MARK YOUR CALENDARS: “FAMOKSAIYAN SAMOA: LEADERSHIP AND PACIFIC ISLANDS STUDIES”

**The University of Washington & the University of California Berkeley
present**

“FAMOKSAIYAN SAMOA: LEADERSHIP AND PACIFIC ISLANDS STUDIES”

November 14 Seattle, Washington &
November 16 Berkeley, California

BACKGROUND
In April 2006, a group of Chamorro scholars, organizers and workers held
the first annual Famoksaiyan conference at the Sons and Daughters of Guam
in San Diego, California. The purpose was to develop strategies and
partnerships to improve native health, education, employment and quality
of life in the islands. For the past three years, follow up conferences
and events were held in Berkeley, San Francisco, Long Beach and New York.

In the spirit of Famoksaiyan, our Leadership and Pacific Islands Studies
Summit will be held over the course of two days at the University of
Washington Seattle and the University of California Berkeley. Our primary
goal is to raise awareness of the recent enviornmental, social and
political challenges in the Pacific.

We draw on the scholarship and research of Pacific Islands Studies to
build a native intellectual foundation for our leadership methods and
community programs. We will provide Pacific Islander high school and
undergraduate students with indigenous knowledge, professional networks
and academic skills to prepare them for public service and research.


DAY ONE NOVEMBER 14, 2009
University of Washington Seattle
12:30-6:00pm

Chicano Room and the Pacific Islander Room
3931 Brooklyn Ave NE
Ethnic Cultural Center
Seattle, WA 98105

On Saturday NOVEMBER 14th, we will provide training and workshops designed
to develop research interests in Pacific Islands Studies. Our belief is
that a significant amount of learning takes place through their
involvement in i) student organizations, ii) courses and academic
programs, iii) grass roots organizing, iv) mentoring opportunities and  v)
interaction with university faculty and staff.

SOCIAL CHALLENGES IN MICRONESIA
New York, October 7, 2009 – A delegation of Chamorus testified in front of
the United Nations Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth
Committee) in New York City on the question of Guam’s continued
colonization. For the first time in years, the Committee received
testimony from Guam elected officials, teachers, university researchers,
Non-Government Organizations,and attorneys. The delegates discussed the
cumulative adverse impacts of U.S. colonization and the current military
build-up, highlighting such issues as environmental contamination, Chamoru
displacement, alarming cancer rates, and the infrastructural strains
expected from the island’s unprecedented population boom—which will make
the Chamoru people a minority group in our homeland.

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/10/9/guam_residents_organize_against_us_plans

ENIVORNMENTAL DISASTERS IN POLYNESIA
On November 14th, the University of Washington will host a Pacific Islands
Studies summit to address the tragic events that happened in American
Samoa, Samoa (formerly Western Samoa) and Tonga.

On September 29, 2009, a very strong earthquake occurred south of Samoa
and within minutes a series of tsunamis (tidal waves) roared ashore and
washed away whole villages.  Many resorts and hotels were wiped out.  Over
140 lives were suddenly lost. Over 3000 people have been forced into
homelessness.

Please help us to continue relief efforts for disaster victims in Samoa
and Tonga. The UW Pacifc Islander community has raised over $20,000 in
Tsunami relief funds. We have a number of talented PI youth that are
interested in organizing follow up events and programs to help with the
ongoing efforts to rebuild and raise funds for the islands.

We encourage you to please visit the website of fellow CAL alumnus
Danielle Nash.  You will see some pictures of the tragedy and learn more
about some of the organizations that are working to bring relief to the
islands. Several groups throughout California and Washington will be
holding benefit concerts to raise funds for Samoa.

*Please visit: the 92909 Samoa Tsunami Relief Organization*.
http://www.92909samoatsunamirelief.org/index.ht<
http://www.92909samoatsunamirelief.org/index.html>

DAY TWO NOVEMBER 16, 2009
University of California Berkeley
6:00-7:30pm

554 Barabra Christian Room
Barrows Hall #2570
Berkeley, CA 94720

In October of 2009, a delegation of Chamorus testified in front of the
United Nations Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth
Committee) in New York City on the question of Guam’s continued
colonization.  How have indigenous artists from Guam responded to the
history of U.S occupation? Join us for this celebration of native Poetry,
film, music and photography from the Famoksaiyan collective of California.
How do these arts of resistance contribute to the growth of Pacific
Islands Studies in the bay area? The workshop focuses on self
determination through these indigenous arts of resistance.

ARTISTS BIOS:

1. Kerri Ann “Ifit” Borja is from the village of Barrigada, Guåhan. She is
a young Chamoru woman, educator, youth organizer, and a Masters Candidate
in the Education at San Francisco State University.  She uses her
photography as a way to show the beauty and struggles of life, most
especially in her homeland, Guåhan.  Kerri Ann has showcased her
photography in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, as well as different art
shows and festivals in Guåhan and Sa’ipan.  Her work was published in two
booklets called “Hita Guåhan,” a collection of
testimonies presented to the United Nations that expressed concern about
the current military build-up on Guåhan. Kerri Ann served on the 2007 Guam
Delegation to the United Nations in New York.

2. Craig Santos Perez is a doctoral student in the Department
of Ethnic Studies. In his other life, he writes poetry (his first book,
from unincorporated territory [hacha], was published last year) and
publishes and poetry (he co-founded Achiote Press in 2006). He is a member
of the FAMOKSAIYAN Collective and represented the Guahan Indigenous
Collective at the 2008 United Nations 4th Committee Hearings in New York
City.

3. Erica Benton has roots in Guahan and grew up in Fremont. She
serves as a representative of the San Francisco chapter of
Famoksaiyan and has worked as a grass roots organizer for three years.
Erica has done work for the Pacific Islands Studies IDST 45 course at City
College of San Francisco. Her music has been featured
on KPFA radio and the annual Pacific Unity celebration in Berkeley.

4. Michael Tun’cap is doctoral candidate in the Depart ment of Ethnic
Studies. He was selected to the 2008 & 2009 Guam Delegation to the United
Nations in New York. Tun’cap presented his dissertation prospectus titled
“History, Health and the Movement for a Nuclear Free Pacific” before the
UN 4th Committee on Non-Self Governing Territories. Michael has completed
two short film projects RISE UP: Famalaoan ki Moana (2007)and THE DOUBLE
DOUBLE (2007).

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