03 April 2015

“Voices of Decolonization: A University of Guam Political Status Debate”


Ep. 218 “Voices of Decolonization: A UOG Political Status Debate” (hosted by Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua with producer Alan Grossman) was recorded 1/16/15 at the University of Guam and airs 4/3/15. 

Image result for Guam
Guam is one of 17 non-self-governing territories recognized by the United Nations as needing decolonization. Chamorros have been pushing for this for several decades but momentum on the issue has built and waned over time. There has been a resurgence of interest since the start of 2015 as both Governor Eddie Baza Calvo and Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo highlighted the importance of political status change in their state of the island addresses. 

For the first time in several years the Commission on Decolonization, the government body tasked with helping guide the island towards decolonization has received a modest budget for public education on the issue. 

This episode features a debate over political status courtesy of a Guam History class at the University of Guam, taught by Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua. As part of this course, a debate on decolonization is conducted whereby the students are divided into three groups, each representing a different possible political future for Guam (statehood, free association or independence). 

The students research each status, conduct interviews and develop their arguments as to why their particular status would be the best choice. Although the process of formally voting on this political issue is limited to only those who are considered “native inhabitants” of Guam, this exercise shows the importance of non-Chamorros to participate in the discussion as well. 

Vivian Loyola Dames, Ph.D. 
Anchor Host & Coordinator
 Beyond the Fence 
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