Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Remembering Joseph Ileto

Wednesday, September 23rd 2015

August 10th marked the 15th anniversary of Joseph Iletos death.  Joseph Ileto was a Filipino American postal worker who was shot and killed by a white supremacist, shortly after shooting five other people at a Jewish community center in Los Angeles.  Advancing Justice - LA, then the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, along with many Filipino community groups, assisted the Ileto family with emotional, financial, and legal needs.  “Joseph's story has become a source of motivation for my social justice work and a beacon of hope for generations of youth," shared Trina Pasumbal.  "As a Filipina-American, I am proud of the legacy he left behind and I am committed to the principles he has come to represent," she added.

A group of fellow Youth and Parent Leadership Development (YPLD) program youth commemorated Joseph's life on August 28th with a dinner and program.  Advancing Justice – LA’s community room was transformed into a grand ballroom with purple lights, beautiful photographs, and delicious Filipino food.  The walls were decorated with inspirational quotes of hope and peace from past and present social justice leaders. A special postal card with the photo of Joseph surrounded by white doves was created and dozens were placed on the tables for people to fill and send to someone they wanted to share Joseph’s story with.

The Ileto family’s presence at the event only added to the warmth and family reunion atmosphere.  Joseph’s mother Lilian, his brother Ismael, wife Deena, and son Kyle were deeply touched by the student’s work. The program full of spoken word, poems, dance and songs and storytelling by the family about Joseph’s life created a sense of unity and purpose that was shared by everyone present.  Advancing Justice - LA has worked with the Ileto family, providing opportunities for them to speak publicly across the country on the need for anti-hate crime legislation, gun control laws, and resources to address race relations.

“He was simply a wonderful human being, brother and son, who is probably smiling down from heaven,” shared Lilian Ileto, urging everyone help her carry on his legacy and the meaning of his name, which stands for: “Joseph Ileto - Join Our Struggle, Educate to Prevent Hate, Instill Love, Equality, and Tolerance for Others.”

For Legal Help

Advancing Justice - LA’s hotlines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, consumer, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights.

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Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.