Leading the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC) in the midst of a global pandemic was an incredible test of character and determination. The FBANC 2020-2021 Board of Directors faced extraordinary demands during an unprecedented year: from completely transforming FBANC’s traditional in-person programming and events into a virtual format, to engaging members experiencing fatigue from months of pent-up anxiety, as well as fundraising to support FBANC’s operations and the FBANC Foundation during a complete shutdown of the economy. Despite these challenges, FBANC remained resilient and determined to carry out its mission of serving the community.
In the summer of 2020, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) bestowed its prestigious Affiliate of the Year Award to FBANC based on our deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as our zealous service to the community. In October 2020, San Francisco Mayor’s Filipino American History Month Celebration also recognized FBANC’s four-decade-long commitment to the community.
This award and recognition celebrate FBANC’s long history as a social justice and community service organization. This past year, FBANC was determined to honor that history by providing pro bono legal services through our virtual legal clinics and Know Your Rights webinars to the public. FBANC remained committed to diversifying the legal profession by supporting our attorney and law student members with professional development programs (including hosting two virtual Komunidad conferences and a virtual Pinay Powerhouse Conference), networking and mentorship opportunities, and scholarships through the FBANC Foundation. FBANC acted in solidarity with our Black brothers and sisters and combatted the rise in anti-AAPI discrimination and hate through coalition building and collaborations with our sister organizations. Amid our profound pain and loss, we found solace in this community – a community that stands up against systemic racism, oppression and injustice.
We know that the work continues. We know that systems of patriarchy, white supremacy and capitalism existed prior to the pandemic and that these systems teach us that we do not belong. I invite you to join FBANC in celebrating our 41st anniversary by attending our Virtual Installation Gala. This year’s theme Know History Know Self reflect the work we continue to do to resist and fight against these systems of oppression. For more information, go to https://fbanc.org/annual-dinner
I am grateful to the Dolan Law Firm, PC for its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and for wholeheartedly supporting organizations like FBANC and encouraging me to take on leadership roles to serve our community.
Mari Bandoma Callado
Dolan Law Firm Senior Associate Attorney and Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
FBANC President 2020-2021
Established in 1980, the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (“FBANC”) is an organization of attorneys, judges, law students and paraprofessionals dedicated to serving the Filipino American legal community in Northern California. Through the volunteer work of its members, FBANC offers various programs and events, including regular free legal clinics, professional development and mentorship programs for its law student and attorney members. The organization also provides a voice for and advocates on behalf of Filipino American interests in various forums.