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10 Years of MAFA!

Updated: Nov 26, 2018

Welcome to the official blog of the Midwest Association of Filipino Americans!

I’m Sarah, your current MAFA secretary. Whether you’re an alumni who’s been apart of MAFA for years, or you’re a new member who’s still discovering what MAFA actually is, we’re stoked to have you be a part of this community!

First and foremost, let’s take a second to introduce ourselves. We are your 2018-2019 MAFA Executive Board. We’re an eccentric bunch who are devoted to serving the Midwest Filipino-American community and furthering your MAFA experience.

From left to right: Jessica Cruz (Co-Outreach), Heather Ordoñez (Treasurer), Maegan Cedro (Events Coordinator), Randall Tran (Vice President External), Csammer Love Jularbal (President), Rio Villoria (Vice President Internal), Francis Rettinger (Media Master), Mary Giselle Herran (Co-Outreach), and me, Sarah Hidalgo (Secretary)

2018 is actually a very special year for us …why? Because today marks MAFA’s TENTH BIRTHDAY!!!!!  That’s right– On October 25, 2008 at the Filipino Americans Coming Together (FACT) conference, MAFA’s first executive board was sworn in, and it was officially formed as an organization. To commemorate our organization’s 10th anniversary, the 18-19 MAFA board has a special message.

Back in the 90s, MAFA actually started as an idea for a conference. In the fall of 1995, some members of the Bayanihan Student Organization at Marquette University (s/o to my home org!) attended the Filipino Intercollegiate Networking Dialogue (FIND) conference at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The sense of unity between the Filipino organizations of different East Coast colleges really stuck out, and it made a lasting impression on the BSO delegates. They wanted to create that same kind of community here in the Midwest–and thus, the first MAFA conference was brought to life. Held on March 22-24, 1996 – Marquette hosted almost 100 delegates from six different universities in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin at this first get-together. This conference was eventually renamed as the Midwest Filipino-American Summit (MFAS), and it has continued to grow in attendance every year.

So… with almost 23 years of MAFA history, we’d like to thank you so much for being part of this journey! As we continue to grow as an organization, our hope is that you will use MAFA to further discover your Midwest Filipino-American identity, become more aware about social issues and current events within the Filipinx and Filipinx-American community, and build connections as we engage in dialogues surrounding these topics. As we announced earlier this semester, a huge topic that we as a board want to focus on this year is mental health. In support of this year’s philanthropy, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), we will continue to actively fundraise and share resources, and facilitate discussions to help spread awareness and fight against the stigma of mental illness, especially in the Asian-American community.

Although Filipino-American History Month has come to a close, celebration of our culture and Filipinx-American identity doesn’t have to end. The year is just beginning, and we are insanely excited for what it has to offer.

On behalf of your 18-19 MAFA board,

Sarah Hidalgo 18-19 MAFA Secretary

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