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About Building Bayanihan*

​Building Bayanihan is an attempt to create a communion of critical consciousness, a space where volunteer leaders of professional associations can come together to disrupt Whiteness within association management. Developed by Nathan Victoria for his dissertation, building bayanihan is a collaborative, complex, cathartic space, which calls for individuals that are compassionate and committed to create community and communion towards conversion and consciousness raising. ​

For this study, we are inspired by the methods and methodologies of queer phenomenology and critical participatory action research (CPAR) methodology, as conceptualized by Ahmed (2006) and Kemmis, McTaggart, and Nixon (2014), respectively. Queer phenomenology helps up conceptualize how Whiteness is a norm within association management, and CPAR documents understanding and then usess this new knowledge to generate an emancipatory space for change.

One of the original names of this website was “Finding Homeplace in the Borderlands.” Utilizing the conceptions of homeplace (hooks, 1994) and borderlands (Anzaldúa, 2012), this website is trying to highlight the location we are operating in (a space that uplifts some at the detriment of others) and ways to combat the reasons that location exists (creating a community outside of the external gaze to survive and thrive). More specifically, the oppressive social structure exposed in this study is how Whiteness has become the norm within association management, with Whiteness being defined collectively in the study. Neither of the above words, homeplace or borderlands, however, felt fully authentic to Victoria to encapsulate what the study was attempting. Enter the word bayanihan.

The word bayanihan “literally means ‘being in a bayan’, which refers to the spirit of communal unity, work and cooperation to achieve a particular goal” (The Mixed Culture, 2013, para 1). The original goal was the literal moving of houses or “bahay-kubo,” indigenous houses built of natural materials in the Philippines. The community would come together and move these bahay-kubos to new areas, sometimes needing 20 people to literally move these intact houses (Barlow, 2016; Everything Filipino, n.d.; The Mixed Culture, 2013). The video below is an example of bayanihan.

Obviously this website's definition of bayanihan is not about physically moving houses, but it is about creating a communion of critical consciousness to disrupt Whiteness within association management. Learn more about the theoretical foundations of the bayanihan in DISCOVER. Share your stories to help build the bayanihan in CONTRIBUTE. And provide your expertise and offer feedback through REFINE.

As Audre Lorde (1984) shared,

My fullest concentration of energy is available to me only when I integrate all the parts of who I am, openly, allowing power from particular sources of my living to flow back and forth freely through all my different selves, without the restrictions of externally imposed definition. Only then can I bring myself and my energies as a whole to the service of those struggles which I embrace as part of my living. (pp. 120-121)

Help make the quote above a reality by joining the revolution today.

*Visit this page for an audio file for how to pronounce bayanihan.

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