Filipino Community of Seattle
For over 80 years, the Filipino Community of Seattle has been a galvanizing force and a cultural touchstone for thousands of Filipinx Americans and other immigrants throughout our community. We were born out of a time of great racial strife and segregation; when people of color were barred from owning property in many portions of Seattle; a time when communities of color turned to each other for social, cultural and civic support. Over the years, we have helped to shape and enrich the Greater Seattle community we know today, and to provide leadership on many issues of civil rights, social justice, and culturally appropriate and relevant response to basic needs. We are especially proud to be one of our community’s longest-standing, most impactful, people of color-led organizations, and one of the first Filipinx organizations in the nation.
Founded in 1935, Filipino Community of Seattle is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social service organization providing affordable housing, senior services, youth development and STEM programs, arts and culture programs, and basic needs programs in the form of food bags and warm meals.
Expand to learn more about our background dating back to 19271927 University of Washington Filipino students conceived of purchasing a students’ clubhouse. A committee was formed; and an aggressive fundraising campaign from the Alaska canneries during the fishing season yielded a sizeable amount. 1929 To attract broader support, the name of sponsoring organization was changed from University of Washington Students Clubhouse to Seattle Filipino Community Clubhouse. 1935 The Philippine Commonwealth Government was inaugurated in Manila. To have a common celebration in Seattle, the disparate Filipino organizations agreed to form a new organization called Philippine Commonwealth Council of Seattle (PCCS), which was to hold a two-day Philippine Commonwealth Day celebration. A constitution and a set of by-laws were drafted and approved. The two-day celebration was a resounding success. A new era has arrived, Filipinos in Seattle had finally become united. The organization was incorporated. 1940 Pio de Cano sued and won a landmark case enabling Filipinos to purchase land. He contested the application of the 1921 Alien Land Law to Filipinos, which prohibited non-citizens from owning land. He won the case on the grounds that Filipinos had not been “aliens” but “nationals” at the time the law was passed. After that ruling, de Cano became the first Filipino homeowner in Seattle. 1946 The Philippines was granted independence on July 4. The name Philippine Commonwealth Council of Seattle became inappropriate. The Filipinos adopted a new name: the Filipino Community of Seattle and Vicinity. A new constitution and a set of by-laws were adopted and was re-incorporated under the laws of Washington. 1952 In anticipation of the 3rd wave of Filipino immigrants entering Seattle, the organization was renamed “Filipino Community of Seattle, Incorporated.” 1965 The Community Council (FCS Leadership Council) authorized and approved the purchase of a property (a bowling alley) at 5740 Empire Way S (now MLK Jr Way S). The property is now known as the Filipino Community Center (FCC). 1973 The mortgage for FCC has been paid in full. 1974 A mortgage burning ceremony was held. With the complete ownership of the building by FCS, a milestone has been reached by Seattle Filipinos. It is a symbol of a people’s unity. 1984 The Senior Lunch Program was established. It is funded by the City of Seattle Senior Services through the Pacific Asian Empowerment Program. Low cost, hot, delicious and nutritious lunches are served to seniors on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The lunch program continues to this day and now serves over 100 seniors. 1995 FCS launched Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) with a $38K grant from the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods. The program, nurturing growth and maturity among Filipino American youth, is designed within the perspective of Filipino culture and values to provide them leadership skills, civic consciousness, and self-help for the youths to help their peers, and to provide pro-active action in their respective neighborhoods. 2000 The first FCS Miss Gay contest was staged. It was considered “daring” at the time as it was the first of its kind to be held at FCC. 2003-2008 The community saw major renovation of the Filipino Community Center and the development of responsive programs and services. The FCS Board members voted unanimously to proceed with the pre-development stage of the Filipino Community Village; working toward the development and construction of a two-phased housing, commercial and community service facility with projected cost of $20 million. 2012 FCS hired is first paid Executive Director. 2013 By unanimous vote of the Board Members, the FCS by-laws changed from general election to recruitment of board members subject to board approval. The board elects the President and Officers from among the board members. Term of the President is limited to 2 terms with 3 years/term; the other officers are limited to 3 terms with 3 years/term. The Washington State Legislature awarded $1.2 million to FCS to fund the construction of the Innovation Learning Center. 2018 FCS Board selected Beacon Development to build the Filipino Community Village. Cost of the Village was projected to be $30 million. Capital campaign for the Village entered a hectic phase. One-on-one solicitation with community member, and events, like Kamayan, were held to raise the funds. By the end of the year, approximately $3 million were raised from individuals, foundations, corporations, and state, city and county government for the Innovation Learning Center. 2019 Board Members adopted a 3-year strategic plan to guide FCS operations in 2019 – 2022. Groundbreaking for the Village was held on September 18, and construction commenced in December, 2019.
A united, thriving and vibrant Filipinx community.
To foster the well-being of Filipinx in Greater Seattle through culturally appropriate services and gathering spaces.
We develop client centered social service programs for Filipinx community members and friends who come through our doors; open our spaces to anyone to gather; advocate for social justice, equity and inclusion for ALL people; and respect and preserve the Filipinx history and traditions through arts and cultural programs.
We honor our elders, history and traditions. We understand we are where we are today because of the hard work, sacrifices and perseverance of those who came before us.
We listen and treat others the way we would like to be treated.
We demonstrate fairness, consistency and compassion in our interactions with others.
We are accountable to our stakeholders and the community we serve.
We set high standards for ourselves and community, and strive to transform for a better future.
We keep our integrity by keeping our words and promises, and being transparent in our decisions and actions.
We fulfill the roles entrusted to us using our talent and skills to the best of our abilities and without any hesitation for the common good. We wholeheartedly share our experiences and resources to benefit the organization and Filipinx community.
We believe in servant leadership. We are committed to serving the community and each other without regard to what we get back in return.
We unite and lift each member of the community towards achieving success.
We take pride and celebrate individual and/or group achievements.
We work together as a team to serve better our Filipinx community.
We seek to end all forms systemic racism that is the root of oppression.
We strive to eliminate the racial equity gap that negatively impacts all communities.
We are explicit and intentional about advocating for the unique needs of marginalized populations in order to improve equity.
We advocate breaking barriers to further social mobility, creating safety nets for financial stability paving the way towards economic sustainability.
Diversity & Inclusion
We accept everyone from all walks of life without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical, or mental capability.
We provide programs that are accessible and inclusive to all communities and individuals.
We listen carefully and consider diversity in opinion when making decisions. We all benefit when diversity of perspectives is seen, heard, valued and included.
Develop. Grow. Succeed.
You Can Make a Difference
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Build the Community Plaza With Us!
It's never too late to etch your legacy in stone!
Memorialize loved ones, honor friends and family, or commemorate special occasions by purchasing a personalized, engraved brick. Your brick will be displayed in our new Plaza. These laser-engraved pavers are guaranteed for life, with permanent ink that never wears away. Best of all, your tax deductible contribution will help complete the tenant improvement of the Innovation Learning Center.