Rise Up! Summer School | Archived Readings & Materials


Future Paradigms: Reimagining our Food System through the Lens of Food Sovereignty

In 2022 our theme was Future Paradigms: Reimagining our Food System through the Lens of Food Sovereignty. Throughout the three months we met, we explored the seven pillars of food sovereignty by drawing on the victories and struggles of CAGJ’s partners. This informed our vision of what alternative food systems look like, and how to get there through collective action.

  • What does Food Sovereignty look like in practice, in the US and globally?
  • Why is it so important to move towards Food Sovereignty as the model for a healthier food system?
  • In what ways can we tune in to our own unique skills to contribute to the fight for food sovereignty as part of a collective?

As part of Summer School, we:

  1. Work our way through an assigned set of readings, videos, articles, art, music, etc.
  2. Have a monthly webinar with some of CAGJ’s partners to discuss their work and how it connects to food sovereignty and liberation.
  3. Have a monthly guided discussion session to unpack the webinars and assigned materials.
  4. Have an optional social gathering session and/or in-person field trip to deepen connection between participants.
  5. Work on reflective prompts to better understand our role within our social change ecosystems and move ourselves to action.

June: Food Sovereignty as our framework and overall vision.

  • Partners: Familias Unidas por la Justicia Farmworker Union
  • Pillar focus: Values food producers, localized food systems

June Curriculum: Farmworkers Organizing to Build Food Sovereignty

The curriculum includes introductory concepts and context, guiding questions, and reading links. This folder contains an alternative format of the curriculum that just includes the readings and videos without the contextualization, as well as downloaded copies of some of the readings for folks who prefer a pdf. Everything else is linked through the titles in the curriculum. 

Junes webinar is titled Farmworkers Organizing for Food Sovereignty, and features guests Edgar Franks and Marciano Sanchez of farmworker union Familias Unidas por la Justicia.

July: De-commodification of food, “culturally appropriate” food and Food Sovereignty

  • Partners: Block Corporate Salmon campaign
  • Pillar focus: Food is Sacred, Builds knowledge and skills, Works with nature

July Curriculum: Indigenous Struggles for Food Sovereignty and Self Determination

The curriculum includes introductory concepts and context, guiding questions, and reading links. This folder contains downloaded copies of some of the readings for folks who prefer a pdf. Everything else is linked through the titles. 

July’s webinar is titled We Are the Salmon People, The Campaign to Block Corporate Salmon and features guests Estefania Narvaez, with Co-Founder of BlockCorporateSalmon and digital organizer with North America Marine Alliance (NAMA) and Carl Wasilie, Native Fisherman from Yup’ik Nation in Western Alaska and part of Alaska’s Big Village Network and BlockCorporateSalmon.

August: Food Security vs. Food Sovereignty and corporate control of the food system

  • Partners: AGRA watch and our African Food Sovereignty partners
  • Pillar Focus: Puts control locally, focuses on food for people

August Curriculum: Movements for Food Sovereignty: A People’s Solution to Corporate Control of Food Systems Worldwide

The curriculum includes introductory concepts and context, guiding questions, and reading links. This folder contains downloaded copies of some of the readings for folks who prefer a pdf. Everything else is linked through the titles. 

August’s webinar is titled Farming for a Hot Planet: Grassroots Alternatives to Corporate “Climate-Smart” Agriculture and features guests Leonida Odongo of Haki Nawiri Africa and Dr. Jennifer Taylor of Florida A&M University. 



Cultivating Care, Growing Movements

CAGJ’s Rise Up! Summer School is a free, 3-month political education and leadership development program, where we create space to collectively develop tools and analysis to strengthen the global food sovereignty movement.

This year, we will dig into the root of movement building — creating more space for joy! — beginning with these guiding questions:

How and why do we build grassroots power? What does it mean to be part of a social movement?

How do we organize ourselves in ways that sustain us all better than the extractive and exploitative systems under which we currently live?

As we build solidarity with struggles for justice, healing, and sovereignty, how do we always find our way back to, in the words of bell hooks, “love as the practice of freedom”?

We will situate our conversations in food systems, in the work of our partners with whom we have cultivated solidarity, and in strengthening the grassroots, global movement for Food Sovereignty.

Foundational Readings & Materials


Topics: Food Sovereignty, Food Justice, introduction to social movements, grassroots movement-building, importance of relationship-building in systems change
Highlighted CAGJ Campaign: Food Justice Project Solidarity Campaign Partners

“In the Field” Webinar: Washington Food Chain Workers’ Struggle for Food Sovereignty

This panel aims to showcase our partners’ current Food Sovereignty struggles, how they build joy, care and culture into their change work, and how their connection across Washington’s food chain strengthens their organizing.


Readings & Materials

Field Trip to Cooperativa Tierra y Libertad

Report-back blog post by Mikhaila Gonzales, Spark Northwest

Join us for a field trip to Cooperativa Tierra y Libertad, the cooperatively-run farm founded by the leadership of Farmworker union and CAGJ solidarity partner, Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ). This field trip is part of Rise Up! Summer School and all are welcome!

Resources: Prior to attending the field trip (or as an alternative to attending if you are unable) check out these resources to get you oriented with FUJ and the Cooperativa.

Learn about the origins of La Cooperativa HERE.

Learn about the lives of the people who make sure we have fresh produce, including Familias Unidas por la Justicia‘s Marciano Sanchez and Xolotl Edgar Franx, in the latest episode of Nia Tero’s #Seedcast podcast HERE.


Topics: Indigenous Food Sovereignty, genetically engineered salmon, solidarity
Highlighted CAGJ Campaign: Solidarity with Northwest Tribes in Opposition to GE Salmon

“In the Field” Webinar: Indigenous Food Sovereignty Movements & the Role of Solidarity

How is an Indigenous lens on Food Sovereignty unique, and what is the role of non-Natives to act in solidarity with Indigenous-led movements? We will hear from Pacific Northwest scholars and activists who are deeply involved in Indigenous Food Sovereignty movements.

For the past eight years, Community Alliance for Global Justice has worked to block genetically engineered salmon from being produced and sold in the US. This fight has been led by Northwest Tribes, who call themselves the Salmon People, and who are essential protectors of this vital and threatened keystone species.

Recently CAGJ joined Uprooted & Rising in creating the BlockCorporateSalmon campaign to amplify Indigenous demands as GE salmon enters the US market. We will discuss how this campaign fits into a wide web of Indigenous-led initiatives across Turtle Island for environmental justice and food sovereignty.


Readings & Materials


Topics: Philanthrocapitalism, future visioning exercise
Highlighted CAGJ Campaign: Solidarity with the African food sovereignty movement

“In the Field” Webinar: How the Gates Foundation Sponsors the Corporate Capture of Global Food Systems

A webinar co-hosted by Community Alliance for Global Justice and the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa.

With the UN Food Systems Summit set to take place this September in New York City, this roundtable discussion aimed to raise public and media awareness about the powerful interests working to capture our global food systems, and chart a course for participants to take action for food sovereignty. Speakers brought attention to Bill Gates’ and the Gates Foundation’s roles in advancing harmful industrial agriculture models in Africa and around the world. Though deeply flawed in many ways, this model of agricultural development is becoming dominant and edging out proven agro-ecological alternatives.


  • Anne Maina, The Biodiversity and Biosafety Association of Kenya (BIBA-Kenya) and Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)
  • Shakara Tyler, Black Dirt Farm Collective
  • Jim Thomas, ETC Group
  • Stefano Prato, Society for International Development and Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism Moderated by Matt Canfield, CAGJ/AGRA Watch, Leiden Law School in the Netherlands

Readings & Materials


Cultivating Resilient Food Systems in Times of Crisis

Rise Up! Summer School is a free 3-month political education and leadership development program for community members, which offers an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the problems in our food system, while being part of the change we want to see.

Across the world, we are facing a confluence of crises. The COVID-19 outbreak is magnifying racial and economic inequality. Industrial food production is accelerating climate change and increasing global food insecurity. These crises incite political instability and mass human displacement at an unprecedented scale, and now the pandemic is exposing the vulnerability of our globalized food system to collapse. Together, we will delve into why the movement for Food Sovereignty is needed now more than ever, to cultivate resilient food systems and justice for all!

JUNE: Past | Laying Groundwork & Foundations

Link to June resources
Topics: Food Sovereignty, Food Justice, Agroecology, Seed Sovereignty, Decolonization, Racist & genocidal roots of US food system
Highlighted CAGJ Campaign: Solidarity with Farmworkers

Webinar: Farmworker Organizing in the Face of the Pandemic

An update from Familias Unidas por la Justicia Farmworker Union. FUJ is an independent farmworker union of indigenous families located in Burlington, WA, representing more than 500 Triqui, Mixteco, and Spanish speaking workers at Sakuma Bros. Berry Farm. FUJ is an affiliate member of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

Community Alliance for Global Justice has stood in solidarity with Familias Unidas por la Justicia as they support Farmworkers and fruit packers to improve on-the-job and migrant worker housing safety amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the lack of emergency measures in place to protect Farmworkers, the pandemic continues to peak in rural areas. As of reports this month, Yakima County in Eastern WA has the highest single-county infection rate of coronavirus on the West Coast.

Recently, FUJ President Ramon Torres and other FUJ organizers supported striking workers at six fruit packing plants in Yakima County, for almost a month. These historic strikes were ultimately successful, with companies agreeing to recognize worker committees and negotiate in good faith. Amidst the strikes, FUJ also filed a lawsuit against the state of WA seeking to revise the emergency rules regarding farmworker housing, after months of advocating that the State Departments of Health and Labor and Industries ensure rules were enforceable and in accordance with CDC guidelines.

CAGJ activates our members to support FUJ as one of our Solidarity Campaign partners. This summer, CAGJ has a goal of raising $20,000 for FUJ through both individual and organizational donations. https://tinyurl.com/FinanceFrontlines

JULY: Present | Current State of the Food System

Link to July resources
Topics: Corporate control of the food system, Agribusiness impact on climate crisis, Food workers’ rights and food security in a pandemic, Philanthro-capitalism
Highlighted CAGJ Campaign: Solidarity with the African Food Sovereignty Movement

Webinar: The Struggle Over Agroecology: Mapping and Mobilizing against the Gates Foundation’s Influence in African Agriculture

On August 8th, 2020, 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.


  • Heather Day, Co-founder and Executive Director, Community Alliance for Global Justice
  • Mariam Mayet, Founder and Executive Director, African Centre for Biodiversity
  • Elizabeth Mpofu, Farmer, founder of ZIMSOFF and General Coordinator of La Via Campesina
  • Raj Patel, Author, activist, and research professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and a senior research associate at the Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University

AUGUST: Future | Paths Forward

Link to August resources
Topics: Just Transition, Climate Justice, Movement-Building
Highlighted CAGJ Campaign: Solidarity with NW tribes in opposition to GE Salmon

Webinar: #BlockCorporateSalmon: Standing with Northwest Tribes for Food Sovereignty

2020 is a battleground for the ocean. AquaBounty, a generally unknown brand in the U.S., plans to release Genetically Engineered (GE) Salmon onto the U.S market within this year. In addition, Cargill, the largest private company in the U.S., is pushing for a federal bill (the AQUAA Act) that would expand offshore aquaculture into federal waters, confine hundreds of thousands of farmed fish, and forever change our last public commons, the ocean.

In this webinar, we hear from Valerie Segrest and Fawn Sharp, two Indigenous women who have led efforts to block GE salmon in the Northwest, and globally. CAGJ’s Rise Up! Summer School and Uprooted and Rising organizers 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.


Rise Up! Summer School

JUNE: African Food Sovereignty

Readings & Materials:

Additional Materials in preparation for Gates Field Trip:

JULY: Farmworker Solidarity

Readings and Materials:

Other recommended articles if you have time:

AUGUST: Native Resistance to GE Salmon

Readings and Materials:



Check out in preparation for field trip:

Other recommended materials:




Highlighted CAGJ Campaign: GE Salmon