Oakton celebrates Filipino American History Month with Para Sa Kultura night market

(Sept. 22, 2022) – Come and celebrate Filipino American History Month with Oakton College at the Para Sa Kultura (for the culture) night market event on Friday, Oct. 14. The outdoor market at Oakton’s Des Plaines campus will feature Chicagoland’s up-and-coming Filipinx-owned micro-businesses, live music and food vendors.  

Filipino American History Month is observed in October to mark the anniversary of the first recorded evidence of Filipinos in America. Para Sa Kultura is held in collaboration with Everybody's Market and supported by Oakton’s Center for Organizing Minority Programs to Advance Student Success (COMPASS).

There will be live performances featuring Jake Gatsby and at least 15 Filipinx-owned and operated vendors selling food, drinks and merchandise. Some will accept credit/debit card payments. All will accept cash. 

Para Sa Kultura Instagram post.Current vendors include:

Masiramon Chicago
Sweet Letters
Huni Milk Tea
Andsay Goods
Camelia Bakes
Chicago For Keeps
Veloria Coffee
Soul Kinection
Amber Agave
Da Local Boy LLC
Bie Lamon LLC

Additional vendors can sign-up at  https://linktr.ee/compassoakton by Oct. 1. 

In 2020, Oakton received a $1.5 million Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Oakton was the first community college in Illinois to receive this designation, due to its large Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) student population. The grant helped Oakton establish COMPASS. COMPASS seeks to improve success rates by engaging students in high-impact activities designed to increase engagement and help them make informed decisions regarding course and program design.

“We have a large presence of Filipino Americans in our district,” said Dear Aunaetitrakul, COMPASS senior program manager at Oakton. “The Para Sa Kultura night market is about honoring the community's resilience and bringing people together.”

“Everybody’s Market curates events around the Chicagoland area that focuses on diversity and inclusivity,” added  Noelle Fajardo, founder of Everybody’s Market. “The mission is to create a community of LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, AAPI, and Latinx-owned businesses as well as provide a platform in which individuals feel safe to share their businesses and their true selves. As a Filipinx, I also focus on providing a platform for my Filipinx community.”

Para Sa Kultura is an outdoor event scheduled for Friday, Oct. 14,  5-9 p.m - near the Margaret B. Lee Building on Oakton’s Des Plaines campus, 1600 Golf Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60016. Event attendees should park in Lot D. In the case of inclement weather, the market will be moved indoors. Please email AANAPISI@oakton.edu for questions or more information.