CAGJ Monthly E-Newsletter | August 4, 2020
August E-News:SAT AUG 8: Join us to launch our new publications with Raj Patel, Elizabeth Mpofu & Mariam Mayet!
CAGJ NEWS &
ANALYSISNew Report on AGRA: False Promises
Get Involved! Upcoming CAGJ Meetings:
Food Justice Project:
3rd Tues/month, 6:30 - 8:30; for more info email us.
time varies, for more info email us
Join us for the historic March to Defund the Police, WED AUG 5th! Read more in Community Calendar below.
SAT AUG 8, 10AM PST
AGRA Watch Launches 2 Reports!
Today CAGJ/AGRA Watch is proud to publish the first of two reports: “The Man Behind the Curtain: The Gates Foundation’s Influence on the UN Food Systems Summit” (see the 3 page report), which adds to an ongoing dialogue about the forthcoming Summit, scheduled to take place in New York in September 2021. The Summit has been mired in controversy since the UN Secretary General appointed Agnes Kalibata, President of Gates-funded AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa), to chair the Summit. While hundreds of organizations (including ours) have called for the removal of Kalibata, and a new direction grounded in Food Sovereignty, only 12 people supported her nomination. In our report, we demonstrate that all but one of them are funded by the Gates Foundation, raising questions about the role that Bill Gates and his Foundation are playing behind the scenes. Later this week we will launch our other report about the Cornell Alliance for Science, and hope you can join us for our webinar this SAT to learn more!
CAGJ/AGRA Watch Report Launch & Webinar
The Struggle over Agroecology: Mapping and Mobilizing against the Gates Foundation’s Influence in African Agriculture
Registration is required: click here. The Zoom link will be sent the day before the event. Please forward widely and share the Facebook event.
Join us as CAGJ’s AGRA Watch campaign presents our new publication, “Messengers of Gates' Agenda: A Study of the Cornell Alliance for Science Global Leadership Fellows Program.” Since 2006, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has emerged as an extremely influential actor in an ever-intensifying battle over the future of food and agriculture. While the Foundation’s funding for industrial agriculture has been closely scrutinized, its public relations efforts to frame the debates and shape how issues are communicated through a cadre of “science-based” communicators has received less attention. This report examines how the Gates Foundation seeks to assert influence in debates over biotechnology through the Cornell Alliance for Science (CAS). Funded by BMGF, CAS uses its affiliation with the only ivy league institution that is a land-grant college to claim scientific neutrality while assiduously promoting communications aligned with agribusiness in its use of fellows, especially those from Africa. The report dissects the strategies of the Cornell Alliance for Science’s fellows to discredit agroecology, and how the Gates Foundation supports these fellows through its networks of funding. Panelists will contextualize the research in the broader struggle for Food Sovereignty in Africa.
Panelists (Read their biographies):
For more infomration, contact Heather.
Summer CAGJ Member Gathering: Be Part of Deciding CAGJ's Future!
It is not too late to register (required): We will send Zoom link beforehand.
Over the past year, CAGJ has engaged in a strategic assessment and planning process, led by our Dream Team - a dozen committed members. We are excited to present the fruit of our collective labor - our updated Vision, Mission and Theory of Change - for our Members’ approval! The process has been guided by our consultant Scott Winn, who will facilitate the August 4th gathering. This will be the fourth Membership Gathering since our strategic planning began in June 2019. The goal of this process has been to reinvigorate CAGJ by engaging our members in reflecting on our purpose in the food sovereignty movement and our role in the current political moment, with a commitment to leading with a racial equity lens. We hope you will join us to help decide CAGJ’s future, and to learn about how you can get involved in the next steps of our organizational assessment. For more info, contact Heather.
#BlockCorporateSalmon: Standing with Northwest Tribes for Food Sovereignty
You are invited to connect with participants of CAGJ's Rise Up! Summer School as well as Uprooted and Rising organizers this month when we co-present our campaigns to stop GE salmon, and uplift all of the incredible work being done around the country by Tribes to build indigenous Food Sovereignty. We are honored to be joined by the following leaders!
For more info, contact Heather.
Cultivating Resilient Food Systems in Times of Crisis
CAGJ is hosting Rise Up! Summer School during the summer of 2020. Registration is now full. However, we are making all curriculum available to everyone interested! Check out our amazing presentations for the July Summer School session here, including:
This month we are focusing on the paths forward towards a brighter future, and addressing these topics: Just Transition, Climate Justice, Movement-Building, Solidarity, & Diversity of Tactics, Resilience & Healing. Our highlighted CAGJ Campaign is solidarity with NW tribes in opposition to GE Salmon. Check out our amazing August resources on our website!
Monthly Food Justice Project Meetings Resume!
The Food Justice Project will not meet in August, while we host Rise Up Summer School. However, we will resume our monthly meeting schedule - 3rd Tuesday/month - on September 15! FJP Meetings are a great way to get involved in CAGJ! New volunteers are invited to our orientation via ZOOM at 6pm: Please email us to let us know you're attending the orientation. All are welcome! For more info, email the Food Justice Project.
14th Annual SLEE will be virtual
SLEE! 2020 will be held VIRTUALLY on October 17! We are currently in the process of transitioning all of the amazing elements of SLEE to a virtual setting and will provide updates as soon as we are able.
Check out our Facebook event page for the latest updates.
Support the SLEE Virtual Gala!
Donate to Silent Auction! Personal services (we can help you come up with social-distancing adaptations!), a unique community experience, cabin get-away, massage, gift certificate, garden kit… the possibilities are endless! The Silent Auction is a central part of SLEE, and your donation will help us create amazing auction packages that anyone would want to bid on. If you’re ready to donate to the auction, you can use this form.
Be a Virtual Table Captain! Table Captains will still play a vital role in our virtual gala! Help bring new people into the work of food sovereignty and build CAGJ's base! Invite as many people as you would like; tables are $400 – $1000 sliding scale. Learn more here!
Sponsor SLEE! Sponsors give a financial or in-kind donation to help make this event happen. You will receive recognition at the event, on our poster, website, and in the event program.
Please see this flyer for more information about the benefits for financial or in-kind donations.
To support SLEE, please contact this year’s coordinator, Sara Lavenhar: sara(at)cagj.org - Thank you!
Support Black Farming, Healing & Youth Empowerment in Auburn, WA
King County Equity Now is asking the community to support the transfer of the Red Barn Ranch (RBR) to Nurturing Roots, a community farming program focused on educating youth & community members on healthy food choices. RBR is a 47-acre property originally donated to the City of Seattle to host camps for inner-city children, which has been sitting vacant for seven years. Nurturing Roots, via the Black Farmers Collective—a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing opportunities to improve the health of our communities and cultivate thriving, Black-led farm spaces—would like to transform the property into a Black-led farm, healing space, and foundation for youth empowerment. Email Jesus Aguirre, Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation (Jesus.Aguirre@seattle.gov) let them know you support the activation of this underutilized property by transferring the Red Barn Ranch to Nurturing Roots (via a Conservation Trust set up by the Black Farmers Collective) so that this parcel purchased with the intent for Black farming - can fulfill its original intent! Thank you!
Donate to Support Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ)
This summer, as part of Rise Up! Summer School, CAGJ has a goal of raising $20,000 for FUJ - 10K from individual donations, and 10K from organizational matching gifts; we have already raised over $6500! Join CAGJ in demonstrating that workers’ lives are more important than profit!
How you can help Finance the Frontlines:
Contact Heather if you want to help out with the campaign - Thank you!
CAGJ NEWS & ANALYSIS
"False Promises: The Alliance for a Green Revoution in Africa"
An international study published by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Biba, Bread for the World, FIAN Germany, Forum on Environment and Development, INKOTA-netzwerk, IRPAD, PELUM Zambia, Tabio, and TOAM documents the dramatic negative impacts of the Alliance for a Green Revolution (AGRA) on small-scale food producers in the 13 African countries the initiative focuses on.
AGRA was founded in 2006 to give new impetus to the fight against hunger in Africa with a corporate-driven “Green Revolution” approach. It promised to double the agricultural yields and incomes of 30 million small-scale food producer households by 2020, thus halving both hunger and poverty in the focus countries. To achieve these goals, AGRA received over one billion US dollars –mainly from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but also from governments like the US, UK and Germany. The study issues AGRA a decidedly negative report card: yield increases for key staple crops in the years before AGRA were just as low as during AGRA. Instead of halving hunger, the situation in the 13 focus countries has worsened since AGRA was launched. The number of people going hungry has increased by 30 percent during the AGRA years.
The study also shows that AGRA in fact harms small-scale food producers, for example by subjecting them to high levels of debt. In Zambia and Tanzania, small-scale food producers were unable to repay the loans for fertilizer and hybrid seeds after the first harvest. AGRA projects also restrict the freedom of choice for small-scale food producers to decide for themselves what they want to grow. This has dramatic effects on crop diversity. AGRA’s focus is on the one-sided cultivation of maize. Traditional climate-resistant and nutrient-rich crops have thus declined. According to the study, millet production fell by 24 percent in the 13 AGRA focus countries from 2006 to 2018. Moreover, AGRA lobbies governments on behalf of agricultural corporations to pass legislation that will benefit fertilizer producers and seed companies instead of strengthening small-scale food production and alternative structures. Indeed, it is being courted by governments worldwide for precisely this service.
Uplift BIPOC Food Sovereignty Leadership
CAGJ has created a new web-page for Anti-Racism Resources. In the age of COVID-19 and the global uprising for Black lives, resource lists abound; we hope ours will be useful to our members and the broader community for raising consciousness to take action. The resource list includes: Anti-Racism & Black History Articles/Resources; BIPOC Farms & Food Sovereignty Organizations; Anti-Racism & Black Liberation Organizations. Our focus in compiling these resources is to highlight how racism shapes our food system, and to uplift the leadership of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) who are organized and building food sovereignty in resistance to racial capitalism. CAGJ has previously shared information about Black-owned farms with whom we have had the privilege to collaborate, with the intention of encouraging our members to redistributing resources their way. Here we expand that list: SUPPORT THESE FARMS & ORGANIZATIONS - Thank you! Check it out and please share widely.
WED, August 5, 12:00PM-4:00PM from the Youth Jail (12th & Alder) to City Hall
Take to the Streets: Defund the Police March & Rally!
Join Decriminalize Seattle and King County Equity Now as we take action and build pressure from now until Aug 5 – the historic Seattle Council vote – to reinvest SPD funds into pro-community, public safety initiatives that actually work. What else can you do to help? Sign-up for public comment, email, tag and call City Council again, to voice your support for our proposal to empower community:
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