Islander elevation and COFA-CLAN in USA – Micronesian Stories from abroad

It’s been a great month for the Micronesian.  We started or should I say re-started our blog after we were able to get some wordpress hosting with siteground.com.  Plus, we have been fortunate enough to have free hosting for our podcast on anchor.fm.

No affiliate links here folks, just wanted to share what we’re doing 🙂 The ability to tell the Micronesian story by Micronesians is more possible today than ever before.  The internet has given us that opportunity and I want to encourage everyone out there to tell their story.

Which brings me to this encouraging story coming out of San Diego, CA.  On April 7, an Islander Elevation event took place at the Hilton Doubletree in Hotel Circle.  The purpose of this event was to:

“..Expand the lens through which the national workforce perceives and leverages our people,” stated organizer, Felix Sablan.

Felix is from Guam.  Good on you Felix. Hope to see more of these in the future.

Among the speakers at this event was our very own Chuukese Professor, Mr John Akapito.  John has lived and taught in San Diego for many years now.  He is still teaching at National University and I’m glad he is highlighted here.  John is a good example of what we, Micronesians, can do in the US mainland.  Congratulations John!

Another great story about Micronesians in the US is the COFA-CLAN organization.  You can find them on Facebook by simply searching for “COFA-CLAN”.  Their description is as follows:

“COFA-CLAN (Compact of Free Association – Community Leadership & Advocacy Network) is a National advocacy organization that was formed in September 2017. The organization is comprised of leaders from various regional and local community advocacy groups representing the COFA countries (Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau). Our goal is to unite and organize our efforts in advocating for COFA citizen rights. We aim to support and partner with existing community organizations in efforts to educate local, state, and federal authorities on who we are as COFA migrants and what our rights are based on the Compact of Free Association agreements with the United States.”

Great organization with such an important mission.  Search them out on Facebook when you have time and request to join their group.

One of the issues they are tackling is the requirement for COFA migrants to renew their id cards to comply with the Real ID act.  They have been collecting data to correct a “technical” oversight requiring COFA migrants to renew their driver’s license every year.  A state of Hawaii resolution is the result of their hard work on this issue. It’s good to see this type of work done to improve the lives of our people in the US.

Our Palauan brothers in Hawaii recently announced the WOW Palau empowerment group.  Through Reach Out Pacific’s Facebook page they have announced their existence:

“Our WOW Palau Empowerment group, which met just yesterday, aims to improve the lives of Palauans here and then use those successes as a model to raise the tide for ALL Micronesians in Hawaii…It is easy to grumble. It’s much more difficult to come up with a plan. Palauans in Hawaii choose to help themselves by taking action!”

Very encouraging.  Looking forward to hearing more about these folks.

Share their stories and remember that Micronesians in the US can and have been doing well.  We are getting better and better.

Check out my podcast on my Micronesian Podcast Page.

 

Author: patpedrus

I am here, you are there, we are one.

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