“We’re not talking about the mental health issue” – Deirdre Levy, Candidate for NY City Council, Special Education Teacher on Covid-19, Effects on Education & Mental Health, and Staying Strong in Isolation
Deirdre is a special education teacher working with third grade students in Prospect Heights, living in Brooklyn New York. Most of her experience comes from working with kids with severe autism, and she’s been advocate for all learners, including kids with dyslexia, intellectual disabilities and emotional disabilities.
Deirdre believes that the Filipina voice needs to be elevated. While she does admire the beauty queens that have elevated Pinay representation in the world, it is important for Deirdre to encourage other Filipina women to take on bigger positions.
Deirdre is a candidate in the race for City Council in Brooklyn, District 35. If elected, Deirdre will be the first Pinay to represent New York City.
In this episode, we learn about what led her to her work in special education and what led to her run for office. We discuss the global pandemic of Covid19 and her lens as an educator, and the effects it has on education, students, elections, small businesses and ultimately mental health. She talks about demystifying discrimination against asian Americans, and what we can learn from as a society and country from the disparities being highlighted.
Deirdre closes off with 3 messages: to her students as an educator, to her community & city as a candidate and to Filipinas and anyone who can use encourage words and strength in this time.
“Womanhood in Pre-Colonial Philippines was fierce and tender, all at once” – Gabes Torres on Filipina history, Decolonizing your Identity & Reclaiming your Innate Worth
Gabes is a researcher, artist, theologian, speaker, and psychotherapist in training, and her life’s work is to demonstrate how there’s nothing “post-” about post-colonialism. She recently completed a Master’s in Theology and Culture at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, focusing on colonialism and is completing her Master’s in Counseling Psychology.
Gabes currently works for The Allender Center writes poetry and music. She’s independently produced 3 albums of original music and has toured in Southeast Asia, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle.
In this discussion, we learn
Gabes’ journey and what brought her to her work and mission of decolonization,
The history of the Philippines from before colonization
What the pre-colonial Filipina was like and womanhood before oppression
The Grieving Process around the “Inferiority Complex” and Rejection-of-the-self
The Reclaiming Process: Reclaiming the colonized parts of our identities and embracing and loving what is our own
Find her on: GabesTorres.com | Instagram @gabestorres
Kristen Brillantes is the CEO & Co-Founder of The Sarap Shop, a San Francisco-based, Filipino-American food truck and catering company, that serves an inclusive Filipino comfort food menu. Previously, she was the Head of Design Operations at Stripe, a large fintech company, and before that held leadership development roles at Google and Google Ventures. She is also a Business coach and designer.
This episode will have you pulling out a pen and paper to design your own growth! We discuss her journey, from various corporate roles to starting the Sarap Shop, and hard decisions and sacrifices she made along the way to stay true to herself.
We cover topics such as:
How to take ownership of your own growth wherever you are
Shifting from a sacrificial/scarcity mindset to abundance mindset, especially as a 1st or 2nd Generation Filipino
How to treat professional life like play
Why it’s important to let yourself UNRAVEL
Being Filipina in the workplace and bringing
Follow Kristen at @thesarapshop
(Big thanks to Ruanne Catapang & Ashley Lanuza for help on this!)
Decolonizing Generational Financial Falsehoods & Reclaiming Your Money Power with HeyBerna, Financial Hype Woman
Berna Anat is a financial consultant and financial literacy educator who is dedicated to making personal finance education more funny, accessible and more “brown” for people everywhere. Her mission to help others find financial freedom and is creating a financial revolution helping people of color and minority communities take back the power of money.
On this episode, we talk about:
Her journey, from having no financial educational background, paying off $50,000 in debt, to being Financial Literacy Educator
Decolonizing Financial Falsehoods that have been passed down generations from the Philippines and where they are rooted
How to reclaim our Financial Freedom and Money Power
The “Frugal-Flex” in Filipino communities
3 First Steps to begin your journey to Debt-Freedom & Personal Wealth
As a first generation Filipina-American, her journey began after struggling with the debt she owned after college and saw what was lacking in financial education: a face and story she can relate to. After paying off $50,000 of debt with self-taught methodologies, she’s created countless resources, from content on her Instagram HeyBerna, YouTube videos, articles, and programs and workshops.
Follow her on @Heyberna on Instagram and HeyBerna.com
Filipino Food Movement + Following Your Calling with Yana, Salo Series founder/acclaimed-Nomadic Chef
In March 2013, Yana Gilbuena had the epiphany that she wanted to bring Filipino food and Kamayan to all 50 states. At the time, she was working a completely different job, and didn’t have any formal training as a culinary chef. 6 years later, Yana is an acclaimed...
“Don’t be afraid to rattle the cage” – Jessica Caloza, Commissioner of Los Angeles Board of Public Works
Jessica Caloza was 4-years-old when she immigrated from the Philippines to California. She is now Los Angeles’ Commissioner on the Board of Public Works, the first Filipino in the position and one of the youngest in City Hall. How did she get here?
Together, we discuss her journey and what transitioned her into public service and government. We also discuss her commitment and lens in public service as a 1st Generation Filipino woman, and why she’s passionate about representing Filipinos and underrepresented communities.
Jessica also highlights her focuses, from building pipelines for the youth into public service and politics to coalition building with other communities, and what makes her proud to be a Filipino in government. She also talks about her love of Filipino food culture, lends advice in pursuing a path you’re passionate about… and why Filipinos make a great fit for being in government!