A group of people stands in front of the colorful Feed the People Mural in Beacon Hill

An End-of-Year Letter to our Members & Supporters + 2022 Accomplishments

CAGJ’s end of year letter to our Members & Supporters
2022 Accomplishments: #RootingOurselvesInHope

Greetings friends,

What gives you hope despite increasingly desperate times? Every day I sit down at my desk, and dedicate myself to the tasks at hand, knowing that my efforts are adding to the efforts of millions of people worldwide, including peasant farmers, farmworkers and fishermen, who not only believe that another world is possible, they are actively realizing this dream. And that gives me hope!

Being part of the Food Sovereignty movement is a beautiful thing, because our collective momentum can be witnessed and experienced at so many scales. CAGJ’s effectiveness lies partly in our ability to operate within so many different geographies. While we’re not a very big organization by any standard, we are rich in relationships and alliances, enabled by our solidarity model. Let me share some of the ways I am most excited about how CAGJ has #RootedOurselvesInHope this year.

CAGJ’s Rise-Up! Summer School builds hope from the ground up.

Over the summer, our collective of local activists welcomed 100 participants from around the country, to share frameworks for tackling the structural issues at the root of what is wrong with the food system. Guided by our theme, Future Paradigms, we demonstrated how, through social movements involving farmworkers, indigenous fishermen and African food producers, we all have a role to play in forging the world we want to see. Afterwards, one of the organizers, Molly McMahon, reflected;

“I’ve learned an immense amount about food sovereignty and activism …so much of my journey into food studies has happened within the past months as a part of CAGJ!”

CAGJ is rooted in strengthening the food sovereignty movement locally.

  • CAGJ’s events throughout the year showcased important work happening in our region, including the BIPOC-led urban farming and mutual aid organizing of Black Star Farmers, Nurturing Roots, Feed the People, and Beacon Food Forest BIPOC Community Garden, all of whom were highlighted during our May Hike-a-Thon. A fundraiser for Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) and Black Star Farmers (who were also featured at SLEE!), the event was also our first opportunity to reconnect in person since the start of the pandemic!
A group of people stands in front of the colorful Feed the People Mural in Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill Food Justice Hike-a-Thon. Photo credit: Prenz Sa-Ngoun

  • We joined our partners’ May Day March in Skagit Valley, and were grateful to be joined by Farmworker union leaders from FUJ for our Hike-a-Thon. This Fall, we helped organize FUJ’s state-wide tour, creating the website and flyers, and hosting a Teach-in at the Gates Foundation, creating cross-movement synergies.
  • In the year that saw AquaBounty bring their farmed frankenfish to market for the first time, we collaborated with Block Corporate Salmon to continue our fight against GE salmon. Our session about the campaign was a highlight of Summer School; we were led in an incredible creative visioning workshop by Native fisherman Carl Wassilie and organizer Estefanía Narváez.

CAGJ is dedicated to strengthening the food sovereignty movement globally.

  • Later this month, I will travel to Cameroon to participate in a week of activities hosted by AFSA – Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa. Thanks to the generous travel support of US Food Sovereignty Alliance, I will be joined by Malik Yakini, ED of Detroit Black Community Food Security Network who will attend AFSA’s 4th Food Systems Conference. I am excited to strategize with Malik about how we can build deeper relationships with our African partners. (Stay tuned for our joint report-back next year.)
A crowd of SLEE attenders holds up AGRA Watch Banners: FOOD SOVEREIGNTY is the SOLUTION - STOP the failing Green Revolution

Taking action in solidarity with our African partners at SLEE

  • CAGJ’s AGRA Watch campaign has had an incredibly productive year, collaborating with our partners in a campaign to de-fund AGRA, which garneredfront-page news in The Seattle Times (quoting me and several of our African partners). We co-produced our Rich Appetites Film Series – with AFSA and a South African animation studio that have already garnered tens of thousands of views (stay tuned for launch of film 5 in December and film screenings next Spring). We just issued our Open Letter to Bill Gates, co-signed by AFSA and 50 other mostly African organizations, to call out his inaccurate claims in recent articles.
  • CAGJ shows up for national alliances with global reach. I was invited to join the executive board of National Family Farm Coalition this year, which is a member organization of La Via Campesina, and we continue to play a leadership role in US Food Sovereignty Alliance.

CAGJ is strengthening our organization in order to continue this work.

  • Building off of our Theory of Change, we’re digging deep to strengthen CAGJ’s communications, to be more effective and reach new audiences.
  • This Fall we launched a new organizing space, Monthly Organizing Meetings (MOM): Join us the 3rd Tuesday of every month via zoom to build community and help us organize!
  • You’re also invited to join our Farmworker Solidarity Collective, if you wish to help CAGJ strategize on how best to shape the narrative and build movement in solidarity with our farmworker partners.

CAGJ’s members and supporters are at the root of what gives me hope, since this work wouldn’t be possible without all the different ways that people in our community demonstrate generosity: of time, funds, skills and ideas. Please consider a generous donation this giving season! And if you’re able, become a Monthly Sustainer!

Thank you so much for your support. I am incredibly honored to celebrate our twenty-first year with you all, and can’t wait until we can have a proper party to celebrate!

In solidarity and gratitude,
Heather Day

P.S. Join us SAT DEC 17, 7PM: Holiday Party & Open Mic via Zoom, including a Report-Back from Cameroon! Register here.

P.P.S Can’t donate, but want to become a Member or renew? Just fill out our online Membership form – Thank you!

Posted in Agra Watch Blog Posts, Food Justice Blog Posts, Slider.

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