photo by Colin Anderson
by Edgar Franks
Community to Community Development hosted the 4th United States Food Sovereignty Alliance National Membership Assembly here in Bellingham October 12-15.
Over 120 people participated in the assembly, which gathers every two years to decide the direction of the United States Food Sovereignty Alliance. The participants who came were able to hear about the local context that C2C organizes in. Whether it was uplifting immigrant rights and worker organizing, or building cooperatives and the local solidarity economy, the members were able to get a glimpse of our local struggles. We at C2C were able to hear about the fight for food sovereignty from the different regions of the US, and were able to hear from our international allies.
It was important to recognize that the work we do locally is linked to a bigger movement on a global scale — one that is being led by peasants and workers all sharing a common vision.
The USFSA presented C2C with a recognition at our organization’s 14th Anniversary Celebration event. The youth of C2C’s Cooking Up Racial Justice program were able to perform a play that they wrote, where they told the history of the Farmworker March for Dignity. It was also an opportunity to stand in support of a group of farmworkers who were on strike that week. The independent Farmworker Union, Familias Unidas por la Justicia, also recognized Benito Lopez for his leadership in forming the union and negotiating a historic contract for farmworkers.
Two organizations were also recognized by the USFSA Food Sovereignty Prize: Organizacion Boricua and Black Mesa Water Coalition. Organizacion Boricua shared about the work they have been doing for over 30 years in Puerto Rico and how they have been practicing agroecology. They also shared the challenges that were presented by Hurricane Maria, as well as the strength of their community to rebuild Puerto Rico. Black Mesa Water Coalition shared about how they have been organizing in the Navajo Nation in Arizona. They have been fighting against Peabody Coal and working to reclaim traditional farming practices.
Over the three days of meetings and political discussions the alliance was able to create a shared plan of work where artists, farmers, workers, and allies will be taking on a part of the responsibility to advance food sovereignty at the local level and around the nation. You can read the declaration produced in the Bellingham Assembly here.
You can read more about the USFSA here.