1932 – 2001
Beloved teacher, leader, activist and an inspiration to many
Royal Morales, was a revered lecturer known by his students and just about everyone else as “Uncle Roy.” He taught at the University of California, Los Angeles for 15 years, encouraging his students to do community service. The annual Royal Morales Prize in Filipino American Studies was established in his honor. He was the premier social worker of his community and made inestimable contributions to the Filipino community, the Asian Pacific Islander community, the greater Los Angeles and California community, and to social work nationally. Though he was born in Los Angeles, he spent most of his childhood in his ancestral country, the Philippines.
In 1951, he sailed back to America in a cargo ocean liner where he worked his way through Chapman University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. He received his master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California.
Morales worked as a social worker, community organizer, and an activist on human and social services issues; youth, substance abuse, mental health and issues and concerns of Pacific Asians in general and Filipino Americans in particular. He was well known for his lectures on the Filipino American experience, and Philippine-US relations. He worked with young people at the Neighborhood Youth Association and he was employed as Program Director of Pacific Asian Alcohol Program (PAAP), under the auspices of Special Service for Groups (SSG) of Los Angeles. For ten years, he held the position of Director of the Asian American Community Mental Health Training Center of Los Angeles.
A very religious man, Morales was deeply involved in the Filipino Christian Church. He also served in the regional, national, and international work of the Disciples of Christ. Up until his death he served in the Common Global Ministry Board of the DOC and UCC.
In addition to his many achievements as a community leader and program director, Morales spent much of his time volunteering in various capacities involving local, state and national efforts to support scholars in the U.S. and the Philippines. He also lectured and conducted workshops in the art of kite making and flying.