Akbayan SJSU is the nonprofit student-ran Pilipino American organization on campus. In the Filipino language, Akbayan means “Embracing in Friendship.” For over 40 years, our organization has developed different programs and events under our four pillars of academics, social, community and political, and cultural. Because of our professional and organized execution of events and programs, Akbayan is one of the largest organizations on campus with over 650 active general members. In addition to facilitating a safe and welcoming spaces for a diverse population, we continuously give back to the Pilipino American community. As a student organization, we’ve developed a mentorship program that aims to pair members with other students as mentors to ensure success and a high retention rate in our demographic. As a cultural and social organization, we educate our members through workshops specializing in the arts as well as our history. Our organization’s true purpose to encourage students to “embrace in friendship” while facing the struggles of academia, mental health, and cultural identity.
The Pilipino Cultural Night (PCN) is a program that has been a tradition for many Pilipino American organizations throughout the United States. For SJSU, this is our 30th anniversary. For two nights, PCN showcases our members through the expressive arts, including and not limited to cultural, contemporary, & modern dances; choir & band; tech & props; and acting & scriptwriting. In addition, we expose our members to opportunities in marketing, public relations, graphic design, and financial planning. Last year alone, we had a cast of about 200 members with two nights sold out to a total of 1,000 people at the Hammer Theatre. We had so many people buy tickets that we had to add a third matinée show with 250 tickets sold. As the success of our student production rises, we require more funding to attribute to a larger cast and audience for this year’s PCN. This year, our venue is secured at the Santa Clara Convention Center and we are projecting roughly 250 cast members. All the proceeds made through this program go directly back to the organization to continue a legacy of giving back to our community.
For more information on our organization, check out our social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) at @akbayansjsu or our website at akbayansjsu.org.