I’ll get straight to it. I’m writing to ask you to consider donating whatever you can to CAGJ this holiday season. If you care about food sovereignty, CAGJ is the best “return on investment” for social change that you make this season.
Let me take a step back and tell you who I am. I moved to Seattle in 2013 and began working with CAGJ almost immediately, particularly with AGRA Watch—CAGJ’s campaign to hold the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation accountable for its promotion of corporate agri-business in Africa. As an activist and researcher on food sovereignty, my work has brought me around the world to food sovereignty gatherings. I’ve been amazed (though not surprised) that our allies around the world—from Delhi to Des Moines, Nairobi to New York—know about CAGJ.
AGRA Watch, you probably know, was founded in 2009 to counter the Gates Foundation’s effort to promote a “Green Revolution” on the African continent. CAGJ was the first organization to reveal the Foundation’s conflicts of interest. It turned out that the Foundation was investing in Monsanto and the very technologies it was promoting abroad! Since then, though there has been increasing awareness about the growing role of the Gates Foundation in driving almost every aspect of global food and agricultural policymaking, AGRA Watch remains the only campaign dedicated to monitoring the Gates Foundation and promoting African food sovereignty.
2020 was a big year for AGRA Watch. We released two ground-breaking reports about the Gates Foundation’s influence: Messengers of Gates’ Agenda: A Case Study of the Cornell Alliance for Science Global Leadership Fellows Program, and The Man Behind the Curtain—The Gates Foundation’s Influence on the UN Food Systems Summit. During the webinar release for these publications, over 150 participants joined us from around the world to hear author and activist Raj Patel, the General Coordinator of La Via Campesina Elizabeth Mpofu, and the Executive Director of the African Center for Biodiversity Mariam Mayet discuss the importance of our findings.
But CAGJ does more than research. Through its relationship-building, CAGJ continues to lay the groundwork for the global food sovereignty movement. In the US, CAGJ has helped to coordinate and nourish the growth of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA) since its founding. This December, CAGJ was virtual host of the Food Sovereignty Prize (which CAGJ won honorable mention in 2009!). CAGJ also works to connect movements. In 2018, for example, CAGJ was the only US-based organization to attend the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa’s (AFSA) continental gathering. This year, CAGJ helped to solidify the relationship between the USFSA and AFSA by coordinating a memorandum of understanding and meetings between the two Alliances.
Can you make a generous donation today in recognition of all of our recent accomplishments? Please consider becoming a Sustaining Member!
It’s hard to believe how much one tiny organization with only one full-time staff member can accomplish with the help of our amazing interns, our committed volunteers, and all our supporting members. Nonetheless, CAGJ continues not only to be a bedrock for the food sovereignty movement in Seattle, but also movements in the US and around the world.
2021 promises to be a critical year in the struggle for food sovereignty. The successes of the movement in promoting an alternative framework for global food and agriculture have led powerful corporations and countries to mount a furious challenge to agroecology. That’s why this year CAGJ hopes to hire a second full-time organizer to continue the hands-on work of social change—building new leaders, raising our consciousness, and cultivating movements for lasting political and economic transformation.
While we know this is a difficult time for many people, we ask that you consider contributing whatever you can this holiday season and join the movement for more just and equitable local and global food systems.
P.S. Monthly Sustainers give us peace of mind, as we know we can rely on a steady flow of funds to cover our monthly costs. That is why we have a goal of 20 new Sustaining Members at $20/month! Please sign up today to have an amount securely deducted automatically every month.
P.P.S. You don’t have to donate to Become a Member! Just fill out this online form – Thank You!