Fil-Am human rights activist receives MLK Jr. distinguished service medal
WATCH: Seattle activist Cindy Domingo receives the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service. YOUTUBE
SEATTLE – Filipino American human rights activist Cindy Domingo received the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service from King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles for her work in District Four and throughout the region.
“Cindy Domingo’s activism is a family tradition buttressed with tragedy,” a press release from the King County Council reads.
“Cindy’s lifelong fight for civil and human rights has included working to ensure that those who were responsible for the assassination of her brother, Silme Domingo, and fellow union officer Gene Viernes, were brought to justice.”
Domingo’s parents were active in Seattle’s Filipino community, which inspired her interest in the history and politics of the Philippines, and to work to end the repressive regime of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos.
Cindy’s brother Silme, an activist against the Marcos dictatorship in the ‘70s –‘80s, was also organizing Filipinos working in the fishing and cannery industry, activities that led to the dictator’s operatives assassinating Silme and fellow activist Gene Viernes in 1981.
For the next decade, Cindy spearheaded the Committee for Justice for Domingo and Viernes (CJDV) in its successful efforts in exposing Marcos’ role in the murder and winning a landmark federal court judgement against the s of over $20 million. The names of Silme and Viernes are inscribed on the Bantayog ng mga Bayani memorial in the Philippines to the martyrs in the fight to overthrow the Marcos dictatorship.
Now, Domingo serves on the boards of national women’s organizations, including the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. In Seattle, she works with the Church Council of Greater Seattle, LELO (A Legacy of Equality, Leadership and Organizing), and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA). Like her late brother, she was a leader of the KDP (Union of Democratic Filipinos). She is also a correspondent for Inquirer.net.
“Cindy Domingo epitomizes public service with her tireless dedication and long string of accomplishments in representing communities so often left from the table,” Kohl-Welles said in statement.
“Even after many decades of exemplary commitment to her community, she continues to empower the marginalized by giving her time and energy to a myriad of organizations committed to a better King County and a better world. Cindy truly honors the legacy of Dr. King and has answered his call to service with strength, grit, and determination.”