CAGJ Monthly E-Newsletter | January 9, 2017
Happy New Year!
CAGJ NEWS & ANALYSIS
Get Involved! Upcoming CAGJ Meetings:
Food Justice Project:
3rd Tues/month, 6:30 - 8:30, at CAGJ's office - for more info email us.
time varies, for more info email us
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Happy New Year! Sending Gratitude to CAGJ Members
We are so grateful to everyone who made our end of year fundraising campaign a success. We’ve raised close to $5000, including five new Monthly Sustainers! With your support we will continue to be a local and global force for food sovereignty, and provide hope in hard times. If you missed our end of year appeals, we encourage you to read them now, and it’s never too late to make a tax-deductible donation. CAGJ’s organizing is sustained by grassroots donors -- THANK YOU!
JOIN CAGJ'S RACIAL JUSTICE LEADERSHIP COLLECTIVEHelp CAGJ build on the Catalyst Project Anti-Racism Training!
In 2018, we are making a commitment to strengthen how we organize for racial justice across CAGJ – in our organizing committees, campaigns, leadership, and political education with our members and the community. To support this commitment, Organizing Director Simone Adler is participating in an intensive 4-month anti-racism training with the Catalyst Project. We are starting a new leadership collective to work with Simone to integrate new perspectives into the anti-oppression principles that guide CAGJ’s work. With a mostly white base of members and supporters, the time is now to lift up racial justice in how we talk about, think about, and organize intersectionally in food movements.
If you are interested in conversations and organizing centering racial justice in our food movements, we invite you to join CAGJ's Racial Justice Leadership Collective. We will meet after each Catalyst training in the coming months, and work together to strengthen CAGJ's organizing, including the development of our political education training: Rise Up! CAGJ Summer School, a 6-session exploration of food sovereignty movements in the Pacific Northwest. Contact Simone to learn more and get involved.
HUG's 3rd Annual MLK Food Sovereignty Day of Action & South Africa Agroecology Exchange Report-Back
We hope you will join CAGJ for Hilltop Urban Gardens’ 3rd Annual MLK Food Sovereignty Day of Action. Come to help build new gardens, create community art, and start seeds for HUG's Spring Harvest! There will also be a report back by Dean Jackson on their experience during the South Africa Agroecology Learning Exchange that CAGJ co-organized. This year will also be a special fundraiser for the South Africa-based Sibahle Community Food Project. Come on out and enjoy this day of honoring Dr. MLK Jr's Vision! Location: Peace Community Center in Tacoma, 2106 S Cushman Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405. Find out more and help publicize via the Facebook event. Please register online here.
Monthly Food Justice Project Meeting
New volunteer orientation at 6pm! Please RSVP.
FJP Meetings are a great way to get involved in CAGJ! At this meeting, we will further develop plans for CAGJ's new leadership development and study group, called Rise Up! CAGJ Summer School. Help us plan how to take action in 2018 on our Solidarity Campaigns! Meetings are held 3rd Tuesday/month at CAGJ’s Office in the ID, 606 Maynard Ave. S. Rm 102, Seattle. All are welcome! For more info, email the Food Justice Project.
Who Profits from Philanthropy? A community event about “philanthrocapitalism” and its alternatives
Join CAGJ, Social Justice Fund NW and other partners for an interactive and educational event on alternatives to big philanthropy! Increasingly, charity and philanthropy have become part of the engine of profit and control. Huge foundations built on the wealth of billionaires use grantmaking to impact policy – nationally and internationally – and produce new business and profit-making opportunities that benefit their interests. Social Justice philanthropy contrasts with this trend and is steeped in principles that focus on root causes of injustices. It centers people who are impacted by those injustices as decision-makers, bringing increased accountability, transparency and democracy to philanthropy, and making the field more accessible and diverse. Join us on March 13 to learn more and get involved in changing the game of philanthropy. Seattle location TBD. Contact Simone with questions or to plug into event planning!
CAGJ is thrilled to announce that we were recently awarded two two-year grants! We want to thank Swift Foundation for continuing to support CAGJ’s AGRA Watch campaign with a $25,000 gift in 2018 and 2019; these funds ensure that we can continue to lead our transnational campaign challenging the Gates Foundation, in solidarity with the African food sovereignty movement. And the Stansbury Family Foundation also continuted their longstanding support, awarding CAGJ $4,000 both this year and next, for general support. We are so grateful for these significant grants, helping CAGJ to become more sustainable, now and in the years to come.
CAGJ NEWS & ANALYSIS
Transnational Resistance to the Super Banana: How We Organized to Counter the Gates Foundation and Cornell Alliance for Science in Uganda
The battle over GMO’s is heating up in Africa, as several countries consider new laws to permit their production. As Uganda’s so-called Biosafety Law faces new challenges, AGRA Watch member Matt Canfield reflects on our transnational campaign to prevent the Super Banana from being grown in that country.
In 2014, AGRA Watch established a transnational coalition to resist the Super Banana. As its name suggests, the Super Banana is no ordinary banana; it is a genetically engineered, “biofortified” crop funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for Ugandan markets. Because the Super Banana contains high amounts of beta-carotene, or Vitamin A, Gates claims that the Super Banana can save hundreds of thousands of children from child blindness. Yet, over two years, CAGJ and its allies raised major challenges about the Foundation’s support for this crop—from its health and safety, to the potential harms that it poses for small-scale agricultural producers, to its disruption to biodiversity. Doing so not only offered a new model for transnational food sovereignty organizing, it revealed important insights into the Gates Foundation’s highly sophisticated efforts to transform African agriculture.
The fact that the Gates Foundation is funding bananas in Uganda is no surprise; it is part of a larger strategy to promote genetically engineering food across Africa. According to some proponents of genetic-engineering, “second-generation” crops (which include benefits for both producers and consumers) have the chance of greater public acceptance. In seeking to build public support for the Super Banana, the Gates Foundation offered the newest front in a decades-old struggle waged by states and corporations from the Global North to transform Uganda’s national laws to permit the commercial production and sale of GMO crops. Read the full blog here.
The South Africa-US Agroecology Exchange Article Series is well underway! Delegates on the October 2017 Exchange that CAGJ co-organized are authoring a series of articles reflecting on how their trip to South Africa shaped new ideas, tactics, connections, and other means of continued engagement in the global Food Sovereignty movement, and how they’re bringing these insights to their local organizing. Read the most recent articles:
On Dec. 19 Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal held a press conference to draw attention to the NAFTA renegotiation and ask U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer to create an agreement that rights some of the wrongs that have come from NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). According to Politico, the demands of Jayapal and 21 of her colleagues “include significantly strengthening the labor and environmental provisions, eliminating the controversial investor-state dispute settlement mechanism and protecting "Buy American" set-asides for U.S. manufacturers by getting rid of waivers for Canada and Mexico in the pact. They also called on the administration to open up the negotiating process and give workers more opportunity to influence the negotiations.” Jayapal stated, "We're hopeful that the ambassador [USTR] will follow our guidelines and flip this trade agreement on its head so it actually works for working people". Click here to watch a video of the press conference.
At the annual WA Fair Trade Coalition breakfast in November, Jayapal insisted, "The question is not are we for or against trade. The question is how do we structure trade deals that are actually beneficial to workers here and around the world, and beneficial to our environment? And how do we ensure that we don't make regulatory jurisdiction of localities on critical worker rights, and environmental protections secondary to the seemingly exclusive profit-making goals of the largest corporations who seek to bypass any government regulations?"
Final Declaration of the Maghreb Seminar: No to colonial agreements, for the defense of people’s sovereign right to their agricultural, food and environmental systems.
Just after the 11th Ministerial Summit of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December, ATTAC Morocco, a member of the global network for the abolition of illegitimate debts (CADTM), organized a Maghreb seminar in Agadir, Morocco on free trade agreements, agriculture and food sovereignty with participants from Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Here is an excerpt from their final declaration:
"We are convinced that the peoples’ food sovereignty is closely linked to their right to self-determination at the political, economic, social, cultural and environmental level. It is equally linked to a rupture with the imperialist centres and international financial and commercial institutions, and also to the struggle against regimes and governments that implement these policies in favour of global and domestic capital.
Food sovereignty is the antithesis of the productivist capitalist food system, which is responsible for the destruction of natural resources and a climate chaos that threatens the lives of millions of people. It is peasant agriculture and subsistence fishing that feed humanity and preserve the environment, rather than the intensive, industrial, commercial and chemical agriculture promoted by capitalism.
This is why we call for:
Read the full declaration here.
SAT Jan 13, 10AM - 3PM
"I am Not Your Negro" Screening and Jane Elliot Talk
Seattle First Baptist Church, 1111 Harvard Ave Seattle, WA 98102. Based on the unfinished writings of James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro explores concepts of blackness in America through the lens of the assassinations of Malcolm X, Dr. King and Medgar Evers. Jane Elliott, the creator of the Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise, began her anti-racism workshops and advocacy the day after Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed, and has continued to be a leader and educator in anti-racism to this day. As such, 2018 also marks the 50th Anniversary of her groundbreaking Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise. In Observance of the Celebration of MLK Jr.'s life and legacy, we hope you can join us on Saturday, January 13 in a public screening of I Am Not Your Negro, followed by a conversation featuring renowned educator, anti-racism activist, and creator of the Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise, Ms. Jane Elliott. Click here for tickets.
MON Jan 15, 8:30AM - 4:00 PM
2018 MLK Seattle Celebration: Workshops, Rally, March
Garfield High School, 400 23rd Avenue, Seattle, WA. Seattle Annual's MLK Jr. celebration includes an opportunity fair (8:30-11:30AM), workshops (9:30-10:50AM), a rally (11AM) and a march (12:30PM), ending with a shared meal back at the high school. More info.
SAT Jan 20, 10AM - 3PM
Seattle Women's MarchCal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122. Please join us as we stand united for women’s rights, and to end the policies of discrimination that is a part of Trump’s agenda. "On January 21st 2017, approximately 673 sister marches took place around the world including gatherings on all seven continents. With over three million participants in cities from DC to Seattle, the Women’s March is believed to be the largest protest in US history. This truly historic event marked the rise of the Resistance that millions of us have joined to oppose 45 and the destructive policies of those that seek to marginalize women, people of color and our siblings in the LGBTQ community. To mark the first anniversary of the Seattle Women’s march, the organizations currently planning separate marches on January 20 are collaborating to create one event in Seattle." The march will start at Cal Anderson Park at 10am and will include programs featuring speakers from a broad range of organizations and communities. More info here.
TUES Feb 6, 9AM-3:30PM
2018 Sound Food Uprising Summit, Hosted by Beecher’s Foundation
The 2018 Sound Food Uprising Summit is a gathering of regional and national thought leaders working together to change the demand for unhealthy food in Puget Sound through education, cooking, and advocacy. Speakers, schedule, and tickets.
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