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About Us

Mission

The Filipino American Council of Greater Chicago is guided by the Filipino tradition of bayanihan “community”, welcoming others, and is committed to American ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and inquiry. We invite people of all communities to participate in cultural experiences that nourish by inspiring learning and dialogue; foster appreciation and understanding; celebrate our vibrant, diverse communities, and place in American society; and call upon us to help nurture a more just and equitable society. We do this through relevant programming in arts and culture, civic engagement, public policy, and community education, and meaningful service to combat food insecurity and to empower people.


Our work is based in the Rizal Community Center and in the greater Chicago area. 

 


A Welcoming Place

The Rizal Community Center is more than a building. It's a revitalized way of thinking about who we are and how we engage with our communities. It is a welcoming, dynamic place for people of all backgrounds who support the FACC's mission and purposes. In the conduct of all aspects of its activities, the FACC shall not discriminate on the grounds of  race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, height, weight, physical or mental ability, veteran status, military obligations, and marital status. 


Our Logo

Presenting Our New Logo!

Our new logo is full of symbolism.  The central element is a chrysanthemum, with eight petals representing the eight sun rays on the Philippine flag. Like  the sun, it represents foresight and vision. The circle represents unity and balance.  The design was thoughtfully selected to emulate traditional Filipino tattoo art, while communicating modernity and practicality as we advance into the 21st century. 


Fascinatingly, the Chrysanthemum - which originated in Asia and has been celebrated throughout the region for hundreds of years., including the Philippines where it represents joy -   is the City of Chicago's official flower..   It was designated by Mayor Richard J. Daley and adopted by the City Council on June 17, 1966.


Our logo symbolizes the beauty of Philippine and Philippine American cultures and the unique blend of qualities in the vibrant Chicago communities we serve and are part of.     


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Our Team

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Alfredo Barranco, Chair

Alexander Gonzales

Joe Mauricio

Joy Rodriguez

Art Seguban

ADVISORY BOARD

Estrella Alamar

Jose Banez

Carman Banez

Roberto Gonzales

Veronica Leighton




EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Elaine Lehman

Our History

History

The Rizal Community Center has been a hub for community since it opened its doors in 1974.  Through the years, Filipino and Filipino American families as well as Chicago neighbors and dignitaries have enjoyed the Filipino American - founded institution.   


Much has changed from when early Filipino community leadership first founded the Filipino American Council of Greater Chicago on March 11, 1953, in order to give the growing Filipino American community a “Filipino clubhouse”, as they put it.  One of the oldest cultural organizations established in the United States, the FACC underwent changes in acknowledgement of an expanding community. Originally named the Filipino National Council of Chicago, in 1965 the leadership changed the name to Filipino American Council of Chicago, in acknowledgment of the changing constituency of the community and recognized the need "to erase the misleading interpretation of the name of this august Council which had so long been the deterrent stigma of Unification ... in the city."  In 1997, the organization's name changed to the Filipino American Council of Greater Chicago ("FACC"), to reflect the expanded service area.  


Key federal and state legislation were passed that helped Filipinos and other minorities alike into mainstream American society, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Illinois Human Rights Act in 1979. In 1998, the FACC was recognized as a 501(c)3 public charity.  


Yet the FACC has preserved the founders’ hopes to  inculcate the finest traditions and the rich cultures of this country and of that land of our birth; to instill among our members the prerogatives of better American citizenship; and to promote the mutual welfare of our peoples and contribute to the continued harmonious relations between America and the Philippines.  


The Rizal Community Center ("Jose P. Rizal Community Center") continues to play a significant role in the community. Operating under the aegis of the Filipino American Council of Greater Chicago and its name has also evolved to reflect the changing constituency and  converging American, Philippine, and Philippine American cultures. Originally known as the Jose P. Rizal Memorial Center, it was renamed to the Jose P. Rizal Heritage Center around 2006.  In 2017, the building was renamed to the Rizal Community Center ("Jose P. Rizal Community Center"),  to foster community and to make it an inviting and welcoming place for all who support the organization's mission. A new, hand-painted sign was installed to convey the organization's revitalization. .i


Located in the Graceland West community of Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood, the FACC is dedicated to integrating and contributing to the future of our communities and this neighborhood.  

FACC's first "Rizal Center" at 1113 Webster Avenue in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

FACC's first "Rizal Center" at 1113 Webster Avenue in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Our Founders

Purchased in 1974, the Rizal Community Center is located in Lakeview's Graceland West community.

March 11, 1953

First Board of Directors

Dr. Francisco Duerme

Florentino Ravelo

Jose R. Manzano

Mateo Vergara

Filemon O. Romana


Carmelito Llapitan

First President


1974 - Rizal Community Center

Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Acierto

Drs. Maximo and Carmen Baldoza

Dr. Batnyan

Ms. Lenora Bueno

Mr. and Mrs. Ananias Cervantes

Mr. and Mrs. Rosario R.  Cruz

Mr. Pedro DeLeon

Mr. Alexander Gonzales

Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Gonzales

Dr. S. R. Guerrero

Ms. Zenaida L. Lebita

Mr. Carmelito Llapitan

Mr. Jesse Marquez

Mr. Nick R. Nitafan

Mr. and Mrs. R.V. Quineda, Jr.

Mr. John Rozinsky

Mr. and Mrs. Selmo Saladino

Mr. and Mrs. Victor Santos

Mr. Silverio Sol

Mr. Ray Villar

Mr. and Mrs. F. Villegas, Jr.


Alexander Gonzales

Second President

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