poetry & tsismis: emily's blog

June 15, 2010

Update: Public Memorial Service for John Delloro on Saturday June 19

Filed under: Los Angeles,Memorials — EL @ 8:36 am
Tags: , ,

From our friends at UCLA’s Asian American Studies Department…  I wish I could be there:

http://www.asianam.ucla.edu/delloromemorial.html

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Update: Memorial Service for John Delloro

Please join us for a public memorial to remember and celebrate the life of John Delloro.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

10 am to 12 noon

East Los Angeles College

1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez in Monterey Park.

We encourage you to bring a photo or message about John Delloro to share as part of a poster collage that will be assembled before and after the ceremony, and presented to his family.

The memorial will be held at the auditorium at East Los Angeles College, which is located at:

1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez
Monterey Park, CA 91754-6099

For a campus map, please go here:http://www.elac.edu/collegeservices/campusmaps/docs/2008/EasternPedestrianAccessMap_08_05_08.pdf

Parking will be free in Parking Structure #3. The entrance is on Avenida Cesar Chavez. East Los Angeles College can also be accessed via public transportation:

Metro Line 68 stops east-west at the main entrance on Cesar Chavez Avenue
Metro Line 260 stops south-north on Atlantic Blvd.
Montebello Line 30 stops north-south at the side entrance of the campus.

(More information about public transportation options is available on http://www.metro.net/)

If you would like to make a donation or contribution in terms of funeral services or other needs, please make checks payable to “John Delloro Memorial Fund” and drop-off or mail to either:

Los Angeles Trade Technical College
Dolores Huerta Labor Institute
400 West Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
http://college.lattc.edu/laborcenter/

UCLA Asian American Studies Department
Attention: Stacey Hirose
3336 Rolfe Hall, Box 957225
Los Angeles, CA 90095-7225
http://www.asianam.ucla.edu/

This memorial is hosted by the Dolores Huerta Labor Institute, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Los Angeles Trade Technical College Labor Center, UCLA Asian American Studies Department and Center, UCLA Labor Center, Pilipino Workers Center, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, American Federation of Teachers #1521, and the Service Employees International Union.

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Facebook Event Invite: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=131360043557185

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CLICK HERE to read my previous post for a poem I wrote about John: http://tinyurl.com/PoemForDelloro

Presente!


June 8, 2010

John Delloro Funeral Arrangements

Filed under: Brothafriends,Los Angeles,Memorials — EL @ 11:53 pm
Tags: ,
John Delloro leads a rally at UCLA, 1995. Photo by Dawn Bohulano Mabalon.

Statement from our alma mater, UCLA. Rest in Peace, John. We love you, brothafriend.

http://www.aasc.ucla.edu/archives/johndelloro.asp

John Delloro: UCLA Scholar Activist and Asian Pacific American Labor Leader Passes (1971-2010)
It is with deep sadness that the faculty, staff, and students of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center and Department and the UCLA Labor Center join with countless others in mourning the loss of John Delloro, an extraordinary labor and community leader, teacher, and activist. He passed away in the early morning of Saturday, June 5, 2010 from a heart attack. Delloro was a courageous, articulate, and passionate advocate for social justice in Los Angeles, the nation, and beyond. A Bruin through and through, John received his Master of Arts degree in Asian American Studies with an interest in Asian Americans and the US labor movement and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Specialization in Asian American Studies at UCLA. He received his Associate of Arts in Social Science at College of the Canyons.  He worked as a lecturer with the UCLA Asian American Studies Department for nearly three years, where he taught “Asian American and Pacific Islander Leadership Development”; “Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Labor Organizing in Contemporary Society”; “Power of Story: Oral History, Leadership, and AAPI Communities”; “Public Narrative: Community Organizing, Power, and Identity”; and “Contemporary Asian American Communities.”  Lane Hirabayashi, Chair of the Asian American Studies Department recalled, “John was an amazing teacher who inspired many students to major and minor in Asian American Studies and become involved and active with the community.  John was dedicated to his students, and all of us in the Department remember seeing him spend countless hours in and around the office talking to them.”

As a faculty member of the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College Labor Studies Center, he taught classes on “Asian Americans and Affirmative Action,” “Asian Americans and the Garment Industry,” “Labor In America,” “Labor Leadership,” “Politics and Labor,” “Race and Gender in the Workplace,” “Strategic Planning for Labor Unions,” “Building More Effective Unions,” and trainings and seminars on labor history, workplace issues and organizing at various trade unions and community organizations. “As a nationally recognized union leader, labor educator, organizer, teacher and mentor, John Delloro touched the lives of many and will be remembered for his compassion, his generosity of spirit, and for his visionary leadership,” said Kent Wong, Director of the UCLA Labor Center.

In addition to his academic background, he is remembered as a longtime labor and community organizer, who served as manager of the southwest California area of the 90,000 member SEIU Local 1000, the Union of California State Workers and as a staff director for the acute care hospital division of SEIU Local 399, the Healthcare Employees union. He has also worked as an organizer for the Culinary Union (HERE Local 226) in Las Vegas and AFSCME International organizing Los Angeles Superior Court clerical employees.

A Filipino American, his activism within and commitment to Asian, Latino, Black communities was unparalleled, both in the classroom and in the workplace. John Delloro was one of the co-founders of the Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California (PWC), and served as the National President of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO, which is the largest and only national organization of Asian Pacific American working families and union members. He was also the Executive Director of the Dolores Huerta Labor Institute, a member of the Board of Taxicab Commissioners for the City of Los Angeles and served as an appointee on the California Assembly Speaker’s Commission on Labor Education.

“John Delloro had a heart of a champion, with a dedication to social justice, respect, and equality for workers, immigrants, and people of color. His commitment to positive social change was contagious, inspirational, and had an indelible impact on a generation of students and activists across the nation, including myself,” said Melany Dela Cruz-Viesca, Assistant Director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. John Delloro is survived by his wife, Dr. Susan Suh, UCLA Sociology Ph.D. Alumna and community activist, and their two young children, Mina and Malcolm. A public viewing will be held the evenings of Thursday, June 10, 2010 and Friday, June 11, 2010, from 5-9pm at the Mission Hills Catholic Mortuary, located at 11160 Stranwood Ave, Mission Hills, CA 91345. Funeral services will be private. Per the wishes of the family, there may be a public memorial at a later date.

If you would like to make a donation or contribution in terms of funeral services or other needs, please make checks payable to “John Delloro Memorial Fund” and drop-off or mail to either:

UCLA Asian American Studies Department
Attention: Stacey Hirose
3336 Rolfe Hall, Box 957225
Los Angeles, CA 90095-7225
www.asianam.ucla.edu

UCLA Asian American Studies Center
Attention: Meg Thornton
3230 Campbell Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1546
www.aasc.ucla.edu

For inquiries, please contact Meg Thornton at (310) 825-2974 or Stacey Hirose at (310) 267-5593. Please visit our websites for further information.

CLICK HERE to read my previous post for a poem I wrote about John: http://tinyurl.com/PoemForDelloro


June 6, 2010

In Memory of John Delloro + Poem

Dearest John,

I logged on to Facebook last night to ask you if you would be joining us here in Detroit this month, for the US Social Forum, since you’re the National President of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. I was shocked to see my entire homepage covered with news about your sudden heart attack, just a few hours after your last post. I cried in disbelief and called our friends in L.A. to see if it was true (sadly, yes, they said it happened in the dark hours of the morning, Saturday, June 5). My heart goes out to your wife Susan Suh, and children, Mina and Malcolm. I wrote this poem for you to sort through my thoughts. As always, your spirit lifts us, as we search for an explanation, checking for updates and then realizing that you were always the first to tell us such news.

Did I ever thank you for those days, when you always put a smile on my face? Did we ever thank Susan for sharing you with us, as you made this world a better place?  Many will say: Rest in Power, an ode to the Black and Yellow Power Movement that you so epitomized in all that you did. I say Rest in Peace, because I know no one else who deserves it more.

When my father, a life-long union man, died this past March, we chose this as his epitaph, which I now offer as solace, for those who loved you too:

“I go where there are no slaves, hangmen, or oppressors;

where faith does not kill;

where the one who reigns is God.”

~from “Mi Ultimo Adios” by Dr. Jose P. Rizal, on the eve of his execution December 29, 1896

My heart is heavy. I will miss you so much, my friend. Prayers and strength to all of your family. Minamahal kita.


A Bullhorn for Justice and Peace:

Memories of John Delloro, 1971-2010

© by Emily P. Lawsin


In this union town, monsoon rains

Wash a flood of memories

In this valley of tears

As I remember the El Niño years

In the City of Angels

Almost 20 years ago, with you,

Our comrade and brothafriend.


I remember when we first met at UCLA;

Me, a Pinay grad student and wanna-be poet/professor,

You, a young undergrad, who was taught

Guerrilla theatre by college republicans and Alinksy students,

Thankfully befriended by baby-faced Bong and other Pinoys:

Your Tribung Ligaw

Who were smart enough to talk to you one-one-one, without a bullhorn.

They convinced you to reject

Or at least publicly question

The white-washed education

That one used to learn in the San Fernando Valley,

Riddled with all its racial fault lines,

Despite its acres of farmlands the Manongs had plowed before us.


I remember how you used to tell everyone

The above story of how you became politicized,

With a twinkle in your eye and a wide smile,

Followed by your chuckled laugh that sounded like gasps

Which should have told us, back then, how tender your heart really beats.


I remember our poetry readings before “Slam” even existed:

My trademark “Diva, di ba” poem (written for the Pinays who

Tabled with you to Save Tagalog classes),

Followed by your trademark

“I am SPAM: A Single Pilipino American Male” poem,

You, breaking out your t-shirt with a blue can of Spam on it, like Superman.

All the women (and gay men) would say, “Is he really single?”

While you always thought they were asking, “Is he really Pilipino?”


I remember our Marxist study groups,

Where you were the only one who ever really completed the readings,

And how you still managed to scarf down a plate of potluck

Even after talking so much,

Chopsticks in one hand and a pen in the other,

Taking notes in the margins for the marginalized.


I remember our meetings at KIWA          look closely: that is John, jumping

And rallies against Jessica McClintock

For not paying her Asian American garment workers,

How you would wear one of her pink prom-like dresses

With a red bandana wrapped around your head

Circling in front of the McClintock boutique on Rodeo Drive,

Leading us all in a chant: without a bullhorn.


I remember when you and Jay announced the creation of the

Pilipino Workers Center,

How Uncle Roy said Manong Philip would be so proud:

All three of you now our guardian angels.


I remember when you were writing your Master’s thesis

And spoke to my Asian American Studies class at Northridge,

Just a few miles from where you grew up,

Bonded with all the students who were also born to Pinay nurses,

Then taught them about sweatshop workers

With a pyramid in the shape of a dress.

I told you that you were a good teacher,

You should teach.


But you didn’t listen, for a while at least,

Had to get your feet wet in the Vegas desert,

Organizing the workers,

Fell in love with brilliant Susan, the only person (before Mina and Malcolm)

Who could ever get you to slow down.

The two of you married the same year I did,

All of us reinventing the red diaper brigade.


When Spam became synonymous with junk mail,

You disguised the poetry and became a blogger, then an author,

Teaching our people’s struggles to the masses

In the form of an American Prayer,

Paying homage to our ancestors,

Burning cane fires late into the night.


The last time I saw you in person,

You had organized a mini-reunion of our activist circle,

Carrying a pink box of pastries and your son sleeping on your shoulder,

Told us about teaching at our alma mater and

Directing the Dolores Huerta Labor Institute.

While I noticed your healthier potluck plate,

We admired you for surviving your first heart attack five years ago,

As you stroked Malcolm’s sleeping hair: your priorities, now clear.


With 1700 of your other friends,

I followed all of your travels across the country, my fellow traveler,

Until you finally went home to rest.


Maraming Salamat, ang kapatid ko / Thank You so much, my brother,

My kasama, for all that you did to make this world a better place.

We raise a power fist to you: our bullhorn with the tender heart,

Offering you this poem of peace, we reaffirm your chants:

Makibaka, Huwag Matakot! We will Fight the Struggle, Without Fear,

Just as you did,

With all your heart.


John Delloro: PRESENTE!

June 6, 2010

Detroit 3:07 AM ET

www.emilylawsin.com

UPDATES:

6-7-10: CLICK HERE for Statement from the UCLA Asian American Studies Center & Department, and UCLA Labor Center. Includes info on Public Viewing (Thurs & Fri June 10-11, 5-9 PM at Mission Hills Catholic Mortuary) and How to Send Memorial Donations for the Family. http://www.aasc.ucla.edu/archives/johndelloro.asp


6-8-10 CLICK HERE http://www.buddhahead.org/delloro.htm for a recording of John reciting one of his poems in the 1990s at UCLA, in honor of the visit of Philip Vera Cruz. Thank you to Ryan Yokota for preserving and posting it.

6-8-10: CLICK HERE  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvJWif4WqBc for a video of John at a recent rally at UCLA, just like we used to do almost 20 years ago, except this time he’s in a suit. 🙂 Salamat/Thank you to Derek Mateo for sharing.


Join the Facebook Group “In Memory of John Delloro” for further updates.


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