United States

The Sustainable Path Forward

People who are concerned about climate disruption and hunger are talking more and more about agroecology, that is, using ecological, economic, cultural, and gender justice principles to inform agricultural practices and systems.  And those people are joining Grassroots International and our global partners in advocating for a shift toward agroecology to create a more sustainable future.

Engaging and Impacting Philanthropy

Grassroots International recently participated in the 2015 Just Giving Conference sponsored by EDGE Funders Alliance. Entitled “Better. Not More: Towards a Just Transition,” the conference worked to create a space within philanthropy to explore the deeper philosophical ideas that animate contemporary politics, economy, and culture.  Within this space, participants were encouraged to consider four goals for the transition to a just economy: 1) Decommodify nature; 2) Reimagine work; 3) Liberate knowledge; and 4) Democratize wealth.

Celebrating the Links between Local and Global Peasants’ and Women’s Struggles

People from community organizations, immigrant groups, longtime Grassroots supporters and folks wanting to connect local social justice work with international movements filled the room on Monday night. On the floor at the center of a big circle of filled chairs was an arrangement of candles, flowers, seeds, soil and flags representing the vibrant social movements present in the room, both from the local Boston area and from as far as Mozambique and Nicaragua. We were all together to celebrate the upcoming International Day of Peasants Struggle (April 17), to hear two powerful women speak about international movements for peasants’ and women’s rights, and to make local-global links.

Grassroots spreads the word on Global South movements at national conferences, social media.

Grassroots International is hard at work across the U.S. and beyond putting issues such as climate justice, food sovereignty, resource rights, Palestine, women’s leadership—even when they are controversial or unpopular—into the limelight. 

Spreading the word is a key strategy we use to advance resource rights, particularly when it comes to connecting our Global South partners to sources of solidarity, funding and support, and making changes in policies here in the U.S.  We do more than give grants; we build solidarity right here in the U.S. for our partners and their social movements.  It is also a key reason why funders and donors choose Grassroots International as a vehicle to support them.

Radical Farmers Use Fresh Food to Fight Racial Injustice and the New Jim Crow

In August, five young men showed up at Soul Fire Farm, a sustainable farm near Albany, New York, where I work as educator and food justice coordinator. It was the first day of a new restorative justice program, in partnership with the county’s Department of Law. The teens had been convicted of theft, and, as an alternative to incarceration, chose this opportunity to earn money to pay back their victims while gaining farm skills. They looked wary and unprepared, with gleaming sneakers and averted eyes.

“I basically expected it to be like slavery, but it would be better than jail,” said a young man named Asan. “It was different though. We got paid and we got to bring food home. The farmers there are black like us, which I did not expect.

Remembering Jean Hardisty

Jean Hardisty, a gentle and fierce leader in the movement for women’s and civil rights, has died. A former member of Grassroots International's Board of Directors and part of the Advisory Board, Jean founded Political Research Associates, a Boston-based research center that analyzes right wing, authoritarian, and anti-democratic trends and publishes educational materials for the general public. Her death comes after a many-year struggle with cancer.

Black Lives Matter: Police Repression, the US, and the Political Crisis in Haiti

In the United States we’ve spent months zeroing in on the reality of police brutality against Black people.  We’ve been grateful to see and take part in a growing movement that addresses structural racism—pointing out that Black people are disproportionately more likely to die at the hands of police, face institutional racism, and breathe more polluted air. 

In the Black nation of Haiti, too, there has been a systematic dismissal of the value of Black lives and US policy has been deeply implicated in interventions that slaughter the interests of Haiti’s people in favor of a narrow elite.

Glendive Oilspill on the Land of Via Campesina Leader

The toxic oil spill in eastern Montana oozed onto the land of one of Grassroots International’s partners and a fierce voice for food sovereignty and environmental justice.  Now her denunciations of the gluttonous crude industry and on behalf of small farmers and the environment are reaching far and wide, but at a terrible price.

Stories of Victory and Struggle from 2014

Grassroots International and our global partners are leading the way in developing sustainable solutions to the biggest challenges facing our world. From farming cooperatives and seed banks, to passing laws that protect ancestral lands and defending the human right to land, water, and food,  together we take on big struggles and win important gains. Below are just some of the successes achieved in 2014 with support from Grassroots International, standing up to challenge poverty, climate disruption and human rights abuses.

Moving Towards an International Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

Migration, Food Sovereignty and Land Rights: A conversation with Carlos Marentes, Sr.

On this International Migrants Day (December 18), Grassroots International pays tribute to the courage and dedication of many of our partners and allies, internationally and in the U.S., who are working at the intersection of migrant justice and resource rights. One of these partners is Carlos Marentes, Sr., director of Centro De Los Trabajadores Agrícolas Fronterizos (the Border Agricultural Workers Center) in El Paso, Texas. A close Grassroots International partner and co-coordinator of Via Campesina North America.