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


CAGJ logo with text: Monthly E-Newsletter

CAGJ Monthly E-Newsletter | DECEMBER 6, 2022


CAGJ’s End of Year Appeal

2022 Accomplishments: #RootingOurselvesInHope

Read the full letter online here

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. While we’re not a very big organization by any standard, we are rich in relationships and alliances, enabled by our solidarity model. Please make a generous tax-deductible year-end donation today to support our work.

Let me share some of the ways I am most excited about how CAGJ has #RootedOurselvesInHope this year:

  • CAGJ’s AGRA Watch campaign has had an incredibly productive year, collaborating with our partners in a campaign to de-fund AGRA, which garnered front-page news in The Seattle Times. We co-produced our Rich Appetites Film Series, and are launching the 5th film today! Stay tuned for 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.
  • The Food Justice Project organized the 4th Rise Up! Summer School, our political education and leadership development program, welcoming over 100 participants, and highlighting our solidarity campaign partners.
  • This Fall, we helped organize the state-wide tour of Familias Unidas por la Justícia, creating the website and flyers, and hosting a Teach-in at the Gates Foundation, creating cross-movement synergies.

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!

In solidarity and gratitude, Heather Day

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

CAGJ Activist Profile

Deb holds up a heart-shaped heirloom tomato as they smile at the cameraFor the month of December, we are highlighting the wonderful work of Deb Orieta. Deb started out with CAGJ as Rise Up! Summer School Coordinator in the Spring of 2022, and then transitioned to organizing and communications support. In their profile, Deb says, “To me, food sovereignty means care. Care for each other, for the planet, for the food that we eat. I see food sovereignty as a sort of utopic goal, a guiding light towards a future that will be kinder to everyone.” Read Deb’s full profile here.







AGRA Watch Launches 5th Short Film
Rich Appetites: “Agroecology in Action”

AGRA Watch and the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa are excited to announce the launch of Episode 5 of our series, Rich Appetites, “Agroecology in Action!” The Rich Appetites film series explains how American billionaires and philanthrocapitalists like Bill Gates and his Foundation are underwriting the corporate control of African food systems under the guise of philanthropy. This episode, the final film of the series, tells the stories of people and organizations around the world who are using agroecology to fight climate change and feed their communities.

You can help us promote the series! Here is a sample post:

Around the world, farmers are fighting the climate crisis and feeding their communities through #agroecology. Learn more about how agroecology, a people-centered agriculture system, restores ecosystems, builds resilience, and supports food sovereignty in episode 5 of #RichAppetites by @AGRAWatch @cagjseattle @AFSAfrica

Watch the episode and learn more at richappetitesfilm.com

SAT DEC 17, 7 – 9PM via Zoom
Join us for CAGJ Holiday Party, Cameroon Report-Back & Open Mic!
Register to receive the ZOOM link.

Let’s end the year in community! Join us for our virtual Holiday Party, with an Open Mic format to provide an opportunity to share with each other, and learn more about what brings us joy! CAGJ’s Director Heather Day will give a brief Report-Back about her recent trip to Cameroon, where she attended the 4th Biennial Food Systems Conference of AFSA – Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa – in addition to AFSA’s General Assembly. Bring a song, poem or story to share during the Open Mic, if you wish. We look forward to sharing your company. Feel free to pop in for part of the event! Please register if you’re hoping to attend, to receive the zoom link.

“AquaBounty Exposed”, Whistle-Blower Report
Sign the BlockCorporateSalmon petition to boycott GE Salmon here

Since 2016 CAGJ has partnered with NW tribal members to oppose AquaBounty’s GMO Salmon. The campaign, now known as #BlockCorporateSalmon, continues to mobilize in support of wild salmon and indigenous knowledge and sovereignty.

On October 25, 2022, #BlockCorporateSalmon broke the news about the real conditions in an AquaBounty Facility in Indiana. Working with a whistleblower and former employee of AquaBounty, #BlockCorporateSalmon published the “AquaBounty Exposed” report, which made headlines in industry news. The report documents worker safety violations, product and consumer health risks, containment breaches and effluent water pollution, animal abuse, and the unsustainability of operating the facility. Read the report here, and view some of the news stories here.

The report has resulted in a drop in AquaBounty’s stock price, demonstrating that getting information to the public yields results. Let’s keep the momentum going! Share the stories through social media, and sign the pledge to BoycottGMOSalmon.

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Tell Congress to keep their promises to farmers of color and small-scale farmers in the 2023 farm bill here.
The current farm bill, enacted in December of 2018, is expiring in 2023. The drafting for the 2023 farm bill has already begun, and it is crucial that we make our voices heard in support of farmers of color and small-scale farmers.

The Farm Bill represents the interest of various food system stakeholders, from workers to corporate lobby groups. We must be louder than agribusiness interests, to ensure small-scale farmers and farmers of color get the protections they deserve in the face of climate change and economic instability. Let’s show up for those who feed us!


Heart of Washington Donation Drive for Farmworkers
WASHMASKS, a mutual aid group focusing on farmworkers, is hosting a donation drive through December. They are looking for culturally conscious food, household and hygiene supplies, including PPE, and books with a focus on diversity. The donations will be distributed to farmworker communities in Mt. Vernon, Mabton, Wenatchee, Sunnyside and the Lower Yakima Valley. There are two drop off locations in Seattle: Saint John’s Bar and Eatery (Capitol Hill:719 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122) and Oliver’s Twist (Greenwood: 6822 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103) and an online registry here for folks who can’t make it to the sites. Learn more about the drive on Instagram here.

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An Open Letter to Bill Gates on Food, Farming, and Africa
November 11, 2022 – CAGJ/AGRA Watch & 50 Co-signers
AGRA Watch drafted a letter in response to two recent articles we found very troubling. We are joined by 50 organizations focused on food sovereignty and justice worldwide, who want Bill Gates to know there is no shortage of practical solutions and innovations by African farmers and organizations. We invite him to step back and learn from those on the ground. The letter was picked up by FAIR as well as Stay Free with Russel Brand, garnering over 600k views. (We do not endorse all of Brand’s views; see the AGRA Watch position statement on why conspiracy theories are problematic). Read the Open Letter.

New AGRA Watch Report
Where does the Gates Foundation’s agriculture spending really go?
As part of our research for our Rich Appetites film series, AGRA Watch has conducted an analysis of Gates Foundation agricultural development grants specifically targeting Africa–now published as a report: African Agricultural Development … for the US? An Analysis of the Distribution of Gates Foundation Grants. Read more.

Africa’s Farmers Ignored at COP 27 Climate Talks
Nov 23, 2022, Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)
As the dust settles in Sharm El-Sheikh, Africa has little reason to rejoice. Africa and the Global South can take some hope from the small gains made at COP27. At the last minute, negotiators agreed to provide “loss and damage” funding for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters. But we have heard these promises before. The rich countries of the Global North have failed to fulfill their 2016 100 billion dollar-a-year adaptation funding pledge. Read more.

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THURS December 8, 2-3:30PM EST/11AM-12:30PM PST
Disparity to Parity Webinar: Reclaiming Democratic Control through Food Sovereignty
As the final webinar in the Disparity to Parity webinar series, this virtual event will explore the intertwined relationship between food sovereignty, the right to food, and parity. More information and registration!

Moderating: Nettie Wiebe, former President of National Farmers’ Union Canada; organic farmer. Speakers: Onika Abraham, Executive Director, Farm School NYC; Heather Retberg, Quill’s End Farm; Indra Shekhar Singh, Food System Writer; Monika Castillo, Unión Nacional de Organizaciones Regionales Campesinas Autónomas/National Union of Autonomous Regional Peasant Organizations; La Via Campesina. Final Remarks: Niaz Dorry, Executive Director, National Family Farm Coalition

A small number of multinational agribusinesses control our current food system, leading to the loss of local control and widespread prioritization of profit over people. Through strong policies that create fair prices for producers, we can achieve a just, locally controlled food system that meets the needs of producers and their communities everywhere. Food sovereignty, people who produce food together with those who eat it reclaiming power, is key to rebalancing the scales. As the final webinar in the Disparity to Parity webinar series, this virtual event will explore the intertwined relationship between food sovereignty, the right to food, and parity.


Sign up here for Food Justice Project Listserv.

AGRA Watch
Time varies, for more info email us

Contact us with any questions!

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