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PBS website is showing ‘The Learning’ for free!

Posted by FAN Admin in Home, News on 09 25th, 2011

If you missed The Learning on PBS earlier the entire documentary is available to view on line! Follow 3 Filipinas who are offered to work as teachers in inner city schools of Baltimore for a year. See what unfolds as they they leave their loved ones in order to become the bread winners of their families.

The Learning


100 years ago, American teachers established the English-speaking public school system of the Philippines. Now, American schools are recruiting Filipino teachers. ‘The Learning’ is the story of four Filipino women who leave the Philippines to teach in Baltimore. The women bring idealistic visions …

learning found at 0:28

Blog: Transracialeyes – Because of course race and culture matter

Posted by FAN Admin in Connections, Home, Our Stories on 09 21st, 2011

The Transracialeyes Eyes blog is run by a diverse group of international/transracial adoptees. The discussions are honest and examine the less comfortable issues that are not often not given a platform. The topics are meant to be challenging and thought provoking so be ready to cringe, breathe a sigh of relief and even shocked.

One of the newest guest bloggers is our own James Beni Wilson who also has his own blog called Pathos of Asian Adoptees. Congratulations!



  • What we do

    This site is provided as a resource for those exploring the ideas of transracial and/or international adoption.


    Readers can submit a question for consideration and adoptees of color will provide insightful comments.


    We’ve decided to not make it a discussion board because we donate our time and have lives to lead, but will be happy to share our perspectives.


  • If you’re a transracial adoptee who would like to contribute

    you can contact us here.


    We ask that posts and comments be substantive and that you make a commitment to be involved and contribute regularly. We are interested in a diverse range of adoptee opinions.


  • If you’d like to submit a question

    you can contact us here.


    Please allow several days for contributors to find time to address your questions and check back often!


  • If you’d like to comment

    Please post at the General Comments page.

    Our Comment Policy:

    Given the power differential between dominant adopter culture and the adoptee, we attempt at Transracial Eyes to even this playing field. Mimicry of this discourse by adoptees can therefore be seen as compradorist, Uncle-Tomist, and/or kowtowing, and we wish to call this out. We aim to achieve a truly equal dialectic, and our response to such feedback will reflect this goal.


    Comments which attack one’s feelings or opinions, or which directly or indirectly judge or belittle contributors will not be tolerated.


  • If you’d like to send us a SHOUT OUT

    We all like to know our work is valued, so if you’d like to drop us a supportive line, please feel free to visit our Guest Registry page, where comments are open to the general public. We’d love to hear from you and to know our efforts are not wasted. Thanks!

Adoption Learning Partners: Webinair on Adoption Basics for the Classroom | $15 | Sept 22 | 8pm CT

Posted by FAN Admin in Events, Home on 09 20th, 2011

Adoption Basics for the Classroom
Expert advice on how to educate the educators


Take Adoption Basics for the Classroom Webinar
Thursday, 9-22-11
7:00 – 8:00 PM Central Time
Q & A: 8:00 – 8:30 PM
Cost: $15

You have been talking to your child about adoption since he came home. But what about the time he spends at school? What does his teacher know about adoption? About birth parents? Does she know how to help him answer why he doesn’t look like his mom? 

Join Debbie Riley, the Chief Executive Officer of The Center for Adoption Support and Education, Inc. (C.A.S.E.), as she discusses how adoptive parents can educate the educators

This webinar will help you:


  • Talk to teachers about creating an adoption-sensitive environment
  • Educate teachers on managing discussions about adoption in school
  • Discover how much of your child’s story to share
  • Learn how to handle some standard school projects (family trees, baby pictures)


Your purchase confirmation email will include a link to submit questions to Ms. Riley.

This webinar will not be available for purchase after the event. You will only receive access to the recorded version if you register for the live event.


Thursday, September 22, 2011


7:00 – 8:00 PM Central Time
Q & A: 8:00 – 8:30 PM Central Time
(Start Time: 7:00PM Central, 8:00PM Eastern, 5:00PM Pacific)
Join the conversation on Twitter at @adoptiontweet using #abcwebinar

Co-Sponsored By:

Course fee: $15
Learn More about Webinars
Take Adoption Basics for the Classroom webinar

POV: The Learning

Posted by FAN Admin in Back To Our Roots, Home on 09 19th, 2011

Watch the Trailer

PBS Broadcast: September 20, 2011

Online: September 21, 2011 through October 20, 2011


One hundred years ago, American teachers established the English-speaking public school system of the Philippines. Now, in a striking turnabout, American schools are recruiting Filipino teachers. The Learning is the story of four Filipina women who reluctantly leave their families and schools to teach in Baltimore. With their increased salaries, they hope to transform their families’ lives back in their impoverished country. But the women also bring idealistic visions of the teacher’s craft and of life in America, which soon collide with Baltimore’s tough realities. A co-production of CineDiaz and ITVS in association with The Center for Asian American Media, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and American Documentary | POV. (90 minutes)

POV’s The Learning tells a surprising tale of immigration, globalization and America’s shifting position in the 21st century. When the United States took possession of the Philippines in 1898, American teachers set up the islands’ public school system. English was established as the language of instruction and remains so to this day. Today in the Philippines, there is a large pool of trained, motivated, English-speaking teachers, especially in high school math, science and special education. In their country, these teachers receive poverty-level salaries, making them prized recruitment targets for many U.S. school districts, especially those in cash-strapped inner cities. While a salary in one of these urban districts may be low by American standards, it can be as much as 25 times a teacher’s salary in the Philippines.

As a result, in recent years there has been a trend of Filipino teachers seeking a better life by braving America’s urban schools and their poor, often troubled students. In Baltimore, 600 Filipinos account for 10 percent of the teaching force. The Learning is the story of four Filipina women facing their first year in Baltimore’s schools, where learning is a two-way street marked with disappointment and inspiring breakthroughs.

A scene from The LearningA scene from The Learning
Credit: Courtesy of The Learning, directed by Ramona Diaz

In documenting a very special year in the lives of Filipina educators Dorotea Godinez, Angel Alim, Grace Amper and Rhea Espedido, The Learning captures these women’s individual experiences, their hopes and their daily classroom struggles, while also exposing the issues that plague many American public schools. Declining school funding, urban poverty and crime have given these teachers a golden opportunity — and delivered rude awakenings as the women are thrust into the heart of America’s educational crisis. Chronicling the women’s determination and unshakeable belief in education, The Learning is a bracing and timely evocation of a teacher’s indispensable work.

As they prepare to leave the Philippines, it’s easy to see that economic need is driving the four women to leave their homes. They will miss not only their families, but their students as well; an extraordinarily warm, disciplined and familial feeling seems to reign in these teachers’ classrooms, one they will try to replicate in America. When Dorotea weeps at her farewell party, explaining apologetically that she’ll be making 25 times her Filipino salary in America, her students and colleagues cry with her.

The women share the sorrow of leaving their homes and families, as well as a giddy sense of possibility. For Dorotea, whose children are almost grown, the parting is sad but necessary. For Grace, the opportunity to improve her infant son’s future means separation. Rhea, whose husband is in prison, declares herself all too ready for something other than the hard life in her native country. The youngest, Angel, who supports five of her seven siblings, has the most gilded dreams about what America will offer.

Dorotea Godinez’s return to her former school in the Philippines. Bogo, PhilippinesDorotea Godinez’s return to her former school in Bogo, Philippines
Credit: Miguel V. Fabie III (1968-2010)

In Baltimore, the women meet welcoming, beleaguered colleagues at the schools to which they are assigned, Harlem Park Middle School, Renaissance Academy, Lockerman Bundy Elementary School and Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (one of the highest-ranked public high schools in the state). They also find disorderly classrooms with mostly African-American students, some with special needs. Confronted with occasionally outrageous behavior from the students, the teachers alternate their familial skills and emotional appeals to the students’ better natures with attempts at stern discipline. They find themselves stymied by culturally different classroom rules &mdash in Baltimore, they are not allowed to hug the students freely!

One might expect disaster from such a disparate combination of teachers and students. Yet, slowly, the students’ curiosity gets the better of them and they begin to be impressed by these foreign women who are so determined to teach them. Indeed, the very unfamiliarity of these Asian women helps their American students open up. For the Filipinas, a window also opens: They let go of their cultural expectations and begin to work with the students on American terms.

The story moves back to the Philippines, where the teachers return for the summer holidays to a hero’s welcome. As they regale their former colleagues with stories of life in America, they see how their year abroad has changed their families and themselves. Will teachers imported from a poor country prove to be part of the long-term solution to the struggling U.S. education system? That remains to be seen. And just outside the frame of the film lingers another question: How will the migration of some of the best and brightest teachers out of the Philippines affect the future of education there?

Aljazeera: America’s forgotten children

Posted by FAN Admin in Back To Our Roots, Home, News on 09 14th, 2011
Sep 13

America’s forgotten children

Amerasians – mixed-race children fathered by US soldiers – struggle with discrimination in Asian societies.

The term Amerasians refers specifically to the children of American military servicemen and Asian mothers. These children can be found in countries including the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan – all Asian countries that have had a US military presence.

In the Philippines, following the 1992 closure of the US Naval base in Subic Bay, more than 50,000 children were left to grow up without their fathers. As mixed race children, they face high levels of discrimination and identity-related problems.

During tours of duty in various Asian countries, a considerable number of US soldiers carried on relationships with local women, many of whom moved near bases to work as housekeepers or in bars and clubs as sex workers.

The U.S. government issues special visas to children fathered by American troops and employees during the Vietnam War. However, these visas do not apply for children of Filipino or Japanese descent.

Only those born between December 1950 and October 1982 in Koran, Vietnam, Laos, Kambuchea, or Thailand who can prove US paternity are entitled to the special visa.

Despite good US relations with the Philippines and Japan, the Amerasian law excludes children fathered there because neither country was a direct victim of war.

Vietnamese Amerasians face a high level of discrimination from peers and adults. Considered “children of the enemy,” their faces constantly remind those around them of the war that ravaged their country. Sons and daughters of black soldiers face greater discrimination, often times barred from jobs for being “dirty” and “bad for business.”

After American troops left Vietnam, many Vietnamese mothers destroyed letters and pictures from their American partners fearing punishment by communist militias for enemy relationships. Without evidence of their American fathers, children of these women lost the needed proof for their US visa application.

Indeed, the United States made some strides in bringing Amerasians home since the Amerasian visa was created in 1987. Nearly 30,000 children and 80,000 family members have been resettled in America. However, the process has slowed with a mere 23 visas granted in the last year, and hundreds of backlogged claims.

Accounts of human trafficking and corruption within the application process have led to tighter eligibility requirements. Evidence of mixed-race facial features is no longer enough proof, now applicants need documents, letter, photos, or DNA testing. For Amerasians who do not have the time, funding or means to track down their father and prove paternity, obtaining a visa is difficult without the help charity organisations and Amerasian connection websites.

Today, numerous websites assist the now adult population of Amerasians looking for their fathers. Sites like Amerasian Family Finder and FatherFounded allow fathers, children and mothers to post searchable profiles to reunite lost relatives. Amerasian Family Finder allows individuals to search for one another but does not provide any further services. Initial contact, DNA testing, and visa applications are left to the two parties.

Joining us to discuss this topic is filmmaker Emma Rossi Landi, co-director of Left by the Ship, a documentary which focuses on Amerasian lives in the Philippines.

These are some of the social media elements featured in this episode of The Stream.