Speaking Out for Global Justice

Need a dynamic speaker for your event? Contact us .

Our speakers will provoke critical thinking about international issues within your community and inspire action. Grassroots has been speaking out for global justice since 1983. We tell stories that rarely appear on TV or in your newspapers—those of visionary grassroots activists working for local solutions to global problems. Our unique work and partnership model shines light on grassroots activists analyzing political, economic and social trends and building human rights movements. We put a human face on pressing issues. Our speakers make great additions to public forums, panels and public dialogues.

What do we speak about?

  • Resource rights, including the human rights to land, water, food and seeds
  • Food sovereignty and fixing the broken global food system
  • Innovative alternatives to traditional economic development
  • Funding social change movements around the world
  • Our work with dynamic grassroots organizations in the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean

Selected Speakers:
The following speakers are U.S.-based:


Nikhil Aziz, Ph. D, Executive Director of Grassroots International. Before joining Grassroots, Nikhil was Associate Director at Political Research Associates, where he led a team that studied the conservative movement and the political right in the United States. Nikhil previously taught human rights and international development in Colorado and Illinois. For his dissertation, he worked with India’s National Alliance of People’s Movements, an alliance of progressive movements for human rights and social and economic justice. As a progressive, immigrant, gay man of color, Nikhil has built collaborations with activist and advocacy organizations nationwide and continues to speak, teach and write on human rights, international development and social change. He also serves on the boards of RESIST and Africa Today Associates.

Sara Mersha is the Director of Grantmaking and Advocacy at Grassroots International. She brings years of experience connecting local community organizing with broader movement building work to Grassroots International, including 12 years as Lead Organizer and then Executive Director of Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE), a grassroots group with a membership base in low-income communities of color in Providence, Rhode Island. She she has focused her academic and movement-building work on climate justice and food sovereignty, including with the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance.

Carol Schachet is Director of Development and Communications at Grassroots. She has more than 20 years of domestic and international experience in community organizing and movement building, as well as a Masters of Divinity specializing in the intersection of theology and politics. She has worked for ACORN, Witness for Peace, Sojourners and RESIST.

We also frequently have project partners and allies visiting from the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean who may be available to speak with your group.

Here are a few of our recent speaking engagements:

A Perfect Storm: Agriculture, Trade and Immigration Policies Undermining Human Rights

Nikhil Aziz spoke at the International Human Rights Funders Group conference ion the panel “A Perfect Storm: Agriculture, Trade and Immigration Policies Undermining Human Rights.” The panel linked the push and pull factors in migration, especially in the context of U.S. and global policies on agriculture and trade.

Climate Change and Our Broken Global Food System

Grassroots International staff spoke at Share Our Strength’s Conference of Leaders on Climate Change and Our Broken Global Food System. Against the backdrop of ravaged New Orleans and vibrant farmers markets reinvigorating the local economy, Daniel shared the podium with a climatologist and a leader of a local food group to examine how local food production for local consumption around the globe can contribute to a stable climate.

Food Sovereignty: An African Leader Speaks

Grassroots International hosted Mariam Sissoko, an international leader in the movement for a fair, healthy and sustainable food system. From her small village in western Mali, Mariam organizes for national and international policies that will improve conditions for family farmers everywhere.

Our Communities, Our Water: Connecting the Local and the Global

Mass Global Action hosted a gathering of community activists, students and water workers at UMass Amherst. Grassroots International’s Saulo Araujo and Jake Miller conducted a workshop titled “Can't Live Without It so the Fight is On! How grassroots social movements are claiming their right to land and water.”

To book a speaker or to find out more about our public speaking and education work, contact Carol Schachet by email (Carol@GrassrootsOnline.org) or call her at 617.524.1400.