Preserving Filipinx culture and heritage in a changing neighborhood. The Filipinx community has long-standing and strong roots in San Francisco’s South of Market (SOMA) neighborhood. However, over the past few decades economic and real estate developments have threatened cultural and physical displacement of long-time residents. In 2016, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors designated SOMA Pilipinas as a cultural heritage district, tasked with preserving and celebrating the rich and diverse history of the Filipinx community in SOMA through community organizing, cultural events, protection of community assets, and advocating for justice and the rights of residents. One such effort designed to boost economic vitality among local entrepreneurs and cultural awareness is the UNDISCOVERED SF night markets that began in fall 2017. With more than 10,000 people in attendance on opening night, the night market not only generated revenue for Filipinx small businesses, but also provided skill-set-building workshops and mentorship to sustain long-term growth. Learn more.
Photo: SOMA Pilipinas
“ Having stable housing means having my independence.”
51-year old Sonja Sawyer's mother was among the nearly 6,000 predominantly Black families displaced from the Western Addition and Hunters Point by San Francisco's urban renewal program during the 1960s and '70s. The city issued these households a "certificate of preference" that gives them priority in accessing city-funded housing projects. Sonja's mother passed down the certificate, but it took Sonja seven years to navigate the various eligibility requirements and successfully find her new home in Mission Bay. She likes her new neighborhood, and appreciates living near a transit stop where she can take the train to work at Young Community Developers in the Bayview.
Photo: Felix Uribe