Purchased in 1974, the building was named in honor of Dr. José P. Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. A patriot, physician, polyglot, and man of letters, his poetry, essays, and novels awakened Philippine identity and resistance against the Spanish colonizer. He was a supporter of structural and political reforms. José P. Rizal is remembered for his brilliance, courage, patriotism, and compassion toward the Filipino people and the country. He is also remembered for his expressed interest in learning and befriending other people and cultures.
Dr. Rizal’s influence is reflected every day through the endeavors of the Filipino American Council of Greater Chicago (FACGC), in its passion to celebrate Filipino arts and culture and its intersection with diverse ethnicities and cultures, as well as to serve the vulnerable; to fight for social justice and democracy; to fight hunger for low-income seniors and veterans; and to foster solidarity and the thoughtful, kapwa caring, and supportive community that has become the hallmark of the organization.
The building is known as the Rizal Center.