Damayan ng Kabataan (Damayan Youth)
Damayan ng Kabataan (Damayan Youth) is Damayan’s newly formed Filipino im/migrant youth group organizing around the realities and needs of new Filipino im/migrant youth.
Globalization and neoliberal economic practices create systemic labor exploitation conditions, facilitating forced migration for hundreds of thousands of Filipino workers and youth every year. Young women and girls are disproportionately represented in im/migration patterns due to the feminization of migration from the Philippines and face unique challenges. Filipino im/migrant youth who are new to the United States have to grapple with difficult experiences with their transition dealing with family separation, immigration complications, health and education disparity, labor exploitation, and societal racism.
Damayan ng Kabataan is a community for new Filipino im/migrant youth. While new immigrants often arrive into the United States invisibly and assume an anonymous identity in the pursuit of the “American Dream”, Damayan ng Kabataan provides a collective space where new Filipino immigrant youth can access resources and connect to Filipino social and political networks to facilitate an easier immigrant transition. Additionally, grounding the immigrant experience within a larger Filipino experience that is connected to the homeland in the Philippines, Damayan ng Kabataan will help Filipino immigrant youth navigate American society, instead of uncritically assimilating in it.
Focusing on creating a safe space for empowerment, Damayan ng Kabataan outreaches to undocumented Filipino youth and new Filipino immigrants. Many undocumented youth grapple with societal pressures and stigmas due to their undocumented status and constitutes one of the most vulnerable members of our society. Social alienation, in addition to not being able to access basic needs and services, banishes undocumented youth into a culture of silence and invisibility. Complementing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) legal referrals, Damayan ng Kabataan will provide a community space for undocumented youth give voice to the Filipino youth workers, and create sustained change in the community relating to battling the stigmas that undocumented youth workers face.
If you’re a Filipino youth interested with Damayan ng Kabataan, please contact Riya Ortiz, Damayan Community Organizer at email@example.com or at 212.564.6057.