In 2007, KAMP informally started as a group of college students and recent graduates who shared a common vision: to forge relationships with Filpina/o American youth in San Diego County and build critical knowledge about your identities, history and culture. Our founders hosted sala talks (open living room discussion) and realized that many youth lacked basic knowledge of Filipina/o American Studies. KAMP grew when we began to partner with local Filipino language teachers and visit their classrooms, pairing language-learning with critical explorations of identity, history and culture.
San Diego is home to more than 200,000 people of Filipino descent, who make up the second large immigrant population in the United States at over 3.4 million (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Filipinos comprise the largest Asian American Pacific Islander population in the county and the second largest community of color after Latinos. Despite this significant presence, there is a lack of Filipina/o American Studies in our public education system. KAMP emerged in response to this inadequacy, by creating our curriculum around Filipina/o American Studies. In doing so, KAMP aims to develop community leaders and build a pipeline of leadership through community-based education and dialogue.
KAMP has built working relationships with Mira Mesa High School, Westview High School, Rancho Bernardo High School, Mount Carmel High School and Sweetwater High School, as well as Challenger Middle School and Bell Middle School. Not only does KAMP create dynamic learning spaces in classrooms, but we also offer workshops for the general community and fellow Filipino American organizations.
Beyond the classroom, KAMP organizes signature open mics, bboy jams, art shows and other events as opportunities for our communities practice self- and collective expression. Since 2010, KAMP and the Filipino American Educators Association (FILAMEDA) have partnered in hosting the San Diego High School Filipina/o Graduation, a celebration of educational achievement that is open to all graduating seniors in San Diego County.