Video Oral History
Fred and Dorothy Cordova
Filipino Youth Association;
Filipino American National Historical Society
Fred and Dorothy Cordova have been involved
in Filipino American activism since the 1950s. They began promoting Filipino
American identity at a young age with student publications and organizations
at Seattle University (see 1953 edition of Bamboo: The Filipino People
in American Life). They later formed and directed the Filipino Youth
Association (FYA), with activities ranging from soccer to dancing and marching.
The FYA became an important force for organizing demonstrations in the
1960s and 1970s.
Dorothy Laigo Cordova also served as Director for
the Demonstration Project for Asian Americans (DPAA), which conducted a wide
variety of studies on the problems Asian Americans faced in the 1970s.
Through the DPAA, she collected research and oral histories. After
the DPAA closed in the early 1980s, the Cordovas moved their work to a
new organization they had created called the Filipino
American National Historical Society (FANHS), which they still
FANHS now has nearly two dozen chapters
around the United States. In Seattle, it houses the National
Pinoy Archives (NPA), which is one of the largest collections
on Filipino American history anywhere. It includes materials on more
than 9000 individuals and approximately 1500 organizations throughout
the United States.
Fred and Dorothy Cordova agreed to shared
their memories of a lifetime of activism in two videotaped interviews, one
conducted by James Gregory and Micah Ellison on January 12, 2005, the second by Donald Noble and Michael Schulze-Oechtering Castenada To
the right are streaming-video excerpts.
Fred Cordova (far left) at an FYA meeting
in the early 1970s