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Run4Salmon 2019: Save the Date

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Each September for the past 2 years, Chief Caleen Sisk has led the Winnemem Wintu Tribe and allies in the Run4Salmon, a 300-mile journey from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta region to the tribe’s historic village site on the McCloud River near Mt. Shasta. This two-week long prayerful event is a call to action to restore the endangered winter-run Chinook salmon, which are sacred to the Winnemem, and whose populations are severely threatened by climate change and construction of dams in the area.

Planning for this year’s Run4Salmon — which will take place from Sept 15-30 — is underway. WEA was honored to support last year’s run as it traveled through Ohlone territory and will be doing so again this September.

Get updates on the 2019 Run4Salmon here.

A silent, nurturing, and green seed revolution

Project: Planting Seeds of Resilience in Southern India

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“Beyond the city, past the highway…in the State of Karnataka, there’s a revolution — silent, nurturing and green. A revolution nurtured by…women of the region towards the larger global goal of sustainable agriculture and food security. A revolution that tackles food politics with a smile and indigenous seed varieties.” Excerpt from She, the Forest Home Gardener

It’s official: our multi-year Seeds of Resilience Project in partnership with the women-run seed-saving collective, Vanastree, has borne fruit! As a result of growing seven community-managed seed banks and building women’s seed entrepreneurship skills, seed biodiversity has increased by 43% in these communities. These seed banks act as a safeguard for preserving and storing critical seed varieties alongside the landscape that acts as a seed sanctuary itself.

About 80% of the world’s food is produced by small-scale farming. Women make up on average 43% of this agricultural labor in developing countries, and in South Asia, more than two-thirds of employed women work in agriculture. Providing more training and access for women farmers could boost agricultural output and decrease global hunger by 17%.  According to Drawdown, it could also reduce 2.1 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050. That’s why WEA invests in the power of women farmers.

Get a firsthand look at the Seeds of Resilience Project in Southern India and the women farmers who are leading this peaceful seed revolution.

A victory for sacred site protection at the West Berkeley Shellmound

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On June 5, the City of Berkeley denied Blake Griggs/West Berkeley Investors’ application to fast-track development of a massive 260-unit project, which would desecrate the sacred West Berkeley Shellmound site (also a designated city landmark) near Fourth Street. “Ohlone people are in favor of low-income housing and are aware of the extreme housing crisis we are facing in the Bay Area, our traditional territory. We need smart strategies to solve the Bay Area’s housing crisis. Desecrating an indigenous sacred site is not one of them.”Corrina Gould, spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan.

Corrina’s leadership alongside a growing coalition to protect the Shellmound is bringing communities together in a peaceful, prayerful movement. They are now anticipating developers’ next steps in this ongoing fight to protect this sacred site.

Learn about continued efforts to protect the West Berkeley Shellmound here.

Women you should know

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Last week, history was made as a record number of women (and women of color) were elected to office during the U.S. midterm elections. 256 women, to be exact, were candidates for the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate in the general election, and as of this past Monday, 114 have won — including the first Native American and Muslim women elected to Congress.

There’s clearly no shortage of inspiring, powerful women to celebrate, whether we’re looking at American politics or WEA’s work supporting women leaders around the world. From fierce eco-warriors to life-giving seed savers, clean energy entrepreneurs to forest-home gardeners, these leaders are making their mark on history, on our countries, and on the Earth.

In recognition of this promising moment, here are a few courageous women we think you oughta know.

  • Letitia “Tish” James, first African-American woman to be elected attorney general of New York
  • Ilhan Omar, the first Muslim woman to be voted into Congress
  • Rashida Harbi Tlaib, the first Muslim woman to be voted into Congress
  • Deb Haaland, the first Native American woman to be voted into Congress
  • Sharice Davids, the first Native American woman to be voted into Congress
  • Alexandrea Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman to be voted into Congress
  • Angie Craig, the first openly lesbian mother to be voted into Congress
  • Jahana Hayes, the first Black congresswoman from Connecticut
  • Ayanna Pressley, the first Black congresswomen from Massachusetts
  • Veronica Escobar, the first Latinx congresswoman from Texas
  • Sylvia Garcia, the first Latinx congresswoman from Texas

Beyond the Violence on the Land, Violence on our Bodies report

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The Shedding Light on Environmental Violence Initiative shows us that what happens to the land, happens to our bodies. Chrissy Swain, a leader featured in our Violence on the Land, Violence on our Bodies report, shares her experience of mercury poisoning caused by pollution from a paper mill near the Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) First Nation reserve in this article. Thanks to our friends at International Indian Treaty Council for sharing this work and being leaders in transforming environmental violence into environmental justice.

For more on the Violence on the Land, Violence on our Bodies report and toolkit, and our work with Native Youth Sexual Health Network, visit landbodydefense.org.

Read the full article.

*Photo of Chrissy Swain by David Sone/Earthroots