“X” celebrates ten years of UniPro history, community, and progress. As we collectively reflect on the 10th anniversary of the organization, we also enter emotionally-charged conversations that address difficult topics and varying perspectives that impact the Pilipino American community. In “X,” we invite you to engage and reflect on Experience, Exclusion, and Extension, in order to mobilize and unite our community for the next “X” years.
COMMISSIONER BITTA MOSTOFI
NYC MAYOR’S OFFICE OF IMMIGRANT AFFAIRS
Bitta is a long time immigrant rights advocate and human rights organizer. After graduating law school from DePaul University in Chicago she practiced civil rights law with a particular focus on the discriminatory impact of immigration practices on Muslim or Middle Eastern immigrants. Shortly thereafter she joined Safe Horizon and continued her legal practice representing immigrant crime victims, asylees, and others in both affirmative and defensive petitions before the immigration court. Bitta led the organization’s advocacy work on behalf of immigrant crime victims seeking U visas, including before the City and Department of Homeland Security. Along the way Bitta has continued her community organizing, increasing awareness of global human rights injustices and the plight of refugees. Since joining the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs in 2014, Bitta has advanced the rights and well-being of immigrant New Yorkers. After spearheading the IDNYC outreach campaign, Bitta helped design the ActionNYC legal services program and was promoted to Assistant Commissioner of MOIA in January of 2016. In May of 2018, Mayor de Blasio appointed Bitta to Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.
KARLA PUNO GARCIA
Originally from The Washington DC area, Karla Puno Garcia is currently in the Broadway show Hamilton: An American Musical. Favorite performance credits include Broadway’s West Side Story, Gigi, Hot Feet, National Tours Wicked and Addams Family, NBC’s Smash, and FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance Season 5. She has a BFA in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
Karla is the recipient of the Richmond Theatre Critics ‘Best Choreography’ Award for her original work on In the Heights (Virginia Rep). Choreography credits include the Off-Broadway show One Thousand Nights and One Day, NY City Center production Gone Mission, and various music videos. Karla was one of six ‘Broadway Bound choreographers’ selected to present at the 2018 DANCEBREAK showcase. She has created work for organizations such as Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS, Trevor Project, and Katie’s Project. She is on the Theater faculty at Broadway Dance Center.
SESSION 1: "EXPERIENCE"
This session will look back at our community’s history and celebrate various achievements of the Pilipino American community through our panels on media, community organizing, and storytelling.
X Years of Media Panel
Celebrate the growth and diversification of Pilipino/Asian Americans who have made significant contributions to the Asian American culture in media and the arts, paving the way for future Pilipino/Asian Americans to leave their mark in the media.
x years of community organizing
Surround yourself and collaborate with the leaders who have helped shape the community at large, while focusing on a brighter community for the next X years.
x years of storytelling
One of the biggest accomplishments of the Pilipino American community in the last X years is making the community socially aware of our identity, but there's still a vast horizon of Pilipino subcultures to explore.
This session will analyze the harmful and hurtful levels in which Pilipino Americans have been excluded. Attendees will also examine challenging topics that are left unsaid or taboo in our community.
Major General Antonio “Tony” Taguba serves as a Community Ambassador for AARP. After his parents became ill, he and his siblings were ill - prepared to care for them. Faced with tough decisions about their health and finances, they managed to care for them the best they could. To help others, General Taguba now advocates for caregivers and their families.
Born in Manila, Philippines in 1950, General Taguba joined the U.S. Army after graduating from Idaho State University in 1972. He served in numerous command and staff position up to General Officer level. His service tours included assignments in the continental United States, South Korea, Germany, and Kuwait.
General Taguba is the second Philippine-born U.S. citizen to be promoted to the officer rank of General in the U.S. Army. He received numerous military awards, including the Army Distinguished Service Medal (2 awards), the Legion of Merit (4 awards), the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (6 awards), the Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge, and the Army Staff Identification Badge. He retired in January 1, 2007 having served 34 years on active duty as a decorated officer with the rank of Major General and an advocate for breaking down racial and ethnic barriers in the military.
is a scholar, cultural tattoo practitioner and advocate for the the critically endangered practice of "batok" or cultural tattoos of the Philippines. He also has studied other related indigenous traditions of the Philippines and greater Pacific with nearly three decades of research and experience. His mother is from the Philippines and his father is of English and Scandinavian descent. Lane is the author of "Filipino Tattoos Ancient to Modern" -and- "The Forgotten Children of Maui." He is also a contributing writer to "Back from the Crocodile's Belly: Philippine Babaylan Studies and the Struggle for Indigenous Memory" and "Shamanic Transformations: True Stories of the Moment of Awakening," as well as several articles for various magazines and journals
(pronouns they/them/theirs) is an applied theatre artist and is one of the co-facilitators for the multigenerational theatre troupe the TransGenerational Theatre Project in NYC (in collaboration with SAGE.) They received their M.A. in Applied Theatre from CUNY School of Professional Studies. L is also currently the Gender Justice Manager at the NYC Health Department and is the acting LGBTQ Liaison for the agency. Previously, they were the Youth Pride Coordinator at CANDLE in Rockland County, NY. L has also volunteered for FAHSI (Filipino American Human Services Inc.), co-facilitating their Leading Youth to Find Empowerment (LYFE) Program. L was also on the Board of Kalusugan Coalition, an organization dedicated to improving health outcomes for Filipino Americans.
policy & advocacy
After having examined the trajectory of our community during Experience and Exclusion, it is necessary to move collectively towards thoughtful progress. This session will allow the time necessary to think tank tangible ways for all of us Pilipino Americans to move into the next X years.