UniPro Summit 2016: "Reach"

The theme for 2016 was “Reach.” It was chosen by the Co-Directors to embody the actions of the organization as it reached outside of New York to host Summit and as it continued to expand to other cities.  The work done at Summit was intended to be internal; with internal dialogue critical to understanding identities, the intersectionality of those identities and how one walks through the world, personally and professionally, based on experiences. This internal work must be done in order for all of us to engage in critical productive dialogues that will progress the community.


“Reach” featured four Keynote speakers, three workshop sessions and a Kwentuhan (storytelling) panel on reaching multiracial unity.  The Keynote speakers were; Sara Porkalob, Ruby Veridiano, Emily Lawsin and Dr. EJR David.

Sara Porkalob is an award winning solo performer, actor, and director working in Seattle.  She has a BFA in Theatre and Original Works from Cornish College of the Arts. Her work has been seen at 5th Avenue Theatre, Annex Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Seattle Public Theatre, Taproot, Bumbershoot, and other local venues. An Asian-Pacific Islander and fervent fourth wave feminist, she is a devotee of intersectional studies and is committed to dynamic story-telling and cultural place-making in her community.

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Ruby Veridiano is a “Glamour GIrl Off to Change the World.” She is a writer, speaker, TV host, and social responsibility consultant with a mission to empower women and merge fashion with social change.  She was born in the Philippines, raised in Sacramento, and has spent time living in Italy, France, Manila, Atlanta, Oakland and New York City, shaping her global perspective as an advocate and voice for women.  Ruby has spoken at over 400 Universities across the United States, Europe and Asia. She also published a book, Miss Universe, and in 2011, became the first LitCorps Ambassador for Global LIteracy Organization LitWorld, where she spearheaded LitWorlds Girls Empowerment Program in her home country of the Philippines.  She has served as a TV Host/ Correspondent for channels such as ABS-CBN and MYX TV, and her writings have appeared on NBC News, Audrey Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Philippines. She has worked on the Social Responsibility Team of the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy Group in Paris, France. She speaks English, Tagalog, and French.


Emily P. Lawsin is a second-generation Pinay-Filipina American - born and raised in “SHE-attle”, Washington, who believes in sharing history and HERstory through OURstories.  An oral historian and spoken word performance poet since 1990, she has appeared on television, radio and stage throughout the United States and Manila. She is the co-author of Filipino Women in Detroit: 1945-1955.  Her poetry, essays, and short stories on war brides, students and Filipino American families have been published in numerous journals and anthologies. For more than 20 years, she taught Asian American Studies and Women’s Studies in California, Massachusetts, and at the University of Michigan.  She was elected as National Vice President of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) in 2016.


E.J.R. David, Ph.D. is of Tagalog and Kapampangan heritage. He was born in the Philippines, and grew up in Barrow, Alaska. He obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage (2002), and Master of Arts (2004) and Doctoral (2007) Degrees in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Alaska Anchorage where he also directs the Alaska Native Community Advancement in Psychology Program. Dr. David has produced two books, “Brown Skin, White Minds” and “Internalized Oppression: The Psychology of Marginalized Groups.” He was the recipient of the 2012 American Psychological Association Early Career Award in Research for Distinguished Contributions to the Field of Racial and Ethnic Minority Psychology, the 2013 Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research, the 2014 Alaska Psychological Association Cultural Humanitarian Award for Exemplary Service and Dedication to Diversity, and the 2015 Fellow Status by the AAPA for “Unusual and Outstanding Contributions to Asian American Psychology.” He is currently working on two other book projects, "The Psychology of Oppression" and "We Have Not Stopped Trembling Yet."

Quick Link: Printed Program