SAN FRANCISCO — Since 1999, the Veterans Equity Center has provided direct services to Filipino WWII veterans while also advocating for full justice and equity.
20 years later — the organization has evolved to the Bayanihan Equity Center, or BEC — to expand its services to include more members of the Filipino community.
“There are still families still struggling to find affordable housing. There are seniors who are very low income,” said Luisia Antonio. “There’s still a slew of services that is necessary and that’s the reason why we feel the organization is still very relevant and still going to be serving the community for years to come.”
The former veterans equity center was also viewed as a learning ground for many young Filipino-Americans who to discover the contributions of Filipino WWII veterans and their on-going fight for equity.
BEC continues that tradition of educating the youth and having them actively engage with the community.
While BEC embraces the future — the work is still heavily rooted with the remaining veterans.
“I am very thankful that this veterans, now Bayanihan Equity Center, I’m really very happy for helping the veterans as well as the other civilian people,” said veteran Leocadio Ansis
BEC is also credited for years of countless advocacy for the congressional gold medal for Filipino WWII veterans, which was awarded in 2017.