Featured panelists included Pālolo Pipeline coordinator Kat Lobendahn, along with community leaders Joakim "Jojo" Peter of COFACAN and Dr. Sheldon Riklon of the Micronesian Health Advisory Coalition
The informative and thought-provoking discussion included details regarding the online petition that sought to curtail a pattern of derogatory jokes and commentary against "Micronesians" by the Wake Up Crew on Island 98.5 FM of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.
Since the petition began, a formal apology has been read on-air by the Wake Up Crew; some listeners subsequently expressed concern that the on-air apology lacked sincerity, and that Wake Up Crew members appeared to "make light" of the apology through subsequent jokes and the "mocking" admonishment of radio callers. A number of derogatory comments in response to the petition were also posted on the radio station's social media platforms, which were apparently removed by account owners.
The Community Matters panelists sought to promote greater education and awareness of the accomplishments and challenges of the diverse peoples of Micronesia, including the cultural contributions of "Papa Mau" Piailug and the healthcare issues currently facing many U.S. residents present under the Compacts of Free Association.
Panelist and petition creator Kat Lobendahn closed the hour-long session with a quote from Epeli Hau'ofa: "Oceania is vast, Oceania is expanding, Oceania is hospitable and generous, Oceania is humanity rising from the depths of brine and regions of fire deeper still, Oceania is us."
Listen to the Community Matters broadcast below, or download an audio file of the broadcast by clicking here.