Media, News, and Events from Watsonville is in the Heart (WIITH)

June 12, 2023

Watsonville is in the Heart (WIITH) is a community-driven public history initiative to preserve and uplift stories of Filipino migration and labor in the city of Watsonville and greater Pajaro Valley. Presently, the WIITH team is creating a new archive documenting the plight, struggles, vitality, and resilience of the manong generation of Filipino migrants who first settled in the Pajaro Valley in the early twentieth century. The archive features manong experiences and those of their families through oral history accounts, photos, personal records, and material culture objects. 

The initiative will include the launch of an interactive digital platform featuring the archive, the creation of a California K-12 curriculum component responsive to Ethnic Studies guidelines, and the mounting of a culminating art exhibit that brings together the WIITH archive and the Bay Area and Central Coast artist communities.

View the Watsonville is in the Heart Digital Archive here:

The project is spearheaded by Dioscoro Recio, Jr. (The Tobera Project) in partnership with UC Santa Cruz faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students: 

This project has received support from The Humanities Institute, the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, the Ow Family Foundation, the Filipino Community Center of Watsonville, California Humanities, the UCSC Committee on Research New Faculty Research Grant, and the UCSC Arts Research Institute.

  • Christina Ayson Plank, Meleia Simon-Reynolds, Kathleen Gutierriez, Steve McKay and Olivia Sawi (forthcoming 2023). Building a Community Archive: Preserving and Uplifting Stories of Filipino Labor and Migration," co-authored with  Filipino American National Historical Society Journal volume 11
  • Ayson Plank, C., & Simon-Reynolds, M. (2022). Watsonville is in the Heart: Documenting Histories of Transpacific Filipino Migration in the Pajaro Valley. Pacific Arts: The Journal of the Pacific Arts Association, 22(1).
Recent News

Watsonville is in the Heart: Digital Archive Launch & Community Talk Story
April 9th, 2022, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Online Screening: Talk Story II: Dollar a Day, Ten Cents a Dance
January 30th, 2022, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Watsonville is in the Heart: Oral History Project Panel
June 17th, 2021, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm