CAGJ Monthly E-Newsletter | APRIL 3, 2024

Program Launch: Embracing LOVE in the Food System
Earth Matters Now Interview with Bill Aal
Report-back: North America Digital Agri-Food Working Group
April 17th: International Day of Peasant Struggles
April 21: March for Farmworker Justice!
Mexico defends GM corn restrictions
Calls for agroecological rethink of Africa’s food
Legislative Victory for WA Farmworkers!
Local events


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Program Launch: Embracing LOVE in the Food System
Reimagining our Food System through the Lens of Food Sovereignty

CAGJ is excited to be partnering with Megumi Sugihara and Everyone’s Food Sovereignty Alliance to offer a new 8 week course in April & May. The program launched in Olympia this week, and we hope to offer it in Seattle in the near future! Carefully curated reading and video materials are introduced weekly for self-paced learning, with skill-building workshops offered in person each week-end, building on that week’s theme. The workshops topics include: Connection with Mother Earth, creative seasonal eating, foraging, food preservation, and community engagement skills. Interested in possibly joining us in the future? We hope to offer the program again! Let us know if you want to receive announcements through our interest form: click here.


Earth Matters Now Interview with Bill Aal, CAGJ Co-founder
Laura Ackerman and Mike Peterson of Thin Air Community Radio interviewed CAGJ Steering Committee Member and co-founder Bill Aal recently, about his work with CAGJ and our AGRA Watch campaign. They talked about our work with the Alliance For Food Sovereignty, and how African nations are falling prey to the GMO and herbicide approach pushed by chemical companies and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They also discussed progress by those working on sustainable agriculture, and the role of Washington State University. Listen to the radio broadcast here.
Report-back: North America Digital Agri-Food Working Group
CAGJ Director Heather Day and and AGRA Watch member Ashley Fent attended a meeting in March of the North America Digital Agri-Food Working Group. NADAWG is a coalition of civil society activists, researchers, food system workers, and funders exploring alternative agricultural futures, which began in late 2021 to develop a space for close collaboration among North American allies tackling corporate-led farm technology and uplifting worker-centric technology. The meeting was held at the beautiful and regenerative Paicines Ranch in California, and afforded numerous opportunities to connect with other organizations and individuals working on these issues, as well as spending time with old friends and allies. Ultimately, it was energizing and motivating, with calls to collaborate further on challenging digital agriculture. 
Learn more: Read AGRA Watch’s most recent report about digital agriculture in Kenya, Corporate-Led Climate Adaptation: How the Gates Foundation, Microsoft, and AGRA are enabling the digital capture of African Food Systems 2023 (19 pages).
April 17th: International Day of Peasant Struggles
La Via Campesina
On April 17, we mark the International Day of Peasant Struggles, an annual day of action organized by La Via Campesina that brings us together to commemorate the Eldorado do Carajás massacre that occurred in Brazil in 1996, and to honor the resistance of peasants worldwide who persist in their struggle for social justice and dignity. Learn more about this global day of action and how you can get involved. Build Solidarity! Enough with the genocide, evictions and violence! #17April #PeasantStruggles #FoodSovereigntyNow #PeasantRightsNow


March for Farmworker Justice!
SUN April 21, 10AM in Mount Vernon
La Lucha Sigue con la Marcha Campesina 2024
Community to Community Development and Familias Unidas Por La Justicia invite you to the Annual Marcha Campesina! The march starts at 10am at Edgewater Park in Mt Vernon WA. March with us to learn about critical issues Farmworkers are facing now and what actions you can take with us! March with us to celebrate the strength and resilience of farmworker families working towards a better food system. We invite our friends and allies working for food and economic justice to join us; more details about the event will be shared as we get closer. We need volunteers! If you are interested, contact us: [email protected]
Make signs for the Farmworker March in Seattle!
TUES April 16, 5-7PM at Beacon Hill Library
Join @washmasks and @seattlepaintparty at the Beacon Hill Library on Tuesday April 16th in making signage for the April 21 Farmworker March, or write a thank you card for a farmworker! Learn about the state of farmworker justice in Washington and ways you can get involved. Since we will meet indoors, masks are encouraged. Masks, snacks, and water will be provided! Library address: 2821 Beacon Ave S #5813, Seattle, WA 98144.


Mexico defends GM corn restrictions with science
March 14, 2024 - Tim Wise, IATP
Since Mexico imposed its restrictions on genetically modified (GM) corn in tortillas last February as precautionary measures to protect public health and corn biodiversity, the United States government has repeatedly justified its challenge to the policies under the countries' trade agreement with the claim that Mexico’s policies are not based on science. As the Mexican government notes in its 200-page response, “Far from there being a consensus on the safety of GMOs, scientific evidence points to various negative effects on health, on native corn and on the environment, derived from the cultivation and consumption of GM corn.” Read more.
Report calls for agroecological rethink of Africa’s food amid $61b industrial plan
March 7, 2024 - Aimee Gabay, Mongabay News
Civil society groups have criticized a new $61 billion initiative to industrialize African food systems, calling the plan a “significant threat to small-scale farmers.” The groups, under the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), say the initiative by the African Development Bank (AfDB) will marginalize smallholders through its one-size-fits-all approach, increase dependency on multinational corporations for seeds and agrochemicals, and lead to the loss of land and biodiversity. Read more.
Legislative Victory for WA Farmworkers!
Community to Community
On March 25th, Community to Community farmworker representatives were joined by legislative champions Senator Rebecca Saldaña, WSLC Government Affairs Director Sybill Hyppolite, Latino Civic Alliance Executive Director Nina Martinez and Andrea Schmitt with Columbia Legal Services in Olympia to witness and celebrate as SHB Bill 2226 was signed into law by Governor Inslee. This represents a major victory for farmworkers as they continue to track the impacts of the H-2A program on working conditions and wages in Washington State. This victory is not only important for Farmworkers in Washington State, but serves as model legislation and inspiration for Farmworkers across the country as they continue to advocate for their self-determination, job stability, and fair wages.


April 19, 10am - 5pm & April 20, 10am - 3pm
Tend Teacher Training - Wild Food Traditions: Spring Greens and Wild Berries
Embrace the gifts of spring and summer! Taste edible greens including nettles, dandelion, chickweed, wild lettuces, salmonberry sprouts, violets, and big leaf maple blossoms. These nutritional superstars promote vitality and attunement to the land. We will also learn to identify eight native berries and go through berry lessons for different ages including a slideshow, identification games, berry bingo, art activities, Salish stories, and recipes. After a plant walk around the GRuB farm, we will prepare and sample a feast of wild foods! Participants will receive a curriculum that includes plant identification tips, sustainable harvesting techniques, nutritional values, medicinal uses, and recipes. More info and registration.
FRI May 3, 9AM - SAT May 4, 5PM
2024 "Living Breath of wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ" Indigenous Foods Symposium
Join us for the 12th annual event of the "Living Breath of wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ" Indigenous Foods Symposium! Our annual event draws over 300 people from the UW campus community, regional tribal and urban Indigenous communities, and throughout the U.S, Canada, Mexico, and Aotearoa, New Zealand. Our symposium is a signature event for the UW Intellectual House and has become an important venue for bringing together people from diverse communities and organizations who share the same commitment to protecting Indigenous homelands and the environment. It serves to foster dialogue and build collaborative networks as Indigenous peoples strive to sustain cultural food practices and preserve healthy relationships to the land, water, and all living things. This year's theme is "Growing Food Sovereignty and Nourishing Seeds of Hope". More info and registration.
November 14-16, Vancouver, WA
Save the Date for the 2024 Tilth Conference!
T50 – Rooted in History, Cultivating the Future. This year’s Tilth Conference, co-hosted by Tilth Alliance, Oregon Tilth and WSU and OSU Small Farms Programs, will celebrate 50 years of Tilth history, bringing together hundreds of farmers, organizations, food system activists, researchers and educators to learn, work and play in Vancouver, Washington on November 14, 15 and 16.

T50 will feature a half-day research symposium (to be organized collaboratively by the small farm teams at OSU and WSU), more than 25 lectures, workshops and panel discussions, a tradeshow featuring vendors that serve our PNW farmers, engaging keynote speakers, a policy roundtable, and a Taste of PNW Organic networking event that will help create connections between organic producers and buyers. More information, and requests for educational session proposals coming soon!

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Community Alliance for Global Justice
SEATTLE, WA 98144-5184