By Ate Amanda Solomon-Amorao
On Wednesday October 8, 2014 at the University of San Diego, the Kuya Ate Mentorship
Program was awarded $1000 and recognized by the USD Department of Ethnic Studies and
Professor Glenn Omatsu for our work in creating dynamic educational spaces in our community.
Once a year, the Department of Ethnic Studies hosts their annual Labovitz-Perez Lecture series
that features a renowned scholar, practitioner, theorists, and social action researcher who has
made major contributions to the field of Ethnic Studies. This year the department invited
Professor Glenn Omatsu from California State Northridge who has made critical contributions in
Asian American Studies and Service Learning work in Higher Education to speak. Professor
Omatsu delivered a lecture entitled, “The Essential Role of Community Engagement in Ethnic
Studies Pedagogy.” Rather than accept the traditional scholarly honorarium for his lecture,
however, Professor Omatsu asked the Department of Ethnic Studies to donate the funds to
organizations that embodied the themes of his talk. KAMP was humbled to receive the award
alongside the Trash Talkers Collective, a grassroots group of youth activists who organize
around issues of environmental justice. While Professor Omatsu’s talk in the evening was both
inspiring and challenging, KAMP was also able to host a brunch in the morning at Filipino Food
and Bakery, introducing Professor Omatsu to our kuyas, ates, and allies in the community.
KAMP sincerely appreciates the Department of Ethnic Studies and Professor Omatsu’s
recognition of our work. It is humbling to be recognized by a pioneer in the field of Asian
American Studies and activism.