Bizzie (Elizabeth) Ust

My name is Bizzie and I am originally from the Bay Area. I grew up there in a packed house with my mom, uncles, aunt, cousin and Lola. I always had a love for art and drawing since I was little. My Uncle had told me he was recruited by Disney through an art competition at his High School back in the 90s but he turned it down because our family had just immigrated from the Philippines and my Lola needed all the help she could get to keep them afloat. I told him I would strive to get the dream job he wished he had taken. Since moving away from the Bay Area I have learned how much I appreciate my family and our culture. I have strived to include my Filipino heritage in all of my art, designs and illustrations. As I have grown I found that my designs can truly make a difference in the Filipino-American community. UNLV has really taught me to grow my skills and to always think bigger about my projects and now I have even brought some to life.

Operation Salita

Filipino Americans suffer from this struggle to connect with their roots due to being seen as “not Filipino enough” having not been taught the language. Operation Salita is here to change that.

Filipino-Americans fall victim to the Filipino Paradox which is, “These multiple-subject positions remind us that identities are not fixed or singular but overlapping and simultaneous. Filipino immigrant children live with paradoxes: they feel strong symbolic loyalty to the Philippines but know very little about it and have little contact with their parents and other adults who might educate them about it. They feel pressure to become American and assimilate but their experience does not match or relate to the American experience.” Operation Salita is a Tagalog language campaign advocating for representation in the higher education system. The goal of the campaign is to begin with the local Las Vegas community and fight to install a Tagalog language course at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus for credit. Operation Salita is not only fighting for a course, it is fighting for language inclusivity, representation, decolonization and empowerment for the Filipino community. This course could change the Filipino-American community, connecting them to their roots and breaking the language barrier that has been caused due to their assimilate to succeed mentality.

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portfolio work

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