Thursday, November 26, 2009

Give the Gift of Partnership

Instead of going to the mall…
Give the gift of partnership, information sharing, and collaboration all in the name of environmental justice. Give $50 or more towards a Solidarity Grant to strengthen the work of a Native American grassroots environmental organization.
Give a Women's Earth Alliance Gift Card instead of more stuff, and you will be supporting women leaders around the world who devote their lives to ensure clean water, healthy food and environmental justice for generations to come.
With each Gift Card we will send a beautiful, handwritten note to the friend or family member you've chosen.
Simply click here. We'll take care of the rest.
Want to join us by giving your friends and family the gift of a healthy environment this holiday season?
Weaving the Worlds Gift Cards. Available now.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Give the Gift of a Clean Water

Instead of giving more stuff with more packaging…
Give the gift of clean water, a way to earn money, and an empowered community. Give $50 or more towards a seed grant for an African woman leader to launch a sustainable water project in her community.
ferro cement_Sizani and Halima
Did you know that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Americans produce more than 1 million tons of ADDITIONAL garbage per week?
Want to join us by giving your friends and family the gift of a healthy environment this holiday season?
Weaving the Worlds Gift Cards. Available now.
Packaging peanuts photo credit

Big news : A $100,000 match opportunity!

We have some very exciting news to share! 
This season a generous anonymous donor gave WEA an incredible opportunity:  for every dollar donated to Women's Earth Alliance by December 31, 2009, our donor will match it up to $100,000. And it gets even better: our donor will offer this match in 2010 and 2011 as well!
This could not come at a better time for WEA. Our team recently completed a 3-year strategic planning process, mapping a clear vision for the next 3 years. This match offers WEA the opportunity to create the sustained and reliable support we need to connect women environmental leaders with the tools they need to bring clean water, healthy food, and environmental justice to their communities for generations to come.
There has never been a more powerful moment to step forward and make a contribution to Women's Earth Alliance. Every dollar is matched, and every dollar brings us closer to reaching this new height.
Here is how you can weave yourself in:
  1. Join the Women's Earth Alliance Giving Circle, a group of visionaries who donate $1,500, $5,000, $20,000 or $100,000 each year for 3 years. Remember, your pledge will be matched for 3 years!
  2. Give your loved ones the perfect holiday gift this season. They will appreciate it more than stuff -- we promise!
  3. Make a one-time contribution or a 3-year pledge today. Gifts of any size make a huge difference.
We joyfully invite you to take the next step with Women's Earth Alliance.  Together we can ensure that an international network of women leaders working toward a sustainable, just world will flourish.  Your donation supports this crucial, world-healing work.
And regardless of whether or not you donate this Season, we are grateful to have you a part of Women's Earth Alliance. 
Thank you for all that you give. Thank you for who you are.
Amira and Melinda

Report Back: Climate Justice in Copenhagen Conference Call

Thanks to everyone who joined us for an excellent conference call discussion this morning, on Climate Change in Copenhagen. The Conference Call Series of WEA’s Women and Land Initiative highlights the work of Indigenous environmental justice leaders each month, and this month we were honored to speak with Tom Goldtooth and Jihan Gearon of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

Jihan is the Native Energy and Climate Organizer for IEN, and Tom is the Executive Director. Both are bound for Copenhagen next month, to ensure that this global policy-making forum fully accounts for the voices and experiences of Indigenous peoples and communities of color worldwide, and adequately redresses the economic and environmental inequalities at the root of climate change.

Jihan and Tom first spoke with us about the fundamentals of climate justice, which is a movement to alleviate the unequal burdens created by climate change, implicating a justice-based approach to climate policy. According to the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, people of color, low-income and Indigenous communities are usually the first to experience the negative impacts of climate change, including natural disasters, public health crises, and displacement. These communities bear a disproportionate burden from ill-conceived strategies like carbon trading, and from the impacts of mineral extraction and energy production systems which cause climate change.

Jihan shared with us the Ten Principles for Just Climate Change Policies in the U.S. Principle #1: Stop Cooking the Planet! Other principles include the protection and empowerment of vulnerable people and communities, the required participation of communities in climate negotiations, and the ceasing of fossil fuel exploration, among others.

We then moved into a discussion of Copenhagen, specifically, and global climate policy-making, generally. Our speakers shared that international decision-making processes have tended to both exclude Indigenous peoples and people of color, who are the most impacted by both climate change-inducing processes and the so-called “solutions” to those problems, and to actively reinforce systems of injustice.

As one example of many, the Bali Action Plan -- adopted in 2007 in Indonesia -- agreed on a comprehensive 2-year process culminating in decision-making at Copenhagen on long-term global goals for emissions reductions and other key concerns. However, the Bali Roadmap makes no mention of Indigenous peoples or traditional knowledge. These types of exclusions characterize the climate negotiations, and our speakers illustrated the paramount importance of advocating for Indigenous peoples and people of color to have a place at the negotiating table.

IEN calls for “ambitious action to rapidly stabilize the concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions to ensure temperature rise is well below 350 ppm CO2 equivalent, and for temperature rise to be limited to no more that 1.5 degree Celsius.” Such action cannot rely on schemes like cap and trade and REDD, which serve to further concentrate climate impacts in Indigenous peoples, low income people and people of color communities, and which do not adequately address the core concern of excessive energy consumption in the Global North.

Given this picture, what can we do? Jihan offered us a variety of practical means to work towards climate justice at home. By focusing on environmentally just and economically equitable sustainability efforts at the local and regional level here in the United States, and advocating for fundamental policy shifts around energy production and usage, we can move towards balance on earth.

Ultimately, our “shared vision must acknowledge the future survival of the Circle of Life [and] affirm the vital role of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. It is the Indigenous Peoples who have the knowledge to teach the world how to adapt and how to ensure a paradigm shift from the current economic model of development.”

We will keep a close eye on the climate negotiations in December, and will report back on the perspectives and experiences of Indigenous and people of color leaders as we receive updates.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Climate change’s affect on poor women

A new report out by the United Nations Population Fund has warned that women in developing countries will be the most vulnerable to climate change
“[Women] do most of the agricultural work, and are therefore affected by weather-related natural disasters impacting on food, energy and water, the report said.”
Read an article about it from the BBC here.  And read the full report here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Upcoming WEA event: Climate Justice in Copenhagen

Women's Earth Alliance presents the next call in the WEAving the Worlds Conference Call Series:

Climate Justice in Copenhagen : What's at Stake for Indigenous Peoples and Communities of Color

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 at 9AM Pacific / 10AM Mountain/ 11PM Central/ 12PM Eastern


Next month, the world will be watching the United Nation's Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, as negotiators attempt to agree on a new global framework for addressing climate change. Will the talks adequately include the voices and address the concerns of indigenous peoples and people of color, who experience the most immediate and egregious impacts of a warming planet? Join us to learn about the promises and perils of global climate policy from climate justice leaders on their way to Copenhagen.

"Let us work together to create just climate and energy policy that does not sacrifice one segment of our population and their way of life so that a privileged few can thrive." - Jihan Gearon, Indigenous Environmental Network

Featured speakers will include:

The call will be moderated by Caitlin Sislin, Advocacy Director for WEA's Women and Land Initiative.

"With rising temperatures, human lives—particularly in people of color, low-income, and Indigenous communities—are affected by compromised health, financial burdens, and social and cultural disruptions." - Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative

Please RSVP to to receive call-in information. The call will last one hour and will be recorded for archival purposes.

Would you like to read more about this topic?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Event Series Finale a Huge Success


Tuesday’s event hosted with CommuniTree and Art in Action was such a special gathering of friends, colleagues, partners, family, and folks who were new to the work of Women’s Earth Alliance. As Joanna Macy noted during her talk, together, we certainly modeled an "adventure in collaboration!"


The Brower Center's first ever Eco-Art and Urban Farm Reception was fabulously coordinated by CommuniTree and Art in Action. The good sounds of master kora player Youssoupha Sidibe provided the perfect soundscape to experience the powerful work of Planting Justice, Mo'Betta Foods, Kulture Freedom, People's Grocery, Oakland Food Connection, Healthy Hoodz, Farm Fresh Choice and Bamboo Bike Project --Richmond Spokes!


Last night was the third and last event in our event series WEAving the Worlds Fall 2009, Coming up From the Roots. We started this event series in September with Ashwini Narayanan from Microplace. She talked about the power of women and the potential of microlending to change the world. In October we learned about the green jobs movement from Vien Truong from Green For All and Wahleah Johns from Black Mesa Water Coalition.

Check out event photos on Flicker!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What does ‘land’ mean to you?

From World Pulse:
Does it evoke images of the dusty streets you walked down as a child or memories of the sacred land you grew up on? Does your mind wander to property rights or the importance of respecting the earth? Maybe you have a broader definition of the word and recall a time you landed on your feet after taking a leap of faith.
World Pulse is pleased to announce an exciting, new opportunity to be published in the next edition of our print magazine, Earth, which showcases women leaders who are protecting and restoring the planet's ecosystems. We are asking women around the world, and their allies, to tell us what Land means to them.
Learn more about this opportunity here. And consider sharing your story.
The photos you see here are from our recent Learning Delegation to Northern India. Want to see more? Click here.

Why Women’s Rights Matter to Our Food

Katherine Gustafson wrote a beautiful call to action on She quoted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
"We have seen again and again . . . that women are entrepreneurial, accountable, and practical," said Clinton.
"So women are a wise investment. And since the majority of the world’s farmers are women, it’s critical that our investments in agriculture leverage their ambition and perseverance."
We couldn’t agree more.
On our recent Learning Delegation to Northern India we learned that the women we met with need greater connection with practitioner and information networks, as well as access to marketing support, appropriate technologies, capital, and business development training. Although there is a growing movement of women change agents and the visionary men who stand as their allies, women's efforts remain largely isolated and underserved. We’re working on these issues through partnerships, capacity building and seed money.
Will you join us?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

From The Fields : From seed to root

By Melinda Kramer and Amira Diamond
We have just returned from our India Women and Agriculture Learning Exchange.
This rich and informative tour through Northern India brought 14 women practitioners and advocates in agriculture and food systems to the frontlines of India’s sustainable agriculture movement.

As we journeyed through the vast and diverse country, we observed time and time again the vital yet under-recognized role that women farmers play in India’s food and agriculture sector. Although we are well familiar with the jarring statistic that more than 84% of women in India are involved in agricultural activities, we were reminded with each visit that women truly are central to the world’s food production. In each village we visited, we heard women describe the importance of accessing the training, capital, market opportunities, and moral support they need to ensure the health and sustainability of their communities.
Throughout the journey, we heard a very clear theme:
Women need greater connection with practitioner and information networks, as well as access to marketing support, appropriate technologies, capital, and business development training. Although there is a growing movement of women change agents and the visionary men who stand as their allies, women’s efforts remain largely isolated and underserved.
Amidst the challenges, we observed countless stories of triumph and courage. From village to village, women are upholding the knowledge of traditional agriculture techniques, saving seeds, launching advocacy campaigns, creating cooperatives, and modeling the solutions.
Our vision for the Women and Agriculture Initiative is infused with the spirit of these women’s successes, and we hope to play a meaningful role in connecting resources to needs in this burgeoning movement.
We now enter the Learning Exchange Assessment phase of our work.  We will work as a group to synthesize the challenges and needs we saw, heard and witnessed on our trip.  We will then prepare an outline of capacity-building training programs and advocacy projects that work to address those needs.  We'll keep you posted as the vision unfolds...
MK Melinda Kramer and Amira Diamond are Co-Directors of Women’s Earth Alliance.  You can read more about them and what they’ve been involved with before WEA on our website. 

More pictures from the trip can be found on our Flickr page
This is the final post of our series entitled From The Fields which followed WEA's Women and Agriculture delegation on their 10 day journey through Northern India. Read more about this initiative here
Do you want to support our work in India and sustainable agriculture?  Donate today.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Join us! Joanna Macy and more on Tues, 11/10/09

We've just returned from our 10 day journey through Northern India where we launched our Women and Agriculture Initiative (we blogged about it – take a look)!  Coming soon are pictures, a summary of the lessons we learned, and our next steps.  So stay tuned for that.  In the meantime…

Join us this coming Tuesday, November 10 for an energizing and  dynamic evening here at the David Brower Center.  It’s the last event in our WEAving the Worlds - Coming Up from the Roots event series (click here to learn about the first two events).  And it promises to be inspiring and fun.

Starting at 6:30pm : Eco-Art and Urban Farm Reception

Start the evening with a dynamic reception presented in partnership with Art in Action and CommuniTree, featuring sustainable agriculture and community resiliency projects including Green Media Arts Center, the first green arts and media center for low income youth in the Bay Area, along with live music provided by master kora player Youssoupha Sidibe.

Starting at 8:00pm : Amira Diamond and Joanna Macy

Amira Diamond, WEA’s Co-Director will report on WEA's Fall 2009 India Women and Agriculture Learning Exchange.  She’ll tell us first-hand stories about women on the front lines of India's sustainable agriculture movement; we’ll learn about communities creating resiliency through art and healthy solutions to our local and global food crises, and we will enjoy an artistic performance by Art in Action and CommuniTree.  Finally, we will experience the wisdom of Joanna Macy



Event details:

Reception 6:30pm, Program 8:00pm

David Brower Center, Goldman Theater

2150 Allston Way, Berkeley CA 94704

$15 in advance, $18 at the door

Purchase tickets here.  Activist tickets are available!

All proceeds to benefit Women's Earth Alliance and CommuniTree.

Special thanks to our Promotional Partners Earth Island Institute, Young Women Social Entrepreneurs, Global Exchange, Global Fund for Women, HUB Bay Area, and Sacred Land Film Project.

And thanks to our event sponsors and Back to Earth Organic Catering!