TV/Video Interview of Emily P. Lawsin

by Jay Sanchez,

Here’s Emily performing and talking about how her poem “My Pinay Nanay” came to be. This was filmed in 2004 in Virginia Beach, at the benefit performance for Kundiman writers organization. It’s Season 1, Episode 3 Part B, from


See the whole Episode at

NORFOLK, VA:  In 2007, Filipino American Television, also known as Fil Am TV, began a weekly broadcast on public television station WHRO Channel 15 Sunday afternoons at 2pm. Produced by Pinoy Productions, the 30-minute program is designed to share the rich and diverse Filipino community with Hampton Roads. Fil Am TV showcases local cultural events, personalities, educational and topical issues, cooking segments and events calendar. “The vibrant local Filipino community contributes a great deal to the economic and cultural life of Hampton Roads,” said Bert Schmidt, WHRO President and Chief Executive Officer.“WHRO is especially pleased to be able to share those contributions with the community at large through Fil Am TV.”

Hampton Roads is home to a growing Filipino population estimated at 40,000. Largely due to the U.S. Navy, Virginia Beach has the largest concentration of Filipinos on the east coast and is also the largest Asian minority group in the area.

Pinoy Productions was founded in 2003 by independent television producer, Jay Sanchez and created to produce thoughtful and relevant, community-related programming. Sanchez has worked on a variety of projects at the regional and national level for over 17 years. Sanchez graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Including WHRO, Sanchez has worked for (3) PBS affiliates in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Previously, Sanchez was a producer/director for PBS affiliate WITF in Harrisburg, PA. Recent projects include: “In Our Aunties’ Words” for the Filipino American National Historical Society of Hampton Roads. The program was shown at the ODU film festival and broadcast on WHRO.

Examples of Intergenerational Community Projects

Empowering the Bayanihan Spirit!

Here are some videos that UofM folks made which you might like:

History, HERstory, OURstories

Pin@y Performance Project

2004 Philippine American Community Center of Michigan

Produced by Emily P. Lawsin and Joseph A. Galura

Directed by Garri Madera, Ma’arte Tribe Collective

Featuring Original Music by Singer/Songwriter Lisa Hunter, based on the oral history interview of Presentacion Igay.

Oral History Poem by Emily P. Lawsin, based on the oral history interviews of Rosalina Regala and Isabel Galura.

Actors in this Excerpt: Rica de Ocampo, Garri Madera, Lesly Burgamy Sauceda, based on the oral history interviews of Isabel Galura.

Video Edited by Rica de Ocampo.

The Filipino American Oral History Project of Michigan is a collective effort between University of Michigan faculty, students, staff, alumni, and community members. Our project aims to document the history of Pinays—Filipino American women—and Pinoys—Filipino American men, with a special focus on those who migrated and settled in the Midwestern United States. Through team-taught, service-learning courses, students have collected hundreds of photographs, life histories, and artifacts since the project’s inception in 2001. In 2002, we published the first book on Asian Americans of Detroit, titled Filipino Women in Detroit, 1945-1955: Oral Histories from the Filipino American Oral History Project of Michigan. Students and project volunteers also traveled to different conferences and campuses around the country, stressing to others the importance of documenting our histories. We launched the Pin@y Performance Project project in 2003, as one historian has put it, “To take oral histories out of the archives and onto the stage!” Through 15-minute, 30-minute, and 60-minute multi-media performances, a diverse all-volunteer cast dramatizes stories, poems, memoirs, photographs, and interviews of Filipinos in Michigan. In 2004-2006, performances featured students, ages 12-80, from the intergenerational Filipino American History class taught on Sundays at Paaralang Pilipino/PACCM.

University of Michigan and Community Partners include: Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS), Bentley Historical Library, Lisa Hunter, Ma’arte Tribe Artists Collective, United Asian American Organizations, Philippine Study Group Association (PSG), the Filipino American Students Association (FASA), Philippine Historical Society, Filipino Women’s Club of Detroit, Paaralang Pilipino Language & Culture School, and Philippine American Community Center of Michigan (PACCM). Funding provided by University of Michigan Arts of Citizenship Program; Center for Research, Learning, and Teaching; Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning; Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies; Department of American Culture; Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, and Department of Women’s Studies.


FYI: Filipino Youth Initiative

Paaralang Pilipino Language and Cultural School

2007 Southfield, Michigan

University of Michigan Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies Minors Aisa Villarosa and Ken Uy made this public service announcement with FYI teens as part of their Fall Semester 2007 Term Project for our American Culture 305: Asian Pacific American Community Service and Learning Class. Every Sunday, Aisa and Ken helped facilitate the FYI Class, with lead mentor Ph.d candidate Cathryn Fabian. In Winter 2008 Semester, they were joined by Veronica Garcia and Aimee Estrellado. The class is co-sponsored by the Michigan Chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS-MI) and is housed at the Philippine American Community Center of Michigan.  To enroll in Paaralang Pilipino see:

Filipino Youth Initiative @ Paaralang Pilipino, 2007 Version 2.0


Philippine Studies Endowment

(with “No More Moments of Silence” Poem by Emily Lawsin)

2008 University of Michigan

University of Michigan Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies Minor Aisa Villarosa (artist activist superstar extraordinaire) made another public service announcement for the UM Philippine Studies Endowment in 2008. Here is a draft version, that includes performances from the UM Filipino American Student Association’s Philippine Cultural Night and photos from the 2007 Filipino American National Historical Society Midwest Regional Conference. At the end of the video, it tells you how to give to the UM endowment.  AND IF you want to donate to FANHS too, you can bring me out to speak/perform (I usually donate honorariums to FANHS 😉 or see

I didn’t know Aisa was using so much of me and my “No More Moments of Silence” poem, but here you go (an aerial view by the FYI yoots). Salamat.

Philippine Studies Endowment: University of Michigan, 2008


Recorded Interviews / Research by Emily P. Lawsin

  Life History Interview of Grace Lee Boggs

  by Emily Lawsin, 2002.

Grace Lee Boggs is an activist, writer and speaker whose 60 years of political involvement encompasses the major U.S. social movements of the 20th century — labor, civil rights, Black power, Asian American, women’s and environmental justice. A daughter of Chinese immigrants, she was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1915. In 1953, she came to Detroit where she married James Boggs, labor activist, writer and strategist. Working together in grassroots groups and projects, they were partners for over 40 years until James Boggs’ death in July 1993. The monthly review press published their book, Revolution and Evolution in the 20th Century, in 1974. In 1992, with James Boggs, Shea Howell and others, she founded Detroit Summer, a multicultural, intergenerational youth movement program, to rebuild, redefine and re-spirit Detroit from the ground up. She spreads her ideas by writing a weekly column in the Michigan Citizen newspaper. In 1998, the University of Minnesota Press published her autobiography, Living for Change. Among numerous honors, Grace has received the distinguished Alumna Award from Barnard College, the Chinese American Pioneers Award, from the Organization of Chinese Americans, and a lifetime achievement award from the Anti-Defamation League. A plaque in her honor is displayed at the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York.

      Grace is one of the main reasons why we moved to Detroit. Here is an interview I was asked to do of Grace Lee Boggs for Global Feminisms: Comparative Case Studies of Women’s Activism and Scholarshipan international project funded by the Rackham Graduate School, with additional funding provided by the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, the Women’s Studies Program, and the Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Michigan. 

Click on the link below, then scroll down for the full Video Stream, Transcripts, and DVD order information.