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November 23, 2015 @ 8:07 am

Ep. 228 “Na’ Matatnga I Manhoben (To Make the Youth Brave): Guahan Actions to Counter the Militarization of Youth”

Ep. 228 “Na’ Matatnga I Manhoben  (To Make the Youth Brave):  Guahan Actions to Counter the Militarization of Youth” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and produced by Dance Aoki with assistance from Alan Grossman) airs 11/20/15.  

This week, November 14-20, is the second International Week of Action  Against the  Militarization of Youth.  This week is a call for nonviolent actions across the world to raise awareness of, and challenge, the ways young people are militarized, and to give voice to alternatives. (For more information about these actions and events, go to www.facebook.com/antimiliyouth).  

In solidarity with this global action, this episode features interviews with four daughters of the Marianas, born and raised on Guam, who share first hand accounts of student led actions to counter the militarization of youth in Guam high schools.    

In the first half, we welcome Kisha Borja-Quichocho and Nichole Rose Quintanilla, both graduates of George Washington High School (GWHS). 

Kisha graduated from GWHS in 2004. She went on to earn a BA in English from Hawai`i Pacific University, an MA in Pacific Islands Studies from the University of Hawai`i-Manoa, and an MA in Teaching from the University of Guam. In 2010, she returned to GWHS to teach language arts and became faculty advisor to a student club, NIM (Na’ Matatnga I Manhoben  (in Chamorro, To Make the Youth Brave),  the first public high school club committed to promoting peace, preserving the Chamorro culture, and countering military recruitment in the school.  She is currently a member of the faculty at the University of Guam, teaching courses in the School of Education and the Division of English and Applied Linguistics and serving as the Editor for the Micronesian Area Research Center.  She is also the mother of Lina’la’, who remains one of the driving forces behind the work that she continues to do at home, at work, and in the community.   

Nichole was active in NIM in her junior and senior years and graduated in 2013. This pivotal experience inspired her to become a History and Chamorro Studies major at the University of Guam rather than enlist in the military.  She is now preparing to become a secondary education teacher and to continue the work of NIM in Guam’s schools. She is also a spoken word artist, apprentice weaver, actress, and Guam’s public high  coordinator for the Sinangån-ta Youth Movement, Guam’s official spoken word and poetry organization for youth.    

Program guests in the second half are high school teachers Fanai Castro and Shannon Siguenza.  They talk about their experience last year advising a group of students from the Academy of Our Lady of Guam (AOLG), Guam’s only all-girls Catholic high school, that produced a short video message (“Guahan in Solidarity with Tinian and Pagan” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL5yDV0IZtQ).  The intent of this project, led by Tasi Yanger and Fena Garcia,  was to express solidarity with those resisting the U.S. military plans to use the islands of Tinian and Pagan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) for live fire training. 

Fanai is an AOLG graduate. She went on to earn a B.A. degree in Ethnic Studies with honors from Mills College in 2003 then returned to her alma mater in 2013 to teach Guam History and Culture. Prior to this, she had experience with public school students as a substitute teacher for the Guam Community College, cross-enrollment program. She is an artist and a poet whose work centers on the movement for a nuclear-free and interdependent Pasifik, as well as community education and sustainability. She created the poster for the 7th International Meeting of Women Against Militarism, held in Guam in 2009.  She also co-curated the art exhibit and helped to organize the counter-militarism fashion show for this international meeting. 

As a young girl, Shannon was inspired to emulate the community service work of her mother, Frances Siguenza, who worked at the Office of Veterans Affairs and advocated for Guam’s veterans. She graduated from GWHS then earned her B.A. Psychology degree from the University of Guam in 2010.  At the time of this film project, Shannon was teaching psychology at the AOLG.  She is currently an English teacher at Simon Sanchez High School and a graduate student at the University of Guam. Shannon’s work as a teacher, poet, and writer is centered around empowering Guahan’s youth, cultural revitalization, language preservation, and the development of healthy communities on island.   

For more information about youth resistance in the Marianas, go to: 

 http://antimili-youth.net/articles/2015/11/youth-resistance-mariana-islands-protecting-sacred-sites-united-states-military 

For more information about counter military recruitment, go to: 

https://www.warresisters.org

http://www.nnomy.org

https://afsc.org

Related episodes: 

Episode 38 (10/8/10) “Counter Military Recruitment and Guam's Youth”

Episode 201 (9/26/14) “Peace Photography Post 9-11” 

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November 23, 2015 @ 7:47 am

Ep. 227 “Veterans, Culture and Identity”

Ep. 227 “Veterans, Culture and Identity”  (hosted by Desiree Taimanglo Ventura and produced by Dance Aoki with assistance from Alan Grossman) airs 11/13/15. 

In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…" 

The men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces from Guam offer a unique perspective on what it means to serve and fight for a country within which they do not have equal citizenship.  Their stories, which are full of passion and complex, sometimes confusing, contradictions are experiences and perspectives that our island’s younger generations do not often pause to think about.  

Program guest is Tressa Dela Cruz, an instructor from the Guam Community College and daughter of a US Air Force veteran, who sought to connect our island’s young adults with local veterans in order to provide them with an opportunity to hear from this unique demographic.  On September 29, Dela Cruz sent out a call for local veterans willing to participate in a project assigned to her Freshmen Composition students.  She successfully connected 60 local veterans with 60 college students who participated in a series of interview sessions hosted on the GCC campus over a span of two weeks.  Students were able to sit one-on-one with different veterans and ask questions about the ways in which culture and military service intersect.  In addition, Dela Cruz spearheaded an essay contest for high school students that encouraged them to write about what veterans mean to them personally.

This conversation includes one of the GCC students and her grandfather, a local veteran who participated in this project.  Elisa Artero Guerrero is from the village of Mangilao and a full-time nursing student.  Her grandfather is retired Command Sergeant Major Franklin Artero.  Born in 1942, Artero offers his experiences as a post-war child, which have shaped many of his views on Guam’s culture and future, military service, and war.  He was drafted into the US Army at the age of 18, and went on to serve 30 years. He has received numerous honorable decorations during his service.

This episode includes the poem I Kelat (The Fence), written by Desiree Taimanglo Ventura as read by Dance Aoki (forthcoming publication in Home(is)lands: Guam and Hawaii, An Anthology of New Writing, edited by Brandy Nalani McDougall and Craig Santos Perez); the oral testimonies presented by Desiree’s father, U.S. Army Colonel Raymond Leon Guerrero Taimanglo, and by Tun Antonio Sablan at a public hearing on the 2009 Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Guam and CNMI Military Relocation (downloaded from the Voice of Guam youtube channel, created by UOG students in a GCC EN111 class (taught by Ms. Taimanglo Ventura), and the Inifresi (Chamorro pledge) performed by Zack Lujan. 

Guest host Desiree Taimanglo Ventura received her B.A. in English at Chaminade University and an M.A in Rhetoric and Writing Studies from San Diego State University.  She is currently a full-time instructor of English and Communications at the Guam Community College, and has taught English at the University of Guam, as well as Rhetoric and Writing Studies at San Diego State University.

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November 9, 2015 @ 7:31 am

Ep. 226 “The Decolonization of Guahån: What Happens to a Dream Deferred?”

Ep. 226 “The Decolonization of Guahån:  What Happens to a Dream Deferred?” (hosted and produced by Dance Aoki with production assistance of  Vivian Dames,  Alan Grossman, Angel Petros,  and Robert Wang) was recorded 10/29/15 at the University of Guam and airs 11/6/15. 

Earlier this year Guam Governor Eddie Calvo, also chair of the Commission on Self-Determination, announced plans to launch an educational outreach campaign in preparation for a plebiscite to determine the island’s future political status.  A date for this vote has yet to be set.  He also approved a budget for three task forces to prepare educational materials to detail the pros and cons of three internationally recognized political status options — independence, free association and statehood.

This episode features coverage of the Decolonization Forum held at the University of Guam (UOG) on October 29, 2015 featuring presentations by Dr. Laura Souder-Betances, Hope Cristobal, Speaker Judith Won Pat and Dr.  Carlyle Corbin.  This public forum was sponsored by the UOG Division of Social Work, Chamorro Studies Program, and Women & Gender Studies Program.  The purpose of this forum is to educate the community about the history of Guam’s quest for self-determination, to re-assess current strategies and possibilities, and to inspire and motivate a new generation of citizens and advocates.   

In the first half of this episode, Chamorro rights activist, scholar, and co-editor (with Robert A.  Underwood) of the book Chamorro Self-Determination:  The Right of a People—-Derechon I Taotao, 1987) presents “Revisiting Chamorro Sovereignty and Self-Determination from a Language and Culture Perspective”.  

This is followed by a presentation by another pioneer in the Chamorro self-determination movement,  former senator Hope Cristobal, who provides an overview of the “Development of Guam Public Law on Decolonization”.  While senator in the 23rd Guam Legislature, she authored the legislation which created the Guam Commission on Decolonization and the Chamorro Registry. 

Music selection:  “Saena, Saena”, a chant performed by Inetnon Gefpå’go under the direction  of Master of Chamorro Dance, Vince J.C. Reyes, which was part of the opening ceremony for this public forum.

In the second half, Speaker of the Guam Legislature and member of the Commission on Decolonization, Judith T. Won Pat,  presented “A Report Back on Guam’s Testimonies to the United Nations 4th Committee in October 2015”.  This coverage focuses on the statement she presented as a petitioner to the U.N. about the impacts of militarization on Guam’s quest for self-determination.  She also commented in her panel presentation on the success of the Guam-specific resolution which was approved by the General Assembly and the importance of strategic networking and lobbying.   

This program concludes with the keynote speech “Decolonization:  What Happens to a Dream Deferred?” by Dr. Carlyle Corbin.  Dr. Corbin, a Virgin Islander and executive secretary of the Council of Presidents of the United Nations General Assembly, provides an overview of three historical commitments to decolonization, analyzes the problem of what he calls “dependency legitimation” using different case examples, and suggests why the French, British and U.S. colonial powers ignore their legal and moral obligations to decolonization.  [For the full text of his talk and related information, go to: overseasreview.blogspot.com]

This episode concludes with a poem entitled, “Harlem - What Happens to a Dream Deferred?” by Langston Hughes, read for this program by Robert Wang.  

These four 15-20 minute presentations have been edited to fit the format of this program.  This panel presentation was followed by a moderated question and answer segment which is appended to the podcast for Ep. 226. 

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November 6, 2015 @ 6:05 am

Ep. 225 “Ti Tano-mu este. Tano-mami (This is not your island. This is my island)

Ep. 225 “Ti Tano-mu este. Tano-mami  (This is not your island. This is my island):  Voices from the CNMI on the Militarization of Pagan and Tinian” (hosted by Moñeka De Oro and produced by Dance Aoki with assistance of Vivian Dames, Alan Grossman,  and Robert Wang) airs 10/30/15.  Testimonies featured in this episode were recorded by Leonard Leon between April 28-May 1, 2015 in Tinian and Saipan.

In support of the rebalancing of military forces in the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. military is proposing to increase joint military capabilities by improving existing and developing new live fire ranges and training areas on the islands of Tinian and Pagan in the CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands). The public comment period for this DEIS (draft environmental impact statement) ended August 15, 2015. [To view this document, go to: www.cnmijointmilitarytrainingeis.com/]

Between April 28th and May 1, 2015 the U.S. military conducted three public hearings on Saipan and Tinian to assess the potential effects of their proposal. Hundreds of people from different walks of life attended and presented oral and/or written comments.  This episode features selected oral testimonies which were overwhelming opposed to the proposal, joining a chorus of government agencies and public bodies also opposing the project. 

Earlier this month, the CNMI Governor Eloy S. Inos, called upon the U.S. military to withdraw and reconsider  this proposal. According to Dentons LLC, the consultants hired by the CNMI government to review this proposal, the Navy’s document will not provide a legally defensible basis—under the National Environmental Policy Act and relevant federal and local environmental and historic law—for the Navy to sanction their live-fire project. They propose that a new round of public comment, with a heavily revised environmental impact statement, is needed before the U.S. military moves further with its decision.  A Supplemental DEIS is expected in 2016.  

In the first half of this episode, we feature selected voices in opposition from Saipan:  Genevieve S. Cabrera, Steven Johnson, Frankie Manibusan Elliptico,  Pedro Perez,  Romola Orsini, Vinny Orsini, Celine Orsini, Rosemund Santos Sword, as well as the voices of three residents of Pagan — Cinta Kaipat, Diego L. Kaipat, and Jerome Aldan (Mayor, Northern Islands). This is followed by  two testimonies presented by David Sablan and Brianna Fajardo in favor of the proposal.  

In the second half, we hear selected voices in opposition from Tinian: Serafina King Nabors, Juanita Mendiola, Deborah Fleming, Kim King-Hinds,, Chellette Nita Aldan San Nicolas, Zach Manglona, and Jerrica Aldan.  

This episode concludes with a conversation between Moñeka De Oro and Majorie Atalig Daria about the efforts of the Tinian Women’s Association leading up to the April-May public hearings (recorded 10/28/15 in Guam).   

Music selections:  “Save Pagan and Tinian”, the Alternative Zero campaign song,  written and performed by Gus Kaipat and the cover song for the album “Get Up, Stand Up” (Bob Marley), performed by New Zealand artists.  

Guest host Moñeka De Oro taught at the Tinian Junior-Senior High School during AY 2014-15 and now teaches at the Agana Heights Elementary School on Guam.  She is a founding member of WeAreGuahan and Our Islands Are Sacred and has also been involved with Fanachu Marianas,the Tinian Women’s Association and the Alternative Zero campaign.  Special thanks to Leonard Leon for recording the testimonies presented at these public hearings for Beyond the Fence. 

Please forward this announcement to your respective networks and encourage listeners to submit their comments on line. Suggestions for future topics and guests or requests to be removed or added to this list may be sent to btf.kprg@gmail.com.

Thank you for listening to and supporting public radio for the Marianas --- and for promoting Beyond the Fence, locally and abroad. 

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November 5, 2015 @ 5:48 am

Ep. 224 “Celebrating Guam’s LGBT History”

Ep. 224 “Celebrating Guam’s LGBT History”  (hosted by Leiana S.A. Naholowa’a with production assistance by Dance Aoki,  Vivian Dames and Alan Grossman) airs 10/23/15.  

October is national LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender) History Month, and 2015 has been a year of significant civil rights victories for Guam and the United States. With the federal court ruling that struck down the prohibition of same-sex marriage in Guam on June 5, and the U. S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26 that requires all states and territories to recognize same-sex marriages, LGBT individuals finally attained the benefits and privileges afforded to straight couples. 

In celebration of this milestone in Guam's LGBT history, this episode features interviews with four individuals who have been at the forefront of this struggle for marriage equality and civil rights, locally and nationally.  

We begin with an interview (recorded June 22, 2015) with Guam attorney William ‘Bill’ Pesch, a member of the legal team (with brothers Mitch and Todd Thompson) that represented Loretta Pangelinan and Kathleen Aguero in the historic lawsuit for marriage equality in Guam. Pesch is the son of a former director of the U.S. Air National Guard and writes a weekly column, “Life, Love and the Law”, for the Pacific Daily News.   Pesch discusses the circumstances surrounding this lawsuit and how meaningful this ruling has been in his family life with his husband and two adopted sons. 

The second segment provides an update from Lisa Kove, executive director for DOD Fed Globe, a non-profit organization, based in San Diego, California, that advocates for LGBT-identified employees (civilians and military), retirees, veterans, and their friends and families of the Department of Defense.  She is a Navy veteran who has worked openly gay since 1997 inside the Department of Defense, and has over 30 years experience as a service member, consultant, and civil servant.  In this interview, she shares some LGBT history behind the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the victories of marriage equality. She also suggests what advocacy is needed now for transgender individuals serving in the military who face intense discrimination (recorded by phone October 20, 2015). 

[Pesch and Kove were first interviewed for Beyond the Fence in 2012 (Ep. 127 (9/14/12) “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:  One Year After the End”)] 

We conclude with a joint interview (recorded October 20, 2015) with Reverend James Moore of St. John’s Episcopal Church and Tim De La Cruz, executive director of GALA (Guam Alternative Lifestyle Association).  They reflect on their early experiences working in community organizations in Guam.  Reverend Moore shares some of his experiences supporting LGBT people in the military in the days before the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and De La Cruz talks about GALA’s collaborations with GLASS (Gay, Lesbians and Supporting Sailors), an LGBT organization of employees of U.S Naval Hospital, Guam. Moore and De La Cruz also discuss Bill 185, a bill introduced in 2009 for same sex civil unions which was met with much contention, yet  laid the foundation for marriage equality for GLBT individuals on Guam.  

Guest host Leiana S.A. Naholowa’a received her B. A. in Literature and Writing Studies from California State University-San Marcos, and is currently an M.A. student in the English program at the University of Guam.  She is also a part-time instructor in the Women and Gender Studies program. She married Jennifer Livengood on January 6, 2014, in the state of California, where gay marriage was made legal in 2013. 

Music selection: “Radical” by Catie Curtis. 

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