SPECIAL APPEAL from Rachel Hoversland
Hi CAGJ Supporters!
My name is Rachel Hoversland, this year’s Rise Up! Summer School Co-Coordinator and the Co-Chair of CAGJ’s Food Justice Project. I’m writing to you today to ask you to consider an end-of-year donation to help CAGJ continue our transformative food sovereignty work.
Let me take a few steps back and tell you a bit about how I got connected to CAGJ. In early summer of 2020 I was looking for connection and community, and was introduced to CAGJ’s Rise Up! Summer School by a friend. I decided to participate, and through its three months of collective learning, I gained the tools, language, and hope to take action to bring to life the future I want to see – one where food systems are determined by the communities that are affected, where food sovereignty principles are at the forefront of all decisions. In a virtual environment, Summer School provided the engagement and community that had been sorely missed.
When it came time for 2021’s Rise Up! Summer School, I was able to use my skills as a program manager to plan with the incredible Organizing Collective – CAGJ’s dedicated volunteers who worked together over 6 months to produce this free program (learn more). This year’s theme was ‘Cultivating Care, Growing Movements’ where we explored the roots of movement building, incorporating joy, and centering ‘love as the practice of freedom’ in the practice of bell hooks (may she rest in power!). Rise Up! facilitated three panel conversations, three discussion sessions and a field trip to Cooperativa Tierra y Libertad, the cooperatively-run farm founded by the leadership of Farmworker union and CAGJ solidarity partner, Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ).
My favorite part of this year’s summer school was being able to connect with passionate folks globally and locally. We had participants located in the greater Duwamish area (if you’re one of those folks, you can support the Duwamish’s efforts to be federally recognized by paying rent at RealRent), as well as in Italy, Haiti, Canada, and the eastern US. That is part of CAGJ’s magic – building connections in Seattle and beyond under the common vision of an oppression-free future where the principles of food sovereignty and agroecology are the basis for a just food system.
I would love for you to consider helping us continue to put on these educational opportunities at no cost to participants by donating today to CAGJ. This ensures that we’re able to provide honorariums for panelists who share their knowledge during summer school programs, while maintaining a truly community-centered, collective learning experience.
After summer school ended I agreed to step into the role of Co-Chair for CAGJ’s Food Justice Project, where we meet monthly to discuss updates on our Solidarity Partners and to be in community together. In the spring we will start planning Rise Up! Summer School again. In months of cold, where growth can feel challenging, it is wonderful to plant seeds to dream up possibilities for the new year. FJP provides that space, and we are always looking for new people to participate.
CAGJ is a balm to the indifference that can be so easy to fall into during these extremely difficult times. I feel so grateful to be connected to the organization and I hope you’ll consider joining me in making an end-of-year contribution to CAGJ’s food sovereignty efforts.
Thank you and happy new year!