CAAM and StoryCorps partner on SoMa Filipino American Stories

A mural at the Bayanihan Community Center in San Francisco. Art by Cece Carpio Cece Carpio, commissioned by KulArts.
CAAM is partnering with StoryCorps to collect oral history stories that highlight the voices of Filipino Americans in the SoMa neighborhood of San Francisco.

CAAM is proud to partner with StoryCorps once again on a new initiative, collecting oral history stories that highlight the voices of Filipino Americans in the SoMa neighborhood of San Francisco.

“We are so thrilled to be working with CAAM to help honor Filipino American history in San Francisco,”said Geraldine Ah-Sue, a facilitator for StoryCorps San Francisco. “As cities and neighborhoods across the Bay Area continue to change, it feels even more urgent to ensure the preservation of local community stories. We want to make sure that the Filipino American history of SoMa is nationally remembered, and that these stories are told by those who lived them.”

SoMa has a rich history for Filipino Americans. The South of Market neighborhood is the birthplace of the first Filipino American Olympian, swimmer Victoria Manalo Draves. It is home to one of the first Filipino language and cultural immersion elementary schools in the nation. It is home to activists who fought for the manongs during the I-Hotel strikes in the 70s and 80s. Activists here also started the movement for Filipino WWII Veterans’ rights. SoMa has been impacted by intense development in San Francisco. Community advocates have continued to fight for quality education in a cultural context, for workers rights, tenants rights and affordable housing. In this rapidly changing neighborhood, we hope to capture some of the history, legacy and impact that Filipino Americans have made in this San Francisco neighborhood, with impacts that resonate nationally.

This past April, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors named the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood — where CAAM’s office also resides — a Filipino American historic and cultural district. Inspired by this news, CAAM and StoryCorps is committed to sharing the voices from the community.

The new partnership will allow more time for people to share their stories in the San Francisco StoryCorps Booth, located in the main library. A StoryCorps session captures a chat between two people, usually lasting about 45 minutes. The two people will receive a copy of the audio recording to keep. For the partnership recording, CAAM will also receive a copy. If the two people agree to do so, their recording will also be archived at the Library of Congress if they choose.

The recordings will take place through August, September and October. Selected stories, including the audio recordings, photos and home videos, will be shared online at throughout the month of October during Filipino American History Month.

Please consider sharing your story with CAAM and StoryCorps about the history, legacy and impact of Filipino Americans in San Francisco.

For questions or to set up a session, please contact Momo Chang at

About CAAM


The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. We do this by funding, producing, distributing and exhibiting works in film, television and digital media.

About StoryCorps

StoryCorps is a national oral history project, and we record, share and preserve stories from people of all backgrounds and beliefs across the country. We are dedicated to building a national archive that reflects the diversity and richness of our communities by making sure to record stories that are not often represented in mainstream history. We believe that every story matters, and that our stories deserve to be told, and remembered, in our own voices. We partner with the Library of Congress to archive stories, as well as National Public Radio to broadcast stories.
Check out our website here and listen to some stories that have aired on the radio here!