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:
For more information about counter military recruitment, go to:
Episode 38 (10/8/10) “Counter Military Recruitment and Guam's Youth”
Episode 201 (9/26/14) “Peace Photography Post 9-11”