What we do
Our mission is to help address the needs of Filipino-American families and individuals disproportionately affected by Covid-19 by creating an emergency relief fund that will directly provide financial assistance to victims. We provide access to social, mental & financial resources that support victims in rebuilding their lives.
We stimulate recovery. We rebuild lives. We enkindle hope.
About John Eric Swing
John Eric Swing was a longtime community organizer, Asian-American advocate, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, and ethnic studies scholar. He left an indelible impact on the city of Los Angeles, California and beyond.
Kuya – Tagalog for “big brother” – John was born on May 2, 1972 at Queen of Angels Hospital in Los Angeles. John grew up with a large extended family who live throughout Southern California and kept family at the center of his life.
As a child of Filipino immigrants and true son of the City of Los Angeles, John’s Filipino-American experiences informed both his passion for community service and an insatiable curiosity in multicultural history. This led him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies at the University of California, Riverside (‘95). While at UC Riverside, John continued to promote solidarity among Asian Americans and co-founded the Asian-American fraternity Psi Chi Omega – Beta Chapter.
After college, John enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves where he honorably served his country for six years as an 0151 – Personnel and Administrative Clerk. He received the National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and was a Rifle Expert Marksman. After a few years of working in the private sector in office administration and logistics, John pursued his passion for community service and social work as a senior probation corrections officer for the Riverside County Probation Department, Safety and Social Services.
John’s community work transgressed national borders and brought him to Costa Rica, Vietnam and the Philippines. His work encompassed education, community advocacy, healthcare and business development. In 2015, John helped establish the academic curriculum for an international American school, Berkeley Academy for Multicultural Studies in Costa Rica, where he served as an education consultant, college counselor and Advanced Placement instructor. He later traveled to Vietnam and the Philippines to consult high-ranking government officials on intergovernmental collaborations and issues related to the Asian American community like Hepatitis B and healthcare access programs for Asian immigrants.
John continued his community advocacy in Los Angeles by working as an independent non-profit consultant and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) peer reviewer. His work led to his appointment as a business director for the Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture (FPAC), a development and operational management position for Filipino American Services Group, Inc. (FASGI), and prior to his passing, as executive director at Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA) and as board director and executive trainer for the Coalition of Filipino American Chambers of Commerce (COFACC). At SIPA, John was fully engaged in passionately carrying out his duties for community service and led the organization’s small business counseling services and programming since 2015. At COFACC, he lent his leadership abilities and taught their board of directors the strategies on how to build and become a better business chamber for the Fil-Am community.
He also extended his help to the community by assisting Filipinos with their immigration paperwork. For many immigrants, the road to citizenship in the United States can be expensive and confusing. John guided them in their journey to citizenship as stress-free as possible by filing forms, applications, and petitions related to their legal and work status. He selflessly drove to his immigration clients as most of them were struggling and/or working immigrants who either did not have a car of their own or were too old to drive. He was known to take calls regardless of the time to be able to guide both his immigration and small business clients through their issues.
John contracted COVID-19 in mid-June and due to complications with the virus, his health status was elevated to critical condition. Pneumonia and an ischemic stroke caused his untimely death. John passed away on Sunday evening, June 28, 2020, at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital. He was 48 years old.
John’s life and community service were recognized by various public officials across party lines in the Los Angeles area. Los Angeles City Council member Mitch O’Farrell adjourned their council meeting on July 1st and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis adjourned their board of supervisors meeting on July 7th in John’s honor. Mayor Garcetti gave tribute to his story in his COVID-19 briefing to the Angelenos on July 10th. Also on the same day, Commissioner Jessica M. Caloza adjourned the Board of Public Works (Los Angeles) meeting in his honor. Lastly, California State Senator (29th District) Ling Ling Chang recognized John as an Unsung Hero of Southern California.
A few weeks after his passing, SIPA’s board approved a motion to name its future small business center after John. The center will be part of SIPA’s headquarters being redesigned in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown. COFACC also decided to dedicate and name their leadership training modules as “The John E. Swing Chamber Leadership Training Series”.
John’s memorial for family and friends will be held at a future date, contingent upon public health and social distancing measures in the context of COVID-19.