On June 21-23, the Little Manila (LM) contingent (above) packed thier suitcases for a historic weekend in downtown Los Angeles. They were invited to be on a panel about engaging youth through historic preservation at the 2012 National Asian Pacific Islander American Historic Preservation Forum.
The forum brought together city, state, and national leaders in APIA Historic Preservation to dicuss concerns, new ideas, and action plans regarding the APIA community stakes in preserving histories on a local and national levels.
In an effort to archive our experiences, below are highlights from the conference from a student and two teachers of the Little Manila After School Program:
Synequeen Alasas-as (Student): My favorite part was all the small group conversations "fish bowl." It gave an opportunity to discuss how different preservationist are doing in their community. I connected with a preservationist from New Mexico who spoke about youth working together to rebuild what once was their ancestor's pueblo. With the right tools and techniques, they not only were able to rebuild and renown their history, but they also ensured it would be there for future generations. This conversation reminded me of Stockton, the project gave a sense of responsibility to protect and spread our history. Communities-building-community makes future more meaningful.
Alma Riego (Co-Teacher): One of my favorite moments from the Forum was the workshop that focused on technology. Fellow workshop attendees and I became extremely excited to learn about new opportunities to showcase our preservation efforts through innovative technology. For instance, HistoryPin, was an online instrument that allowed for community members to interact with maps of cities across the world and ingrain in them their own bit of history through storytelling, video, and images. I thought this was an important resource that educators, preservationists, community members, and students alike could all benefit from and collaborate with to continue to tell the stories of our past and present.
Brian Batugo (Co-Teacher): Near the end of the conference, we visited 12 stations in the "XLAB" at the Japanese American National Museum. My favorite station was called "Speak your voice." Museum-goers would step up to a live microphone and create a sentence based on a sentence starter artfully displayed in front of them. Like the station had us demonstrate for ourselves, the APIANHiP conference was an opportunity for many communities to use their voices to share their concerns and interests in historic preservation. Coming away from the conference, I discovered there is a growing interest to empower and learn from youth.
The weekend was incomplete without exposure to acutal historic places in LA. As part of conference programming, the LM contingent chose to tour LA's Historic Filipinotown with a personal Jeepney Ride tour of the area led by the Executive Director of Pilipino Workers' Center. Pictures of the tour as well as other conference moments are included in the slide show below.
Photo's Courtesy of Alma Riego and Elena Mangahas
The overall experience was empowering and educational. Many of the ideas, resources, technology, and networks introduced to us at the conference will help ground curriculum in LMASP 2012-2013.
We at LMASP hope to be part of future discussions and conferences. We most certainly cannot wait for next year's conference all the way in Seattle, WA!