I come from a family of Philippine immigrants, am a child of colonization, student of decolonization, and have reveled in disrupting health education for 12 years.
We can all learn about health but we don't have equal access to it. Framing my pedagogy through the lens of Kimberlé Crenshaw's teachings on intersectionality, I interrogate how our multifaceted identities shape how we experience health. I believe it is the responsibility of comprehensive health education to be about social justice because health is a human right. Through my teaching, I promote agency, activate empathy, fight for equity, embrace one's authentic self, and navigate care.
born on Ohlone Territory, living on Lenape Territory, and learning how to indigenize the lands I am on (Cupertino-born, Manhattan-based)
My career started in an American middle school math classroom. There, I experienced first-hand the direct impact that insufficient health education and access to care had on my students and their learning.
I teach in K-12 schools, present to universities, speak on panels and conferences, train faculty and parents, and consult in both public and private institutions who are seeking to build socially just and comprehensive health programming.
Healthy students make for stronger learners yet systemic health disparities affect the school experience and through education projects I've done in the Philippines, I know that this is not unique to the United States.
When I'm building with schools, I develop health programs that are intersectional, anti-racist, sex-positive, multidisciplinary, stigma-busting, and relevant. (If some of those terms are unfamiliar, know that they are almost synonymous.)
Commencement Address at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Students of Color Graduation 2021
JAF Kalusugan, LLC