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Dear Global Exchange Supporters,

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, the Caribbean nation of Haiti was hit by a devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake, the strongest in over 200 years. The epi-center of the quake was located 10 miles of the national's capital, Port-au-Prince, a city of nearly 3 million people. The quake has devastated the nation leaving buildings completely collapsed, homes destroyed, tens of thousands dead and countless more homeless and injured. Please see our Haiti Earthquake Relief page to follow updates on the situation and see resources on how you can help.

We are all devastated to learn of the tragedy unfolding in Haiti and we want to help. Global Exchange's Fair Trade Stores and our online store will be donating 10% of our total sales for the week of January 16th to the 22nd to Beyond Borders, one of our partner organizations that is dedicated to improving living standards of artists, their families and their communities in Haiti. Beyond Borders have people on the ground in Haiti at this moment and will be able to provide immediate relief for the people of Haiti in their time of need.

With the year starting off on shaky ground, Global Exchange continues to take action and show support for underrepresented communities around the world and in our own backyard. From Gaza to Richmond, California, Global Exchange campaigns are moving forward in 2010. Here's a few things we are up to:

  • The 1,362 people from the Gaza Freedom March are just returning home, full of stories about a wild week in Cairo, in the Egyptian border towns of Al Arish and Rafah, in Gaza for those who got inside, and in the West Bank and Erez crossing for those who went to Israel. Our fellow CODEPINKers report back on the historic March that put forth the global call to Israel to lift the seize on Gaza.

  • Riding on a 25% increase in revenues, in 2009, Chevron moved from the sixth to the fifth largest global corporation in the world. Unfortunately, Chevron profits come at a cost to the communities that live and work near Chevron's operations who often suffer problems ranging from health complications, pollution, human rights abuses and land degradation. Starting in 2010, the Chevron Corporation has a new CEO, John Watson, and Global Exchange and ally organizations want you to tell the new CEO what to do. As the new CEO of Chevron, climate change and the environmental and human rights impacts of Chevron's operations are the two issues that will define his tenure at the helm of one of the world's largest oil companies. Tell Mr. Watson to take a step in the right direction and change Chevron's course for the better.

  • With Valentine's Day one month away, our Fair Trade campaign is organizing it's National Valentine's Day of Action by encouraging educators nationwide to bring social justice into the classrooms by teaching Global Exchange's Fair Trade cocoa curriculum. Bringing Fair Trade into the classrooms teaches the youth to support small farmers across the world, who are standing up against exploitation by transforming trade one cocoa bean at a time. If you teach the curriculum you are eligible to win a $75 Fair Trade prize and if you refer educators you are eligible to win a $40 Fair Trade prize.

  • Venezuela Speaks! Voices from the Grassroots, published by PM Press with the support of Global Exchange, is a collection of interviews with activists and participants from across Venezuela's social movements. From community media to land reform; cooperatives to communal councils, from the labor movement to the Afro-Venezuelan network, the book sheds light on the complex realities within the Bolivarian Revolution. Catch the book tour at a city near you.

  • Our Climate Equity team recently returned from the UN Climate Talks in Copenhagen. Check out the Climate Justice blog to review our on the ground updates from COP15 through the Global Exchange lens. Confused by what happened in Copenhagen? From now through the end of April, Global Exchange's Climate Equity team will analyze the current status and future potential of climate negotiations in a series of 15 weekly articles. There will be a comprehensive critique of what isn't working and why; analysis of where things are headed; investigation of opportunities to make progress within the climate negotiation regime; and to close the series, an in depth examination of the Peoples' World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights to be held at the end of April in Bolivia. There are some great observations and ideas a-brewing in our Climate Justice department so stay connected.

As we enter the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, we take the lessons that Dr. King left behind of standing up for the underrepresented and continue to advocate for peace and justice all around the world.  May we all move forward and continue to progress in 2010.

In solidarity,
Global Exchange

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