Sharing stories for Filipinos in Alaska

Independence Day
Members of Filipino Community, Inc. dance during the Independence Day parade on July 4, 2016, in Juneau. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/KTOO)

For hundreds of years, Filipinos have made their marks in communities across Alaska but have largely been excluded from its history — and especially in news media. KTOO is changing that.

We are working with America Amplified, a national collective of public media organizations bringing visibility to underrepresented communities. Through this program, we’re leveling up our community engagement work and focusing on sharing stories for people, not just about them.

So far, we’ve met community leaders from Juneau and Anchorage who shared their experiences living in Alaska and their knowledge about Filipino cultures and history in the state. And we’ve learned a lot.

In March, we talked with a small group about media representation of Filipinos in general, what they hoped to see, what news organizations get wrong and what we don’t know about.

We’re also paying close attention to the upcoming national elections in the Philippines, which impact Filipino migrant workers in Alaska and other Alaskans who will be voting in those elections overseas. We learned that these members of the Filipino community are most often overlooked, so we want to help keep them informed about the issues they care about. That means you’ll be seeing news from the Philippines right here on our website.

Another part of our conversations that stood out was about the nuances of Filipino identity and the importance of also centering different cultures within that identity — from Ilocano to Tagalog, Visayan to Kapampangan, to Indigenous Filipinos and Filipinos with Alaska Native ancestry. And in our first story for America Amplified, we shared a look into the creation of a “Molly of Denali” episode that focused on the Kapampangan heritage of a Filipino Athabascan character.

We are still in the early stages of this work. And while one project sparked this new approach to community engagement, this is work we will continue to do with everyone we serve in Juneau and beyond.


America Amplified

KTOO is amplifying the voices of Filipinos in Alaska. We want to hear from you. What stories would you like to share or learn more about?

Shayne Nuesca

Director of Content Strategy, KTOO

I know you’re busy and I want to take the work out of getting information. I’m here to make sure we’re listening to you — through our website, social media and everywhere else on digital. What questions have come up after our reporting?

Like what you just read? KTOO news stories are member supported. Support your community news source today. Donate to KTOO.
Site notifications
Update notification options
Subscribe to notifications