Meet some of our CAGJ activists!
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 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. Heather loves her job and is inspired by CAGJ’s amazing activists! Contact Heather at email@example.com.
Simone Adler, Organizing Director. 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, Simone coordinated a program on food sovereignty and land rights with Other Worlds, supporting campaigns in Haiti and Honduras. In this role, they also had the opportunity to interview several of our African partners for the African Seed and Food Sovereignty article series. They researched and advocated with 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. Simone is inspired by grassroots organizing and is excited to be a part of the CAGJ team! Contact Simone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers: Here are a few profiles of core volunteers from the past few years!
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.
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!
Phil Bereano 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 (eg, 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.
Alanna Boynton is a 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.
Masha Burina has organized at the local and national level for trade justice. She coordinated CAGJ’s Trade Justice Project 2007-2010.
Matt Canfield was an AGRA Watch Organizer 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 Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he teaches and does research on food sovereignty and global food governance.
Janae Choquette 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.
Danielle Friedman 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.
Robyn Greenfield became involved with CAGJ after attending SLEE for several years and joined the Food Justice Project in 2017. 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.
Caitlin Henry began working with CAGJ as an intern with the Food Justice Project and continued by helping to organize the 2008 Strengthening Local Economies Everywhere dinner. She is very interested in how larger structural issues affect food sovereignty and access as well as what the title SLEE implies: strong local economies everywhere are a human right and mean just trade relations with the people and the environment at the forefront. When not working with CAGJ, Caitlin is a geography student at the UW and slings cheese at Seattle farmers markets.
Derek Hoshiko 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.
Chris Iberle 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!
Kelly Lake 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.
William Mace 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.
Teresa Mares 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.
Reid Mukai 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.
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.
Gabrielle Roesch-McNally 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.
Emma Shorr is co-chair of AGRA Watch and 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 politicalization, 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.
Laura Titzer 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.
Webster Walker 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.