Frequently Asked Questions about FiRE!

(this page is all original content from www.firenyc.org)

Gabriela Silang is a revolutionary heroine during the Spanish colonization in the mid-1700s.  Her name has  since then become synonymous to describing any strong Filipina fighting against injustice and oppression.  It is also an acronym for the national progressive women’s alliance in the Philippines of which FiRE is a member: General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership, and Action (GABRIELA.)

Q: How do I contact you?
You can email us at fire.nyc@gmail.com or send us mail at the following address:
FiRE NYC c/o Philippine Forum
Bayanihan Filipino Community Center
40-21 69th Street
Woodside, NY 11377

Q: How do I get involved?
We’d love to have you as a volunteer, guest artist, educational discussion attendee, a new member…whatever!  Please  visit the [insert new link] above! 🙂

Q: Who is in FiRE?
Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) is a grassroots women’s organization serving New York City and its surrounding areas. We connect the Filipino diaspora to the women’s struggle in the Philippines. We are women of Philippine descent, including those who are migrants, immigrants and US-born. We recognize Filipino women of mixed heritage and adoptees. FiRE is a LGBTIQ-(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer/Questioning) friendly organization that is inclusive of transgender people of Philippine descent.

The volunteers who run FiRE consist of a membership of Filipina immigrants of various generations, mixed raced Pinays, and Fil-Ams who dedicate their time to create these community spaces for Filipinas; the product of our work has the potential of affecting the living conditions of our local NYC community, the perspective on OFWs all over the world, or even the political/economic situation in the Philippines itself.

Q: Is this a sorority?
Women in GAB-USA organizations deeply value sisterhood.  However, the dynamics between members of our organization are guided by commitments to serving our local Filipino community, supporting the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines, and developing a more critical analysis of the conditions faced by Filipinas living in the United States.

Q: Do you have to be a member to come to Pinay Brunch, Diwang Pinay, or Pinay HERstories?
Pinay Brunch is open to anyone who identifies as a Filipina.  Diwnag Pinay and Pinay HERstories are open to all!

Q: What is the ND movement, and how are you involved in it?
The National Democratic Movement of the Philippines (NDM) is a principled liberation movement which fights against imperialism, fuedalism, and bureaucratic capitalism.  Having a “national democracy” in the Philippines means that the ultimate goal is to have the interests of the  Filipino majority represented in government, and that this population has equal say in all matters affecting their livelihood.  The NDM of the Philippines is millions strong, and FiRE creates initiatives in the U.S. to ensure our programs and campaigns reflect the values and causes of the National Democratic Movement.

Q: How are you Bayan AND GABRIELA?
An organizational flowchart is coming soon!

Q: Why does Bayan-USA organize by sector?
Bayan organizes by sector (workers, students, youth, women, etc.)  to ensure that the needs of the various demographics of Filipinos are met and addressed in those respective communities.   By having organizing groups within sectors emerge to tackle issues affecting them most, it is less likely for the needs in that sector to be overlooked or appropriated.

Q: How can you relate to the struggle in the Philippines when FiRE is a  US-based Fil-Am group?
While it is of utmost importance to continue the work in the Philippines, it is equally important to create awareness and organize Filipino/Fil-Am communities in the United States. With close to 4 million Filipinos in the U.S. (both documented and undocumented,) it is vital that FiRE, as a member of GABRIELA-USA, remains tied to the struggles of Filipinas living in the Philippines.  FiRE does this by working directly with the organization, GABRIELA (Philippines,) which has fought for womens rights there for the last 25 years. As a direct chapter of GABRIELA in the United States, FiRE continues to aid the New York City area by creating community and campaign initiatives serving Filipinas and highlighting womens issues occurring in the Philippines within the mainstream U.S. media.    FiRE remains accountable to those in the Philippines by supporting issues and causes affecting Filipinos anywhere in the world.

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