (GK). Because of its impact on the various sectors of society and the active engagement with national and local governments, Gawad Kalinga is evolving to be a serious template for social economic and political development.  Tony has also authored the book "Builders of Dream" about his journey in GK. Most recently he received the prestigious Social Entrepreneur Award by the Skoll Foundation.

Jose Antonio Vargas.jpg

Jose Antonio Vargas, an award winning multimedia journalist, is the founder of Define American, a new campaign that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration. He's been a journalist for over a decade, writing for some of the most prestigious news organizations  in the country.  Most recently, he was a senior contributing editor at the Huffington Post, where he launched the Technology and College sections. Born in the Philippines, he emigrated to the United States at the age of 12.  Stunning the media and political circles and attracting world-wide coverage, Vargas wrote the groundbreaking essay, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” for the New York Times Magazine in the Summer of 2011.

Ayesha Vera-Yu.jpg

Ayesha Vera-Yu is the CEO and Co-Founder of Advancement for Rural Kids (ARK). Ayesha has been intimately involved in developing the vision, implementation of the mission and ensuring that the organization makes real impact. Prior to ARK, Ayesha “sold her soul” and “worked like a dog” in investment banking for 12 years as a Director at the largest French Bank, BNP Paribas. In 2006 Ayesha invested in restructuring the family farm into an organic and integrated one, where carabaos, chickens, ducks and goats live happily with rice and vegetables. Ayesha studied biology and chemistry at Mount Holyoke College and received her MBA from Columbia University.

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