Meet some of our CAGJ activists!
Staff | Steering Committee & Advisory Board | Core Member Volunteers | Interns
Heather Day, Executive Director. Heather co-founded CAGJ with others who helped organize the 1999 WTO protests and were inspired to build a membership based, multisectoral organization for global justice in Seattle. She was co-chair of the Board for many years before becoming CAGJ’s Director in 2007. Heather has a BA in Political Economy and Social Change from The Evergreen State College and a Masters in Geography from the UW; her research focused on how the Free Trade Areas of the Americas was defeated by activists collaborating transnationally in the Hemispheric Social Alliance. She has also been active in CISPES for many years – Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. In 2013 Heather’s son Henry joined the CAGJ family, and her husband Travis volunteers as the chef for the annual SLEE Dinner. Heather loves her job, and is inspired by CAGJ’s amazing activists! Contact Heather by email.
Ashley Fent, AGRA Watch Research Coordinator.
Ashley initially volunteered with CAGJ while living in Seattle from 2006 to 2010, and is now a research consultant for AGRA Watch. She holds a BA in Geography from University of Washington, an MA in Anthropology and African Studies from Columbia University, and a PhD in Geography from UCLA. She has spent over ten years doing research and building connections in West Africa, and is passionate about using applied and strategic research to advance food sovereignty and environmental justice. She also enjoys experimenting with creative artistic, visual, and textual approaches in activism and communications. She currently teaches at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and is originally from Puyallup, WA. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, reading, dancing, being outside, doing karaoke, and spending time with her husband, son, and cat. Contact Ashley by email.
Sara Lavenhar, Operations Support.
Sara has volunteered with CAGJ on and off since 2011, first starting as an intern and most recently coordinating the 2020 SLEE Dinner. She is currently supporting CAGJ operations and organizational development. Before joining CAGJ, Sara was the Executive Director of the Mangrove Action Project, where she developed new systems for fundraising and program management. When not working, Sara focuses on writing and crafting, and hopes to expand writing into a career over the next few years. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two troublemaking cats. Contact Sara by email.
Theo Calhoun, Rich Appetites Film Promotion.
Theo is a freelance filmmaker based in Tacoma,WA. Their work focuses on themes of social justice. They hold a BA in Ethnic, Gender and Labor studies with a minor in Human Rights from the University of Washington Tacoma. They’re passionate about storytelling and are excited to assist in promoting the Rich Appetites film series. Contact Theo by email.
Noël Hutton, CAGJ Organizer 2020-2022, SLEE 2023 Coordinator. Noël began volunteering with CAGJ upon moving to Seattle in fall 2018 before being hired as a part-time organizer in 2020. Her eventual journey into the food sovereignty movement was sparked after becoming a vegetarian at age 11, which kindled years of unpacking the countless layers of injustice embedded within industrial food systems. She carries ancestral drive from her maternal immigrant grandparents who worked as fruit packers and farmworkers in a rural Northern California Chinese agricultural town. Her organizing philosophy hopes to embrace complexity, acknowledge the personal as political, see social justice issues as inseparable, and strive for change that is relational, reciprocal, and uplifts respect for all life. Noël graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Political Science. You can find her these days in Northern New Mexico, learning about plants, likin’ lichen, drinking cozy beverages, and wandering through enchanted piñon-juniper woodlands with her parrot Ryškis. After a time as an organizer with Trade Justice Education Fund, Noël returned to CAGJ as the SLEE Coordinator for 2023. Contact Noël by email.
Simone Adler, Organizing Director 2016-2020.
After leaving CAGJ in March 2020, Simone joined Pesticide Action Network North America
, as organizing co-director for national and international campaigns. Simone has worked in local and global movements for land and food sovereignty, water rights, economic justice, and toward collective liberation and solidarity. They have facilitated movement-building on the intersections of race, class, and gender with environmental and social justice. Previously to working with CAGJ, Simone coordinated a program on food sovereignty and land rights with Other Worlds, supporting campaigns in Haiti and Honduras. In this role, they interviewed several of CAGJ’s African partners for the African Seed and Food Sovereignty article series. Previously, they worked for International Rivers and the Borneo Project in campaigns against large dams, for indigenous peoples’ rights, and for community resistance to land-grabs. Simone has a B.A. in International Relations and French from Bennington College, with a focus on global water access and policy.
Matt Canfield, AGRA Watch Organizer 2013-2014.
Matt supported AGRA Watch organizing in Seattle in 2013-2104, and continues to engage in the campaign. Prior to that, Matt was the Africa-US Food Sovereignty Strategy Summit Coordinator and the Membership Co-Chair. Currently, Matt is an Assistant Professor at the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance, and Development at Leiden Law School in the Netherlands.
Danielle Friedman, Organizing Director 2014-2016.
Danielle volunteered with CAGJ for many years and was hired as Organizing Director in 2014. While staff at CAGJ she worked on the Costco/ GMO Salmon campaign, the AGRA Watch Summit and the SLEE dinner. She was able to streamline operations by getting the new database up and running and updating CAGJ’s website and e-mail. Danielle’s passion for social justice has led her to be a professional community organizer for over 15 years, working on a variety of social and economic justice issues. She grew up in New York and moved to Seattle in 2000. She lives with her partner Davey and together they are raising up two future activists, Tallulah and Elijah.
Momo Wilms-Crowe (she/her), Food Justice Project Co-Chair.
Momo is a heart-forward community organizer, storyteller, farmer, abolitionist, activist-researcher, educator and forever student passionate about cultivating collective liberation. Enchanted by the magic of the (so called) mundane and nourished by a discipline of hope, she is dedicated to creating a world abundant with joy, healing, and justice where land, communities, and spirit thrive. Each day, she lives into her radical imagination by daring to pursue that which we are told is impossible to close the space between what is and what could be. She currently works to create life-supporting systems change through food as a youth farm educator in the Sonoran desert and as the Co-Chair of CAGJ’s Food Justice Project. At CAGJ, she is also coordinating the creation of the 3rd Edition of CAGJ’s Our Food, Our Right
zine, “Recipes for a New Normal.”
Momo formerly worked as a part-time organizer for CAGJ. She is also a proud big sister to a budding revolutionary and enjoys roller skating at sunset to groovy jams. You can connect with her on Instagram @oh_momo.
Tejaswi Dantuluri, AGRA Watch Research Consultant.
Tejaswi has over 7 years of experience in filmmaking, writing and researching on the issues of women, climate, food, agroecology and education. She has directed and produced over 9 films for the Government of India and several non-profit organizations, civil society groups, academia, media, and private companies. She served for over five years as a Communications Officer and Project Coordinator for an internationally renowned non-profit organization, Deccan Development Society (DDS), in India. She is currently working as a Development, Research & Film Consultant for international NGOs, Government of India, and private companies while pursuing her second Masters (first Masters in Communications and Media Studies from the University of Hyderabad, India) in Education from the University of Sussex. Tejaswi also runs Disha Collective, a decade-old non-profit promoting environmental conservation and sustainable living. She is also the Co-founder & Managing Partner for Drokpa Films, an UN-award-winning media company.
Pukhraj Sidhu, 2022 SLEE Coordinator.
Pukhraj first became involved with CAGJ as an intern in the Winter of 2020. Her time was dedicated to co-creating CAGJ’s digital zine “Recipes for a New Normal.” This interactive zine reflects her personal mission of developing accessible and inclusive design experiences. Pukhraj’s perspective as a radical and feminist designer is informed by the intersection of her studies in Human Centered Design & Engineering and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. Her design practice is rooted in fostering mutuality, challenging hierarchy, and imagining alternative realities. Pukhraj’s connection to the food sovereignty movement derives from her Indian ancestors, who practiced khethi for generations. As the descendent of a long line of farmers, Pukhraj grew up witnessing the practices that her parents sustained after immigrating to North America. CAGJ has provided Pukhraj with the opportunity to further connect with and unpack her family’s farming history. During her spare time, Pukhraj likes to take cat naps, explore the city, lounge in the sun, learn, grow, and walk slow.
Deb Orieta, Rise Up! Summer School Coordinator.
Deb Orieta stumbled upon CAGJ during 2021 when, feeling isolated and lost in Seattle after a recent move, they yearned to find community. They worked with folks in the Food Justice Project to create a presentation on COP26 and its impacts on food sovereignty and sustainability, and from there went on to become a Rise Up! Summer School co-coordinator in 2022. Before Seattle, Deb obtained their degree in Food Studies and Geography from Syracuse University, where they focused their studies on food sovereignty and climate change resilience in Puerto Rico (where they are from). Deb has broad, but ever growing, experience in the food system, having worked as a baker, farmer, cook, deli clerk, activist, student and teacher. Throughout their work and life they hope to continue growing and preparing good food for their community, exploring outdoors, and reading nurturing and thought-provoking books.
Lisa Colligan, SLEE Coordinator 2021, CAGJ Organizer 2023.
Lisa has lent her organizing and artistic skills to CAGJ as both an organizer, supporting our Rise Up! program and later leading a series of Art & Activism organizing meetings, and coordinating SLEE in 2021. Lisa easily engages all kinds of people in deep conversations. She is the type of person that is down to taking a leisurely walk in the neighborhood with you while talking about food sovereignty.
STEERING COMMITTEE & ADVISORY BOARD
This represents a partial listing of CAGJ’s leadership.
William (Bill) Aal
is Co-Chair of AGRA Watch and a co-founder of CAGJ. He is deeply involved in social and environmental justice work with a focus on agricultural sustainability and social healing. As part of Tools for Change, he is known for his activism and training in the service of racial and gender justice. Versed in opening the heart and imagination, awakening people’s best thinking and inspiring group transformation, Aal works with group reflection to unleash collective genius in organizational settings. As a former manager in the non-profit and information technology worlds, he co-founded Riseup.net to build computer-based communications networks for activists. He is also co-director of UnConference.net, which provides innovative meeting design and facilitation for industry, education and the scientific community. Bill co-authored Practical Meditation for Busy Souls
(2008) with long time partner Margo Adair
who passed away after a long illness in September, 2010. Her work lives on.
is a CAGJ Advisory Board Member and an AGRA Watch founder and activist. He was contacted by CAGJ after Seattle 1999 because he was one of the few Seattle people to have been accredited to several WTO Ministerial Conferences; Phil had also been interviewed and written about trade inequities. When CAGJ decided to emphasize food issues, Phil’s history of national and international lobbying and education on GE foods and crops (e.g.: he participated in the negotiations of the UN’s Cartagena Biosafety Protocol) provided a strong connection to CAGJ’s interests. Ironically, Phil was contacted by the Gates Foundation in regard to their work in Africa, but they ignored his advice! Some of his other activities include: National Board member, American Civil Liberties Union; Kol Haneshamah, a Reform Jewish Congregation in Seattle; and The AMP, Seattle’s AIDS Memorial Project.
is a member of CAGJ’s Advisory Board. He is a community organizer with For the People and serves on the boards of E3 Washington and Salish Sea Cooperative Finance. He is focusing on ways to scale rapid and just action throughout Washington state. The climate crisis became more real and urgent for him through co-leading The Road to Athabasca, a storytelling collective formed in 2015 as part of a life-changing bicycle pilgrimage along the Trans Mountain pipeline to the tar sands in Northern Alberta, Canada. Derek has also worked for change at many organizations: Greenpeace USA; Climate Solutions; Cascadia Climate Collaborative; YES! Magazine; Seattle Good Business Network; and Web Collective.
became a CAGJ co-chair in 2010, is involved with the Anti-Oppression Working Group and Steering Committee, and has written for the newsletter and annual reports. Prior to joining CAGJ in 2007 he has volunteered for the Sierra Club, NORML, Refuse and Resist, and the Service Employees International Union. Reid works at Kaiser Permanente and continues to further his education through non-corporate independent news sites and podcasts, author/activist speaking engagements, and teach-in/conference workshops such as the Community Strategic Training Initiative and the US Social Forum.
CORE MEMBER VOLUNTEERS
is active in CAGJ’s Zine Organizing Collective, and was formerly Co-Chair of the Food Justice Project. She received a BS in Cell & Molecular Biology and an MS in Nutritional Science from the University of Washington, and she currently works as a research dietitian. Her interest in food justice issues led her to start attending FJP meetings and volunteer at SLEE, after which she was inspired to deepen her involvement in CAGJ. In addition, she has been volunteering at the Rainier Valley Food Bank for several years, and enjoys writing novels, drinking tea, cooking plant-based meals, and growing food.
Rachel Hoversland, Rise Up! Co-Coordinator 2021.
Rachel first engaged with CAGJ during 2020’s Rise Up! Summer School as a participant, but the seeds of food sovereignty were planted as a child, where some of her fondest memories were around harvesting vegetables with her grandpa in his garden, attending her family’s wheat harvest, or gathering with her cousins, aunts and uncles to make kielbasa and povitica. Through Rise Up! Summer School and CAGJ, Rachel hopes to continue to learn from and take action with the incredible Indigenous sovereignty, food sovereignty, and social justice organizers, and to build lasting relationships centered on care, action, and reciprocity. Rachel is currently living on Occupied Duwamish land, and enjoys drinking hot coffee, meandering along ridgelines, and jumping into various bodies of water.
started working with CAGJ as an intern in 2004. Chris began supporting CAGJ as a Co-Chair in 2007, helped coordinate the development of CAGJ’s new website, and volunteered as CAGJ’s Food Justice Project Co-Chair from 2012-2016. He has worked as a volunteer coordinator at Food Lifeline, Events & Volunteer Manager and Food Hub Manager at Tilth Alliance, and as an environmental educator. He enjoys friends, bikes, hiking Cascadia, listening to punk rock and its derivatives, and playing soccer. Chris looks forward to changing the world, and hopes you’ll come along!
teaches kids, families, and adults how to make healthier food choices and to fight the injustices in our current food system. She’s been doing this work over 10 years. In 2007 she co-founded Take Back the Kitchen, a Boston program that celebrates cultures through cooking in order to counter gang violence among at-risk youth and their families. She also designed curriculum on farms and in classrooms throughout New England. In 2013, she earned her MBA. Since 2014, she’s been working with The Beecher’s Foundation where she designs curriculum and manages food education programs for kids, teens, and adults as part of the Sound Food Uprising – a ten year campaign to Change Puget Sound’s Food For Good. She served as Co-Chair of the Food Justice Project, and remains an active member.
was a founder of the Democracy and Globalization Working Group at UW Seattle, where he organized against neoliberal corporate globalization for two years before the WTO came to town in 1999. Webster spent 13 years in the co-op sector, was a founder and organizer with Strengthening Local Independent Co-ops Everywhere, and was Central Co-op’s community liaison to CAGJ. He wants a cooperative commonwealth to replace predatory colonizing neoliberal capitalism, and agroecology and food sovereignty to replace industrial ag. He works to democratize humanity’s wealth currently “owned” by a tiny minority, and to abolish the investor-owned, limited-liability corporation, to replace it with community- and worker-owned cooperatives, municipal corporations, trusts and nonprofits that practice ecological and social accounting. He rides his bike everywhere, makes compost, grows food, and plays slide guitar. He volunteers with the Beacon Food Forest, producing food on public land that is open to anyone to harvest; and with CAGJ, as a member of AGRA Watch.
Erica Bacon became involved with CAGJ after attending the People’s Summit, a 2009 Teach-In commemorating the 10th anniversary of the WTO protests. She was inspired by the work that CAGJ does around agriculture and trade issues and began helping to organize the Food Justice Project’s Teach-Outs in the Spring of 2010. Erica’s background is in environmental issues; she became interested in the food movement because of its connection to many social justice movements including environmentalism, immigrant’s rights, worker’s rights and women’s rights. She is excited about the potential of the food movement to unite a greater movement for social change! Before moving to Seattle Erica spent several years teaching Environmental and Outdoor Education and a summer as an apprentice for a small organic farm in Northern Vermont. Erica lives at an urban gardening cooperative in the Central District and enjoys yoga, gardening, meditating in the Arboretum, and hiking in the mountains!
has organized at the local and national level for trade justice. She coordinated CAGJ’s Trade Justice Project 2007-2010.
is an Evergreen grad and former co-chair of AGRA Watch. Her previous work as an organizer focused on the occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine as well as anti-Arab racism and Islamophobia in the US—issues that remain close to her heart. Janae was drawn to CAGJ by its food sovereignty work, commitment to anti-oppression, and systemic approach to social, economic, and environmental justice. She loves the organization and its awesome activists for working in solidarity and partnership with communities here and around the world to build grassroots movements for transformative change.
became involved with CAGJ after attending SLEE for several years and joined the Food Justice Project in 2017, including serving as Co-Chair. With her background working on small farms in Florida and Washington and food access organizations in Seattle, Robyn is excited to be part of CAGJ because of their commitment to food sovereignty and connecting local and global struggles. In her free time, she’s active in a book club, volunteering with grassroots organizations, and boxing with other queer folks through a collective called We Fight Back.
recently completed a PhD in Global and Sociocultural Studies with an emphasis in critical geography. Her research looked at critical food geographies in North America in the context of ongoing US settler colonialism, including the relationship between settler colonial technologies and natures to agro-centric food system politics. While doing her fieldwork in Puget Sound, Janna worked as the lead volunteer for the Campaign to Stop GE Salmon, a food justice campaign formed in partnership with the Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project.
is new to Seattle and found CAGJ through the Summer School program in 2018. They have lived in Olympia for many years where they worked to open the student run, Flaming Eggplant Cafe, served as a volunteer in the store and on the Board of Directors of the Olympia Food Co-op. Jules has been involved with many other struggles for liberation including working as legal advocate and educator in the wake of political arrests at Standing Rock and making the magic of summer camp happen for LGBTQ+ youth at Camp Ten Trees. Jules loves hosting, organizing, climbing and bike commuting.
volunteered as CAGJ Co-chair 2007-2010, and participated in the annual Strengthening Local Economies Everywhere Dinner. William first became involved with CAGJ in 2003 when his work in the fair trade movement led him to participate. His interests in trade justice, immigrant rights, and food justice keep him involved in CAGJ’s work. Outside of CAGJ, William enjoys spending time with his daughter and friends, hiking, learning guitar and traveling.
completed her PhD at the University of Washington in 2010 and is now an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Vermont. She co-coordinated CAGJ’s Food Justice Project for several years. She is engaged in scholarship and activism that connects food system and immigration scholarship, and has written several articles and book chapters on food justice issues, as well as a book
entitled Life on the Other Border: Farmworkers and Food Justice in Vermont
. View Teresa’s faculty profile
became involved with CAGJ in 2015 after returning from a trip to Guatemala where she worked with and learned from the food sovereignty movement there. She participated regularly in the Food Justice Project for a few years, primarily organizing in support of the Familias Unidas por la Justicia solidarity campaign, as well as briefly serving as a co-chair. Jenny also organizes with the Seattle chapter of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES). She is passionate about addressing issues at the intersections of US imperialism and foreign policy, climate change, and immigration, and seeking liberation in solidarity with movements for food sovereignty, racial justice, labor rights, and migrant justice. Jenny is currently working on completing her MSW at University of Washington in the Admin & Policy track, focusing on organizational change processes that bring organizations into better alignment with anti-racist and anti-oppressive practices.
Maria Elena Rodriguez
has over a decade of experience in community-based food work. As Co-Coordinator of the CAGJ Food Justice Project from 2009-2010, she co-directed the publication of the first edition of Our Food, Our Right:Recipes for Food Justice
. She has since worked to expand anti-hunger programs in both California and Washington, and has managed multiple farmers’ markets with a particular focus on providing guidance to new food entrepreneurs. Maria Elena is currently a Food Systems Associate with DAISA Enterprises
, where she provides strategy assistance and conducts research towards a more equitable and vibrant food system. Maria Elena holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and a Master’s degree in Community Development from UC Davis, where she produced original researched on Puerto Rican food culture. She is based in Puerto Rico where she founded Cosecha Caribe
– an agroecological farming project that creates local, artisanal food products.
has a PhD in Sociology and Sustainable Agriculture and is keenly interested in climate change adaptation decisions made by land managers. In particular, she is interested in participatory and collaborative engagement with land managers who are facing difficult decisions in the face of global change. She currently lives in Corvallis, OR and spends time building community, planting seeds, researching for the federal government and looking for ways to undo racism and oppressive systems in all the work she does. She continues to learn about what it means to fight for social and ecological justice globally and in her backyard.
served as co-chair of AGRA Watch and is currently a farmer in the Seattle area. She is deeply committed to food sovereignty, agroecology, and building up the health of our food systems and communities. Emma is excited about the work of AGRA Watch because of her personal experience in Africa. She has had the privilege to spend time in Zimbabwe (where her great-aunt has lived for over 40 years), Tanzania, and Kenya. She studied Swahili, health, and community development in Nairobi, and farmed on Mfangano Island. After coming into consciousness, and politicization, around the complex histories of Africa, imperialism, and agriculture, she is excited to organize with CAGJ. Emma is also engaged in anti-racism organizing in Seattle. She loves all things having to do with food, being outside, and making art.
became involved in CAGJ in mid 2011 as simply a meeting participant at AGRA Watch, FJP and NWFBAG. She became the co-chair of FJP in late 2011. Outside of CAGJ, Laura is an author, community food organizer, facilitator, and avid tea drinker. She grew up in Indiana where she co-founded the Indianapolis Food, Farm and Family Coalition and has worked with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, economic development agencies, associations, extensions, and activist organizations to promote growers and food justice in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. She currently works within the hunger relief system facilitating community initiatives that increase food equity and access.