The UW-Madison Filipinx American Student Organization (FASO) is playing a leading role in hosting the first post-pandemic Midwest Filipino American Summit (MFAS), which is being held on campus April 2, with more than 400 Filipinx students from seven states expected to attend.
FASO’s eight executive board members are doing most of the planning for this year’s event — and three of these leaders are current undergraduate students with the School of Education: Trixie Cataggatan (co-president external) is an elementary education major with a certificate in studio art; Ethan Gonzales (vice president) is an elementary education and Spanish major; and Amelia Catacutan (secretary of FASO) is majoring in educational studies and international studies, with certificates in educational policy and Asian American studies.
The other UW-Madison Filipinx American Student Organization board members are: Sophia Boté (co-president internal), Ciboney Reglos (treasurer), Bianca Barredo (cultural chair), Sofia Fernandez (marketing chair), and Alexis Jansen (fundraising chair).
The Midwest Filipino American Summit will give participants the opportunity to:
- Learn from a variety of Filipinx speakers and facilitators about topics related to cultural appreciation, identity, social justice, advocacy, and more
- Interact with peers through workshops and actively engage in new skills
- Network with other students and professionals
- Enjoy a variety show with Filipinx performers from across the Midwest
The UW-Madison Filipinx American Student Organization has been planning for MFAS since the fall and been holding weekly planning meetings with the Midwest Association of Filipino Americans— an organization that acts as the regional representative of 23 collegiate Filipinx American student organizations around the Midwest.
The theme for the conference is, “Kinabukasan: Our Future is Now.” The MFAS planning team, on the event website, notes how: “In an ever-changing world, we as Filipinx individuals and Filipinx Americans take on the responsibility of acknowledging our past experiences to define ourselves in the present.”
Kinabukasan in Tagalog translates into “future.”
The MFAS planning team adds: “As a generation that is experiencing adversities unlike any we have seen before, we have the unique opportunity to become agents of change — both as individuals and as a society. We acknowledge that kinabukasan cannot happen without the present, and we must take initiative together. Our history and values are deeply rooted in utilizing strong community bonds to incite necessary change. This concept is inseparable from our past and imperative to build the future that we envision.”