Save the Date: Act Local, Think Global Awards 2014


The Bay Area is renowned for it's political activism and for nurturing a true spectrum of social movements and exceptional leaders. This spring, the Bay Area Oxfam team will honor several women breaking ground on critical issues facing our world today at the Oxfam - Act Local, Think Global Awards 2014.

We'll recognize these accomplished women who are tackling global issues such as food justice, climate, water, land and corporate responsibility on March 23rd, 2-4:30 pm in San Francisco and you're invited attend. Don't miss your chance to rub shoulders with some of the Bay Area's most notable leaders, hear their stories and pay tribute to International Women's Day.

Date: Sunday, March 23rd
Time: 2-4:30 pm
Location: 518 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Public transport: Walking distance from the 16th St. Mission BART station
MAP

Admission is free, but RSVP is required. Light, sustainable and vegan friendly hors d'oeuvres will be served. Space is limited, so early RSVP is highly encouraged.

This event is brought to you by the Oxfam America Bay Area Action Corps. Contact sanfrancisco@oxfamactioncorps.org for more information.

More of a behind-the-scenes person?
There are open volunteer opportunities to assist the Oxfam Action Corps during the awards ceremony. Find out how you can help by emailing sanfrancisco@oxfamactioncorps.org.
Special Monthly Meeting: Happy Hour Edition - February 2014


This February join the local Oxfam team and other like-minded individuals for a casual happy hour. We'll get to know one another, discuss Oxfam's current campaigns, share volunteer opportunities and have a drink or two. Save the date for February 24th, 6:30-8 pm, at Sugar Lounge in downtown San Francisco. If you haven't yet made it to a meeting, don't be shy just look for the Oxfam logo and join the fun.

To ensure space, RSVP is highly encouraged. Contact sanfrancisco@oxfamactioncorps.org to be added to the guest list.

Date: Monday, February 24th
Time: 6:30-8 pm
Location: Sugar Lounge, 377 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Public transport: Accessible by Muni and BART from the Civic Center station
Parking: Metered street parking available
MAP
An Inside Look at the Oxfam Organizer

The Oxfam Bay Area Action Corps hosts an array of events and activities throughout the year, but ever wonder who's behind the scenes pulling these events together?

Introducing the Oxfam Bay Area Organizers, dedicated volunteers working directly with Oxfam America's largest office to rekindle hands on advocacy for food justice, small-scale farmer empowerment, social justice and gender equality.

Organizers handle everything from social media and volunteer relations to strategic alliances and event management. Every tablng opportunity, lobby visit with elected officials, volunteer work day and speaker event is shaped by the passion and eclectic experience that each Organizer brings to the table.

Members of the organizing team have exclusive access to a national network of fellow Organizers, support from Oxfam America senior staff and comprehensive skill training with an all expenses paid trip to Washington, DC for a 4-day leadership workshop. If this sounds like your kind of gig, your in luck because we're now recruiting for 2014 Organizers.

With the February 14th deadline approaching, all interested parties with a desire to help create lasting solutions to hunger and poverty are encouraged to apply.

To learn more about the Organizer role or to apply visit oxfamamerica.org/take-action/volunteer/community

Want a better feel for the position? Chat with a current Organizer by sending an email to sanfrancisco@oxfamactioncorps.org.

You know Oxfam, you love Oxfam, now lead Oxfam in your hometown

Leadership opportunity:  Organize in your community to end global hunger – join the Oxfam Action Corps! 

Oxfam America, an international relief and development organization, invites you to play a leading role in the Oxfam Action Corps, an exciting grassroots effort to stand up to poverty, hunger, and injustice around the world – starting right in your community.  The Oxfam Action Corps is a group of trained grassroots advocates in fifteen US cities who organize with other local volunteers in support of our GROW campaign for policies that will save lives, defend the rights of women and farmers, and protect communities worldwide from rising food prices and climate change.  It includes a free national advocacy and leadership training for select participants. You will gain leadership skills, have fun, and change the world!

Sign-up by February 14 to apply for Oxfam’s free four-day leadership training in Washington D.C. April 5-8, 2014.  

"This is leadership in practice. You can't just read a book on leadership. You have to put it into practice." - Jill Mizell, Researcher, New York

“Oxfam Action Corps has given me a ton of confidence… Gaining knowledge and being able to speak to people about the issues.”  - Amy L., Business Operations Analyst, Des Moines

"This has become one of the best parts of my life… I can't express enough how satisfying it is to be organizing with people who are just as committed and dependable and passionate. It is so great to have the support from the Oxfam America staff, and I've been really impressed by their accessibility, competency and friendliness." – Isaac E., Educator, New York City

View and share the short video below, highlighting the great work done by the Action Corps.


Sign up at www.oxfamactioncorps.org by February 14
Season for Sharing

The party starts early this holiday season with the Oxfam Bay Area Action Corps. This Thursday, December 12th, 6-8:30 pm join your fellow Oxfam America supporters in Berkeley, CA and enjoy a delicious spread of GROW Method themed potluck dishes while playing games and making new friends.


The Action Corps asks that everyone bring a potluck dish that follows the GROW Method and any canned or packaged food items cluttering your cabinets that you can spare for donation to a local food bank, but if you can't bring anything, don't fret all are welcome.

The celebration will take place at the home of an Oxfam Action Corps member in Berkeley and is easily accessible from the Ashby BART station. Let us know if you're interested in joining the celebration for the exact address. You can RSVP by email or Facebook.

For ideas and recipes using the GROW Method check here: www.pinterest.com/oxfamgrowmethod/

Date: December 12th
Time: 6-8:30 pm
Location: Berkeley (near the Ashby BART station)

RSVP by email or Facebook.

Hope to see you there.

Special Monthly Meeting

Let's keep the pressure on.

Join the Bay Area Oxfam Action Corps this Monday for a social media cram session. We'll come together to send several messages to Pepsico through Facebook and Twitter asking them to follow in the steps of Coca-Cola by saying NO to land grabs in their supply chain. Join the fun Monday, 11/25, 6:30 - 7:30 pm at Samovar Tea in San Francisco (730 Howard St.). Pepsico monitors social media everyday and cares about its online reputation, so this is will be a great way to make sure your voice is heard. RSVP today.

You'll also have the chance to meet other people who are working toward lasting solutions to hunger, poverty and inequality. We'll discuss upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, current Oxfam campaigns and get to know each other. If you haven't yet made it to a meeting, it's a great time to join in!

Just look for the Oxfam logo on our table!

Date: Monday, 11/25
Time: 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Location:
Samovar Tea Lounge
**Yerba Buena Gardens, Upper Terrace**
730 Howard St.
San Francisco

Accessible by BART from the Powell St. station. Garage parking available.

To RSVP visit www.facebook.com/events

Oxfam Helps Iowa Shine the Spotlight on Women


Every year one of America's most quintessential agricultural states open its door to the most powerful players in food and agriculture to spark discussion around the future of food security and world hunger. Des Moines, Iowa welcomes elected officials, corporate executives, leaders in global development, renowned scientist and agriculture big wigs to the World Food Prize.

This year the three day conference featured keynotes from the President of Iceland, past UK Prime Minster Tony Blair and Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson to name a few. The event certainly delivered on star power, but was lacking one important thing, the voices of the women and small-scale farmers who produce most of the world's food and represent 80% of the world's chronically hungry. This is where Oxfam America comes into play.

Oxfam has earned the largest non-profit presence at the World Food Prize and uses that position to secure prominent speaking roles for small-scale food producers from all over the world, including Oxfam's 2013 representatives, the awe-inspiring Kijoolu Kaliya and Harriet Nakabaale.

Kijoolu Kaliya featured center

On the largest stage at the conference, Kijoolu Kaliya shared her firsthand experience with land grabs to a packed room and some of the biggest applause received by any World Food Prize speaker. Ms. Kaliya is a member of the Masaai community in Tanzania and a prominent community leader as well as a pastoralist. Over the past four years, she has been forced to fight two land grabs threatening the livelihoods of her people. The most recent of which came from a rich investor from the United Arab Emirates who was attracted to the lush landscapes and thriving wildlife where Ms. Kaliya lives which the Masaai culture has been working to preserve and nurture for years. After the government of Tanzania approved the land deal with this investor , he decided that he would drive Ms. Kaliya and her community off of their land by force. The Masaai people had their homes burned to the ground and were physically assaulted by the investor's thugs. Masaai leaders are traditionally male, but after this egregious attack, Ms. Kaliya mobilized the women in her community to do what the men had failed to do, protect their way of live. She organized a five day trek to the capital of Tanzania to demand an audience with the President by returning 2,000 political party membership cards to the government. This show of force got the President's attention and resulted in him making a public declaration affirming that the Masaai people were the rightful owners of their own land and that the investor had no claim to it, but this declaration was only verbal and in this day and age a verbal agreement is little assurance, especially when it comes to the livelihood of your family. Now Ms. Kaliya is fighting for a written contract guaranteeing their land rights, because as Ms. Kaliya stated “land is life.”

Harriet Nakabaale featured center

Speaking at the Oxfam sponsored luncheon featuring Oxfam America's President Ray Offenheiser was  Harriet Nakabaale, a sustainable and organic farming advocate from Uganda's capital city Kampala. With help from her son Jjumba Frank Luyinda, Ms. Nakabaale turned her home into a small urban farm called Camp Green. Through Camp Green, the mother-son team teach local community members, schools and local governments the importance of finding creative ways to re-purpose what most people would consider waste, protect the environment, and grow sustainable and nourishing food. Together they work to alleviate poverty within and outside of Uganda by arming people with the knowledge necessary to take food security into their own hands and grow the food that they need. Ms. Nakabaale shared her story with hundreds of people and also stressed the importance of tackling domestic violence by empowering women with the necessary tools to become bread winners.

At this year's World Food Prize, on behalf of Oxfam America, Kijoolu Kaliya and Harriet Nakabaale gave voice to the underrepresented majority working towards food security on the ground - the small-scale farmers, community leaders and advocates. These two women helped bridge the gap between theoretical discussions and the harsh realities facing families and communities around the world while also shedding light on the meaningful triumphs women are helping to accomplish everyday.

Festival Diaries Part II- Treasure Island Music Festival


The summer festival season has come and gone and it is once again time for the fall music festival circuit to begin. October brought a change in temperature and colors, but it also brought the annual Treasure Island Music Festival, named for the beautiful island on which it takes place. The festival offers amazing views of the ocean and the San Francisco borders while presenting music from some of the best artists of 2013 including James Blake, Beck, Haim, Animal Collective, Little Dragon, Major Lazer, Japandroids, Sleigh Bells and Atoms for Peace. 


Oxfam had the pleasure of attending this year’s Treasure Island Music Festival and interacting with crowds of people; grandmas and pirates alike. Due to the strong support from Thom Yorke and Atoms for Peace, and the work of Oxfam volunteers, we were able to introduce hundreds of Treasure Island Music aficionados and fun loving knowledge seekers to the new portion of our Behind the Brands campaign increasing our movement to 247,120 members. This portion of the campaign targets the world’s largest producers and users of sugar: Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Associated British Foods. All three of these companies have been linked to land grabs that have been occurring within their supply chains, but because of pressure from the Behind the Brands campaign the largest of the three, Coca-Cola, has adopted a zero tolerance policy to land grabs. For those who don’t know, land grabs are large scale land acquisitions that occur without free, prior and informed consent. They are a human rights violation that is often ignored or hidden. Oxfam is bringing the issue to light and urging both PepsiCo and Associated British Foods to follow Coca-Cola's lead and be held accountable for what is occurring in their supply chains and to adopt a zero tolerance land grab policy.  If you haven't yet joined the movement and want to speak out against land grabs go to: behindthebrands.org

We were able to meet and interact with so many people who were passionate about our cause while enjoying the fall breeze, wonderful music, robot dance parties, and great food and culture. Treasure Island is a true experience, one that shouldn’t be missed.


If you're feeling like you missed out? Never feel that way again. Be a part of our next concert event by emailing us at sanfrancisco@oxfamactioncorps.org.

Our Voices Have Been Heard: 

Coca-Cola Agrees to Zero Tolerance Policy for Land Grabs

 


Ladies and Gentlemen, our hard work is paying off! All of our hours spent volunteering, campaigning, speaking out, and signing petitions is showing fruition. Over 225,000 people called for action to prevent land grabs and Coca-Cola has heard us. The food and beverage giant Coca-Cola has agreed to respect and protect the land rights of indigenous communities from which it sources its sugar. Specifically, Coca-Cola has agreed to:

  1. A zero tolerance policy on land grabs
  2. A “know and show” policy relating to being held accountable and aware of land rights and conflicts within its supply chain
  3. To support responsible agriculture investment and to advocate for governments and others to tackle land grabbing;
Sugar production requires a vast amount of land and is currently at an all time high triggering land conflicts and abuse. Coca-Cola is the largest sugar producer in the world making this news all the more amazing. Coca-Cola is the first beverage and food company to take such a stand, but should not be the last. For more information on this breaking news visit politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org


Our mission and work does not end here. PepsiCo and Associated British Foods are some of the largest sugar producers in the world and as such we are urging them to follow in Coca-Cola’s footsteps and make a change in relation to the allowance of land grabs within their supply chains. In order to do this we need your help.
 


What Can You Do to Stop This?

Start by signing Oxfam's current petition to urge Pepsi-co and Associated British Foods to follow Coca-Cola’s example and hold themselves accountable for the land and human rights atrocities occurring in their supply chains. These huge companies have the market power to pressure their suppliers into committing to zero tolerance land grab policies and you have the power to pressure these food and beverage giants into stepping up and standing against land grabs. Make sure your voice is heard.

Then share the following messages:

Via Twitter

Tell @PepsiCo & #ABF to take action against land grabs! #BehindTheBrands

Via Facebook

Post the following message to PepsiCo's Facebook page

Stop land grabs! Tell PepsiCo and ABF—some of the biggest buyers of sugar in the world—to make sure their sugar doesn’t lead to land grabs that force poor farmers and their families off their land. #BehindTheBrands!

Does Your Favorite Food Cause Land Grabs?

 


Did you know that every time someone takes a swig of soda or bites into a cookie, they may be consuming sugar grown on land that has been taken from its previous occupants – often poor communities – without their consent? Indeed, many of the world’s largest food companies rely on long chains of production that maintain great distance between their corporate offices and the fields where their raw ingredients are grown. As a result, the biggest sugar buyers and producers have failed to keep tabs on their industry’s insatiable demand for land, and the lengths to which the third party companies they work with will go to acquire it.

Land Grabs 101


Wealthy investors around the world and large producers who supply sugar, palm oil and soy have been increasingly turning to land grabbing as a means of acquiring large parcels of land to turn into farmland for cash crops. These deals are often struck without the free, prior and informed consent of the land owners, often without compensation and may involve intimidation or violence.

The Facts


  • Every 30 seconds land the size of Chicago is grabbed by rich investors in some of the world's poorest countries to grow cash crops like sugar
  • Two-thirds of all foreign land deals in poor countries happen in places facing severe hunger issues
  • Big name brands like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Associated British Foods purchase sugar from producers linked to land grabs

Land Grabs on the Ground


Land grabs devastate the livelihoods of families, entire communities and small-scale farmers around the world. In Brazil's Pernambuco State since 1914 multiple generations of families grew crops, fished and collected shellfish to eat and sell. In 2002, 53 families were evicted from their land, after several decades of intermittent pressure from Usina Trapiche, a giant company which provides sugar to Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

In 1998, members of the sugar company’s private militia destroyed the communities’ homes and farm land, burning down their houses and then, after they had been rebuilt, burning them down again. The community received death threats and feared for their safety. Finally in 2002, Trapiche was successful, through court proceedings, in pushing the community off their land. Federal officials have tried, unsuccessfully, to restore the community’s rights to the land, but Trapiche has successfully leveraged its political influence to retain control.

Unfortunately this story is not unique and is becoming a serious threat to global human rights and food security.

What Can You Do to Stop This?


Start by signing Oxfam's current petition to hold the world's largest food and beverage companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi-co and Associated British Foods accountable for the land and human rights atrocities occurring in their supply chains. These huge companies have the market power to pressure their suppliers into committing to zero tolerance land grab policies and you have the power to pressure these food and beverage giants into stepping up and standing against land grabs. Make sure your voice is heard.

Then share the following message via Facebook or Twitter:
I just told @CocaColaCo, @PepsiCo and #ABF to make sure their sugar doesn't lead to land grabs. Go #BehindTheBrandshttp://behindthebrands.org
Next learn more about the human, environmental and food security costs of land grabs by attending the Oxfam Bay Area Action Corps upcoming panel discussion, Standing on Common Ground: A Local Discussion on Global Land Grabs, October 26th, 2:30 – 4:30 pm in Oakland, CA. For more information or to RSVP visit oxfamsf-worldfoodday.eventbrite.com

Monthly Meeting - September 2013



Get to know your fellow Bay Area Oxfam supporters by coming to this month's Meet & Greet.

Meet other people who are working toward lasting solutions to hunger, poverty and inequality. We'll discuss upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, current Oxfam campaigns and get to know each other. If you haven't yet made it to a meeting, don't be shy just look for the Oxfam logo on our table and join in.

Date: Monday, September 30th
Time: 6:30p - 7:30p
Location: Samovar Tea, 730 Howard St. (Yerba Buena Gardens - Upper Terrace) San Francisco. Easily accessible by BART from the Powell St. station.

Hope to see you there. Email us today to RSVP: sanfrancisco@oxfamactioncorps.org

Oxfam Meet & Greets are held the last Monday of each month and alternate between Berkeley and San Francisco.

Festival Diaries Part I - Outside Lands

 


It's always a special feeling to be a part of the small group that gets to see what's behind the curtain. At our first day at Outside Lands, we got to do just that. Arriving before the gates officially opened, we wandered across Golden Gate Park's lush fields passing the eager vendors and awing at the eerie void left by the lack of people crowded around porta potties. We slowly made our way to the Oxfam booth conveniently located next to one of the festival's most dance worthy stages. It began to feel a lot like the calm before a storm.

From the swelling crowds, we were lucky enough to meet amazing people from across the globe some of whom were familiar with Oxfam's work and others who were eager to learn more by participating in one of our many booth games including our latest Bay Area Action Corps invention, World Hunger Pong, inspired by the collegiate, Olympian level sport that we're all familiar with Beer Pong. Except instead of beer, we provided striking facts about the hunger epidemic including the fact that hunger kills more people than AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined. We also spoke to countless people about the Behind the Brands campaign and how the top ten food and beverage companies in the world are performing when it comes to transparency and the treatment of farmers, workers, women, land, water and climate. Adding strength to the 115,000 people who have already joined the movement to change the way these companies do business, concert goers helped Oxfam move closer to its 125,000 signature goal. If you haven't yet joined the movement, its not too late: www.behindthebrands.org

This year at Outside Lands, the Oxfam Bay Area Action Corps reached hundreds of people all while having a great time and listening to some of today's most influential artists, including Sir Paul McCartney himself and long-time Oxfam activist Thao Nguyen of San Francisco's very own Thao and The Get Down Stay Down.

It's no secret that the Bay Area is home to some amazing festivals and members of the Oxfam Bay Area Action Corps are lucky enough to take part in some of the best of the best.

Members of the Oxfam Action Corps have the unique opportunity to join forces with people passionate about making world hunger obsolete. Together we work to inform concert goers about the devastating conditions of extreme poverty, hunger and injustice around the world. Stories are shared, friends are made and minds are enlightened.

If you're feeling like you missed out? Never feel that way again. Be a part of our next concert event by emailing us at sanfrancisco@oxfamactioncorps.org.

We'd love for you to join the Oxfam Bay Area Action Corps family for the Treasure Island Music Festival, Ra Ra Riot's upcoming show at the Fillmore or Ben Sollee's intimate performance in Oakland.