Lillian Galedo

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Lillian Galedo

Lillian Galedo was the Executive Director of Filipino Advocates for Justice before her retirement in April 2017.[1]

Leaving Stockton

In the early 1960s and 1970s several young Filipinos such as Lillian Galedo, Vince Reyes, Remy Galedo Reyes, Luna Jamero, Laurena Cabanero, Mel LaGasca, Morris Artiaga, and Alma Alcala left Stockton California to become involved in the civil rights, anti-war and social justice movements. [2]


"Raised by her mother to be a God-fearing Catholic, she went to Catechism classes like a good girl — as a child, even fantasizing about becoming a nun — and was generally unaware of the contradictions in the outside world.
"Her mother, Sotera, taught her discipline and self-restraint, not to desire things one cannot have, and how “not to aspire to huge expectations.” Her mom declined to sign Lillian’s EOP (a student affirmative action program) papers, as she could not believe all of Lillian’s tuition fees and expenses would be paid for in college. Thanks to her older sister, Herminia’s example inspired Lillian to reach for her dreams, and entered UC Davis.
"At UC Davis, she saw a new way of life, distinctly different from living in unincorporated South Stockton, near the San Joaquin River, which divides the delta from Sacramento on the north and Stockton to the south. Segregationist municipal policies led to no infrastructure in Stockton, where they were not connected to the city sewage system and had no sidewalks. Segregation was a characteristic of the whole city. South Stockton and East Stockton were almost all people of color, while North and West Stockton were predominantly white."
"In college, she heard student activists like Jean Quan, who would later became Mayor of Oakland, educate students about the Vietnam war.
"As a work study student for Professor Isao Fujimoto, she got a glimpse of the world through the New York Times, which he assigned her to clip from every week. Professor Isao Fujimoto, who himself had rural roots, pushed UC Davis to have community-relevant ethnic studies.
"With a Ford Foundation grant, that Prof. Isao Fujimoto helped to secure, students like Lillian, as community researchers tasked to go to their home communities to document their histories. Lillian found herself going back to study the Stockton Filipino community."[3]


Lillian Galedo is "widely known for her social justice advocacies and youth leadership development programs that trains high school students to become engaged in electoral politics, her awards span two decades plus: Asian Business League’s Community Service Award, The Wallace Gerbode Fellowship, Filipinas Magazine’s Community Service and Leadership Award, Californians for Affirmative Action, East Bay Californians Affirmative Action, Berkeley’s Committee on the Status of Women, The Eureka Communities Fellowship, UC Davis’s Alumni Service Award, Filipina Women’s Network’s 100 Most Influential Women, Kenneth Hoh Award for Excellence in Family Bridges, Upward Bound’s Commitment to Social and Economic Equity Award, Philippine News’ Filipino American Pioneer Justice Advocate Award, Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame’s Women in Service Award, Asian Law Caucus’ Yuri Kochiyama’s Lifetime Achievement Award for 2013 and Office of Assemblyman Bill Quirk’s Distinguished Women of the Year, Social Justice Honoree for 2014."


Lillian Galedo was active in the Union of Democratic Filipinos (KDP).

"Seeking to further her knowledge about Filipino American history, particularly how it is portrayed in school textbooks, Lillian Galedo joined a workshop at the 1975 Filipino People’s Far West Convention held in Stockton, where she met Cynthia Bonta, Jessica Ordona, Terri Bautista and Vince Reyes, who were Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino (KDP) (also Union of Democratic Filipinos, which amalgamated into the Line of March) members, interested in education.[4]
The KDP stood for Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino. And it was an organization that started in the early 70s, I wasn't a member of it then, partly in reaction to martial law in the Philippines. I think that the formation of the KDP and the anti-martial law movement, especially the left wing of the anti-martial law movement, happened right around the same time, I think even in the same year because martial law was declared in 1972. And, there was an initial formation called, NCLP (sp?), National Coalition for the Restoration of Democracy in the Philippines, or something like that, which I was not a part of but it would become, sort of the seeds, of the KDP. Because the NCLDLP (sp?) was formed by, kind of exiled from martial law in the United States, particularly young people, particularly students whose parents forced them to leave the country because they were afraid they were going to get arrested or jailed by Marcos, who were in New York, in San Francisco, places like that who found each other here in the United States around the issue of martial law. They began hooking up with Filipinos who self-identified as leftists and were involved in things like the iHotel and support for the farm workers, and that kind of stuff. They formed, together, the KDP, which was an organization of U.S. Filipinos as well as Philippine Nationals. Half of their work was around bringing down the Marcos dictatorship and the other half of their work was around civil rights issues here in the United States.
My sister got involved in it fairly soon after it started but I didn't get involved in it 'til I returned to the Bay Area because I was working for a while in Santa Barbara at a program that helped minority students. I came back to the Bay Area in the mid-1970s and that's where I got involved in this education task force and then I got involved in the iHotel again, and started working at UC Berkeley, running their Asian American Studies Library and met all the Asian left at UC Berkeley [laughs], which just propelled by leftist development because they were all over you, and eventually got recruited into the KDP in the late 70s.[5]

National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum

In 2011, Lillian Galedo was profiled by the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum. Profiles were "selected from a national pool of fierce sisters working across the country. They're multi-issue, multi-faceted, multi-ethnic movers and shakers. They're artists, activists, moms, attorneys, organizers, students. Together, we'll redefine women leadership and lift up the progressive movement for APA women and girls."[6]

Filipinos for Jackson

September 1984

In 1984 Lillian Galedo was a leader of Filipinos in the Rainbow Coalition.

Filipino Jackson supporters 1984


Filipino Jesse Jackson supporters in 1984 included Bay Area: Luisa Blue SEIU, Paul Estabalaya, church and community groups, Roger Estrella Phd, Lillian Galedo, director Filipino Immigrant Services, Remy Galedo, Union of Democratic Filipinos, Emil de Guzman, Senior Escort Program, Mila de Guzman, coordinator Bay Area Coalition Against the Simpson/Mazzoli Bill, Ed Ilumin, San Francisco Human Rights Commission, Leni Marin, West Coast coordinatoe CJDV, Sr. Felicia Sarati, OSJ, Bill Sorro, trade unionist, Bill Tamayo, attorney, coordinator BACASM, Jing Villareyes, Committee for a Democratic Union, Becky Villones, Human Relations Commission, Santa Clara County. Los Angeles: Paul Daza, student UCLA, Raul Daza, attorney, Antonio de Castro, cordinator Early Outreach UC Irvine, Sumi Haru, Mel Ilumin, director Asian Coalition, chairman Southern California Filipino-American Student Association, Andrea Aquino-Luna, Cas Tolentino, president Filipino Lawyers of Southern California.

Honored Communist Archie Brown

The People's Weekly World 1991 May Day Supplement (page B1) included a list of signatories honoring the late Northern California communist Archie Brown.

The list included Lillian Galedo.

Free Wen Ho Lee

Chanting "Free Wen Ho Lee!" more than 150 people rallied in front of the San Francisco Federal Building, June 8, 2000 for a National Day of Action to protest the government's persecution of Dr. Wen Ho Lee. Dr. Lee was an employee of Los Alamos National Laboratory, which designs and builds nuclear weapons. He was jailed and charged with providing an unnamed foreign power with information on atomic weapons.

The San Francisco protest was one of many demonstrations, teach-ins, and press conferences held across the country organized by the Coalition Against Racial and Ethnic Scapegoating (CARES). CARES charges that Dr. Lee was singled out because of his Chinese ancestry, and was made a scapegoat for poor security at the weapons lab.

Los Alamos Laboratory has security problems, which have continued after the arrest of Dr. Lee. The former head of security at Los Alamos stated that Lee was targeted because he was Chinese. At the rally in San Francisco, author Helen Zia angrily told the government, "Shame, shame, shame," referring to the fact former CIA head, John Deutch also mishandled data, but he has not been charged with a crime or jailed.

Other speakers at the rally explained how the persecution of Wen Ho Lee reflects the growing tensions between the United States and China, and likened his persecution based on nationality to police harassment of African Americans and Latinos. Lillian Galedo of Filipinos for Affirmative Action stated the case against Wen Ho Lee was influenced by "cold warriors trying to maintain the 'Chinese threat.'"

Renee Saucedo, of the Centro Legal La Raza, said that Latinos can relate to Wen Ho Lee because, "We are seen as 'illegals' and suffer from racial profiling by the police." She also praised the coalition of Latinos, African Americans, and Asian Americans who came together in a statewide effort to end the common police practice of stopping African American and Latino drivers for no apparent reason, "Driving while black or brown."

As each speaker finished, they shackled themselves together with handcuffs and chains to protest Wen Ho Lee's treatment. Dr. Lee's daughter, Alberta Lee, told the San Francisco rally how her elderly father is kept in solitary confinement, with his hands chained to his waist whenever he leaves his cell.

The discriminatory and inhumane treatment of Dr. Lee has led a number of prominent Asian Americans such as former chancellor Chang-Lin Tien of the University of California, Berkeley, and former California congressperson Norman Mineta to speak out on his behalf. [7]

Rob Bonta praises Lillian Galedo on Facebook

Rob Bonta praises Lillian Galedo on Facebook

Rob Bonta praised Lillian Galedo on Facebook:

"So proud to honor Filipino Advocates for Justice on the well-earned retirement of their incredible executive director Lillian Galedo after 37 years. You are my friend and all of our inspiration!"[8]

Cynthia Bonta praises Lillian Galedo

Cynthia Bonta on Lillian Galedo:

"While I was building my nonprofit organization in Sacramento, Lillian was building Filipino Advocates for Justice formerly Filipinos for Affirmative Action (FAA) and empowering the Filipino American community in the East Bay and the SF-Bay Area to make their voices heard on issues that affected their civil rights in the areas of education, immigration, employment, housing, etc. In 2007, Philippine National Day Association (PNDA), vested her with the Title of Lakandiwa, awarded to an outstanding Filipino American leader. The Lakandiwa translates to the highest regard, whose life achievements are to be emulated; and who is held up, as a role model to the young. The Lakandiwa has a deep understanding of man, arising from knowledge of one’s own history and culture. From such enlightenment comes compassion and service to others."

Center for Political Education

In 1998 the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism linked organization, the Center for Political Education hosted a forum entitled "The Workplace as a Site of Social Struggle: 1960’s and 1990’s". The inter-generational dialogue featured the following speakers:

Leo Robinson, International Longshore and Warehouse Union; Katie Quan, Vice President of International Ladies Garment Worker's Union; Frank del Campo, 25 year veteran of labor/community/Latino organizing; Margy Wilkinson, activist and officer of AFSCME; Nato Green, organizer, UFCW campaign; Joy Enomoto, temp workers organizer, Steve Williams, co-director of POWER; and Bharati Narumanchi, student organizer at San Francisco City College; moderated by Lillian Galedo, Filipinos for Affirmative Action.[9]

In 2001 Local 3; Lillian Galedo of Filipinos for Affirmative Action; Conny Ford of OPEIU; Lamoin Werlein-Jaen of HERE and Local 2; Steve Williams of People Organized to Win Employment Rights and Joe Wilson of the Coleman Advocates for Youth gave talks entitled: "Building Labor and Community Partnerships: Potential and Pitfalls." The classes were held at the San Francisco based Center for Political Education.[9]

"Racial Stereotypes in Popular Media"

Thursday, October 14, 2005, San Francisco Public Library.

Past and Present: Racial Stereotypes in Popular Media: A panel discussion featuring:

Moderated by Max Elbaum, War Times/Tiempo de Guerras.

This panel is in conjunction with the exhibit "COLORED: Black n' White, The Philippine-American War in American Popular Media, 1896-1907" which was on display at the Library from August 14 to October 21.[10]

National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights

National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights in International Migrants Day Reception 2011, December 20, 2011;


With Khanh Pham, Deborah Lee, Colin Rajah, Gerald Lenoir Laura Rivas-Andrade, Vivian Yi Huang, Claudia Reyes, Will Coley, Rafael Samanez, Lillian Galedo and Phil Hutchings.

Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward


Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward was a phone in webinar organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization in the wake of the 2016 election.

Now what? We’re all asking ourselves that question in the wake of Trump’s victory. We’ve got urgent strategizing and work to do, together. Join Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson of the Movement for Black Lives and Freedom Road, Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Jodeen Olguin-Taylor of Mijente and WFP, Joe Schwartz of the Democratic Socialists of America, and Sendolo Diaminah of Freedom Road for a discussion of what happened, and what we should be doing to build mass defiance. And above all, how do we build the Left in this, which we know is the only solution to the crises we face?

This event will take place Tuesday November 15, 2016 at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central/6pm Pacific.

Those invited, on Facebook included Lillian Galedo.[11]

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Galedo is on the Board of Directors of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, as of March 9, 2010.[12]

Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit

This toolkit is a project of love from the grassroots, from and by Asian American communities.

As Asian Americans, we believe that our liberation is tied to Black liberation and we continue to dream about a world where all of our people will be free. The toolkit would not have been possible without the following organizations and individuals:

Project Coordinators

Writing Consultants

We thank Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Rosenberg Foundation, Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, Unbound Philanthropy for their generous support of this project.

Special thanks to the Friends Doing Good giving circle, National CAPACD and Cathy Cha.

Thank you to the following racial justice organizers and fighters at the grassroots who have made this toolkit possible:

Alex T. Tom, Aiden Pham, Alvina Wong, Ashley Uyeda, Cathy Dang, Chhaya Chhoum, Christopher Cara, Dae Joong Yoon, Fahd Ahmed, InHe Choi, Joshua Fisher Lee, Kabzuag Vaj, Khamarin Nhann, Lai Wa Wu, Lillian Galedo, Mia-lia Kiernan, Minh Thanh Nguyen, Nancy Dung Nguyen, Naved Husain, Rachel Aceberos, Rishi Singh, Sarath Suong, Steven Dy, Naroen Chhin, Sandy Saeteurn.[13]

National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum

In 2011, Isabel Kang was profiled at the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, which were "selected from a national pool of fierce sisters working across the country. They're multi-issue, multi-faceted, multi-ethnic movers and shakers. They're artists, activists, moms, attorneys, organizers, students. Together, we'll redefine women leadership and lift up the progressive movement for APA women and girls."[14]

"Isabel Kang is a fierce APA woman leader through her work as the director of Shimtuh, a domestic violence and sexual assault program based at the Korean Community Center of the East Bay (KCCEB), a multi-service organization located in Oakland. For over ten years, Isabel has counseled thousands of survivors from all over the U.S. on Shimtuh's helpline, met with women to talk about the options available to them, and served as a liaison in a criminal justice system that often fails to provide adequate interpretation services for non-English speaking immigrant women. Additionally, Isabel tries to help women within a Korean cultural framework, rather than necessarily going after perpetrators in court. Articulate, tireless, and passionate, Isabel redefines what it means to be an APA woman leader by helping countless women discover the warrior within themselves."

Profiled Women

External links