CAGJ Offers Transformative Food Sovereignty Education: Special Appeal by Shephali Patel

Hello Community!

Re-designing a food system that rests on the principles and values of food sovereignty for all requires all of us. My name is Shephali Patel and I had the honor to support others in this movement through my role on the Organizing Collective for the 2022 edition of CAGJ’s Rise Up! Summer School. Rise Up! is a 3-month educational and leadership development program exploring themes on developing regional food sovereignty movements. Your generous year-end donation will help ensure that CAGJ can offer this amazing program again next year!

As a farmer and educator, I have been working on projects centering food justice for over a decade. I can readily say that Rise Up! Summer School is one of the most valuable programs of its kind being offered. Not only does it offer a comprehensive introduction to the basic theory, frameworks, and case studies of food sovereignty movements around the globe, but we cultivate a participatory learning environment and offer facilitation and creation of a community space that activates and embodies the very principles of food sovereignty we are exploring. And CAGJ offers Summer School completely FREE with accessibility in mind. Because of this, last year we had over a hundred participants from around the nation and world. 

Flyer for Rise Up! Summer School 2022. Orange and Green theme. In the center, four hands are watering seedlings, and the water is multicolored.

Flyer for Rise Up! Summer School 2022

I was also delighted to see that students from universities across the country enrolled as CAGJ’s Summer School offers educational programming that complements their studies, and presents dimensions of food system analysis that they felt was missing from their classes. 

Rise Up! Summer School is fulfilling CAGJ’s mission of offering community education and mobilization to strengthen the Food Sovereignty movement! Consider becoming a Sustaining Member today to contribute whatever you can afford every month; your contributions make a difference.

I was right there with them – a student in the process, as much as a co-organizer and co-facilitator. This year, through a series of panel conversations, discussion sessions, and cooperative exercises, I continued to learn from the wisdom and organizing successes of movements led by Familias Unidas por la Justicia Farmworker Union, Haki Nawiri Afrika, BlockCorporateSalmon, and more. 

Rise Up! Summer School was the first gateway for learning about the movement towards food sovereignty for most of our participants, and an important cornerstone of continuing education for active organizers like myself. It is also a platform that we can offer our partners to discuss the incredibly critical work that they do – the groundwork that brings us steps and bounds closer to a future of a healthy and just food system. 

CAGJ can offer these unique perspectives from across the globe due to over twenty years of organizing and building relationships. If you agree this is critical to the future of our planet and communities, please make a donation today – either a monthly or one-time gift! Thank you – we truly can’t do this work without the generous support of our Members!


A woman smiles in front of foliage. She has long, brown hair and is wearing a black button up shirt and a white broad rimmed hat with a yellow flower.

Shephali Patel, Rise Up! Summer School Organizer

In Solidarity,

Shephali Patel

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

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