Dear Global Exchange Supporter,
The first few weeks of 2011 have been a time of transitions. Aside from transitioning to a new year and a new decade, we have seen a transition of power in the US Congress. The new Republican majority in the House threatens to impede real progress with their refusal to cut defense spending, a push to repeal healthcare, and a call to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency.
Global Exchange is prepared to stand with you in opposition to these regressive moves. We will fight to stop rollbacks of progressive policies and continue to push for positive change in our communities at home and abroad. Through grassroots activism we will prevail.
Here are just a few campaigns we have in store for 2011:
- Transition from corporate interests to humanitarian justice: Corporate interests are among the strongest forces fueling the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. Come February, Global Exchange will host courageous feminist peace activist Dalit Baum. Dalit is currently working in Israel on a project called Who Profits?1, an online database that exposes companies and corporations profiting from the Israeli occupation. She will bring her extensive knowledge of grassroots activism to North America, teaching Who Profits' research methods to the peace movement to infuse their work with new perspective and hard-earned wisdom. The long-term goal is to help change public opinion and corporate policies, moving towards an end to the occupation and a lasting peace in Israel/Palestine.
- Transition from dirty energy to clean energy: The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the largest oil spill in American history, and oil from the spill continues to impact lives and livelihoods throughout the Gulf. Through this tragedy we have been reminded of the negative consequences of our dependence on dirty energy and our need to support clean alternatives for people and the planet. One year after the devastating Deepwater Horizon explosion, Global Exchange will release Black Tide, a book that is a "searing look at the human face of BP's disaster in the Gulf and exposes the human failings and the human cost of man-made disaster that will be with us for a very long time."2
- Transition from free trade to Fair Trade: Despite almost ten years of commitments from Hershey's to take responsibility for their cocoa supply chains and improve conditions for workers, significant problems persist. Hershey's lags behind its competitors when it comes to taking responsibility for the communities from which it sources cocoa, so we're calling on them to "Raise the Bar" and go Fair Trade.3 To get the word out, we’ll be spreading the message of Fair Trade to thousands of families across the country through Reverse Trick or Treating and other actions throughout the year.
- Transition from climate change to system change: After the Climate Talks in Cancun this past December,4 it was clear that Western leaders favored corporate-driven solutions for climate change over community-based solutions. Although the climate agreement that came out of Cancun ignored the communities directly affected by climate change and the rights of nature,5 Global Exchange continues to advocate for climate justice in the upcoming The Rights of Nature: The Case for a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Nature. The book, set to be released in April, will reveal a movement driving the cultural and legal shift that is necessary to transform our human relationship with nature away from being property-based and toward a rights-based model of balance that no longer views nature as property to be destroyed at will.
- Transition from a greed economy to a green economy: Casino capitalism is wreaking havoc on the planet, but there is an alternative. It’s called local green economies – urban agriculture, locally controlled clean power, and sustainable industry -- and we’re building them in Michigan,6 California and across the country. We're also traveling from city to city sharing a message of a greener future at the Global Exchange co-sponsored Green Festivals - the biggest and best sustainability event in the country. Celebrating its 10th year, Green Festival will be expanding to the two biggest cities in the US -- New York and Los Angeles.7
You make this work possible. Thank you to everyone who gave a gift last year. We still need your support in 2011. None of our work is possible without the financial support of our members. Help us make the necessary, positive transition. Donate today!
Despite the new Republican leadership in the House, the grassroots movement has a great and important opportunity to be leaders in the fight for peace and social justice. We hope that you will join Global Exchange in 2011 to resist injustice, envision alternatives and take action. With the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend approaching, we leave you with words from Dr. King to reflect on into this new year of making change:
"The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood."
Thank you, as always, for your work on behalf of peace and justice,
1. Who Profits?: http://www.whoprofits.org
2. Black Tide by Antonia Juhasz. http://www.amazon.com/Black-Tide-Antonia-Juhasz/dp/0470943378
3. "Raise the Bar" campaign, Global Exchange. http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/fairtrade/cocoa/raisethebarhershey.html
4. Global Exchange Climate Justice blog, Cancun/COP16 series. http://www.globalexchange.org/blogs/climatejustice/category/cancun-cop-16
5. "Does Nature Have Rights?", Global Exchange. http://www.globalexchange.org/doesnaturehaverights
6. Michigan Green Economy program, People-to-People blog. http://www.globalexchange.org/blogs/peopletopeople/category/michigan-green-economy
7. "10 Years, 1 Million Attendees," Green Festival: http://www.greenfestivals.org/national/happy-new-year