It’s time for a change! We will no longer be posting on this city blog, but make sure to check out our National Blog where you can find anecdotes from your Oxfam Action Corps Organizers and dedicated volunteers. The National Blog will feature events from across the country, important action items and news from Oxfam America. We hope you will move with us!

Reminder: It's Time to Become an Action Corps City Organizer!

Hello Everyone!

Let's talk about Action Corps: it is awesome. Period. No two ways about it. And luckily, it is once again that great time to join this amazing group of individuals as an Organizer!

Check out our page for more information about our locations in 16 different cities, the job description, and the application! And look below at what other Organizers have said about their experiences...

"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

Ready to join them? Apply to be an organizer or if you aren't ready yet, consider volunteering with any Action Corps in efforts to help Oxfam fight hunger and social injustices! Remember, Oxfam is here to Right the Wrong so come join us! 

In Case You Missed It: Oxfam America Featured on Fox's Hell’s Kitchen

Chef extraordinaire Gordon Ramsey invited Oxfam America and Oxfam Ambassador, Minnie Driver, to dinner on Hell’s Kitchen. Gordon selected Oxfam America as his charity of choice to honor in the episode. Watch the awkward antics ensue.

Oxfam fall concert series-- The Breeders (September), DJ Shadow + Cut Chemist (October) and Julian Casablancas (November)

Hello Oxfamily,

San Francisco is having a beautiful fall and what a lovely weather we have been bathing in this week!

(Not so) crisp fall is in the air with gentle breeze, warm summer-like nights and also... a great line-up ahead for our fall concert series! We didn't think it could get better post Outsidelands, but we have awesome bands stopping by our city to support Oxfam.

First up: The Breeders (September 13th)

Nita and Julie volunteering with Oxfam Action Corp at the Breeders Concert

Next: DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist (October 4th)

Janet and Sami will be volunteering this weekend

Last but not least: Julian Casablancas of the Strokes (November 9th)

Need volunteers! TBD!!

As you can see, we need two volunteers for the Julian Casablancas concert next month on the 9th-- please reach out to to voice out your interest in volunteering!

As the Ebola outbreak spreads, here's how you can make a difference

Officials have quarantined many areas to try and stem the spread of a deadly virus that has already claimed the lives of almost half the people infected. You can help.
How severe is the problem now?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates there could be as many as 1.4 million cases of Ebola in Liberia and Sierra Leone by late January. The disease, for which there is no vaccine approved by the US Federal Drug Administration, has already struck more than 6,500 people and killed more than 3,000 of them. In this current outbreak, about one out of every two people infected with the virus has died.
“The need to break the spread of Ebola is absolutely key,” said David MacDonald, the regional head for Oxfam’s response. “Right now, infection rates are accelerating and we have no option but to rapidly increase our work. Ebola is consuming whole communities. We are seeing them absolutely torn apart as a result of the disease.”

The outbreak started in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, and cases have spread to Nigeria and Senegal. The UN says it will need $1 billion to stop the continued spread of the disease.

What’s Oxfam doing about the Ebola outbreak?

As the largest Ebola outbreak in history continues to terrorize West Africa and the first case of the deadly disease has been diagnosed in the US, Oxfam is planning to triple support for its prevention programs in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea Bissau. It aims to help 2.5 million people at risk of catching the virus.
Oxfam will increase its supplies of water and hygiene materials to Ebola treatments centers and community care centers while expanding its public information campaign. Because the disease spreads through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola, careful hygiene and avoidance of contact with those fluids is essential. Along with water pipes and tanks for treatment and isolation units, Oxfam will continue to provide protective equipment including face masks, boots, gloves, chlorine, soap, hand sanitizer, mops and aprons to teams that treat patients and to others that bury the dead.

Oxfam water tanks at a Ebola holding center in Lakka, an area in Sierra Leone. Holding centers are where the suspected Ebola cases are brought by Surveillance teams. The patient will be asked questions and given a blood test. The patient will then stay in the isolation center for 24 hours while the blood is being tested and when there is a result, they will either be discharged or taken to the hospital.

Oxfam will also continue to distribute hygiene kits that include soap and bleach to people living in vulnerable areas and to build hand-washing pumps. In addition, we are supporting a poster campaign with prevention messages in markets schools and other public places as well as broadcasting radio programs with information on how to avoid catching Ebola and what to do if it spreads into a new community.

Where does the disease come from?

The world has known about the disease since 1976 when it was discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo near the Ebola River. Scientists believe that bats are the most likely carriers of the Ebola virus. And while sporadic outbreaks and cases have occurred in places such as Uganda, DRC, South Sudan, and Gabon, the current crisis—hitting several countries at once—is the world’s first Ebola epidemic.

What can you do?

To ramp up our response to meet the escalating crisis, we are depending on your support. Oxfam needs more than $16 million to help 2.5 million people at risk of contracting the disease. Help Oxfam stop the spread of Ebola.

Nearly 400,000 Unite to Make History in NYC

More than 15,000 organizations, including Oxfam America, joined forces and took to the streets of New York City at the largest climate march in history, the People’s Climate March.

Brought together by the unifying issue of climate change, people and organizations from all backgrounds took part in a collective effort to bring climate issues to forefront and put pressure on the world leaders taking part in the 2014 Climate Summit.

Who Took Part?
  • Individuals of all ages
  • Families
  • Environmental justice groups
  • Superstorm Sandy survivors
  • Unionists
  • Farmers
  • Social justice groups
  • Scientists
  • Faith based groups
  • Socially responsible corporations
  • And many more

Why Do So Many People Care?
  • Storms, floods, droughts and shifting weather patterns are costing lives, and dramatically reducing access to water and food
  • More than 650 million people have already been affected by climate change
  • Since 2009, climate-related disasters have cost the world nearly half a trillion dollars
  • The high cost of climate change only increases with every passing year

The strength of this movement has shown the world that climate change can no longer be pushed the back burner and has inspired countless other climate marches around the world.

For more on the People’s Climate March check out NPR’s Science Friday coverage. Also, check out a trailer for a recent documentary diving into the climate change movement:

Learn more about climate change and discover easy ways that you can help.

7 of World's Biggest Brands Take Action

Mars, Mondelez, Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Co, Nestle, General Mills and Kellogg are seven of the world’s ten largest food and beverage companies, and through your consumer muscle and the power of Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign, each of these companies have stepped up to tackle gender equality, worker’s rights, land policy or climate issues. You’ve taken action by joining the Behind the Brands movement, sent in your pictures highlighting your support, expressed your concern through social media, made phone calls and visited the local corporate offices of these giants. Through your continued support, this campaign has become a tour de force and together we’ll continue to keep the pressure on.

Let’s take a look back at some of our huge wins so far:
  •  Mondelez, the biggest chocolate maker in the world, agrees to take action to address and be accountable for inequality issues facing women cocoa farmers in their supply chains >> Learn More
  • Mars, makers of chocolate favorites including Snickers and M&Ms, agrees to take action to address and be accountable for inequality issues facing women cocoa farmers in their supply chains >> Learn More
  • Nestle, the world’s largest food and beverage company, becomes the first global brand to declare a zero tolerance policy to land grabs and as the maker of chocolates including Kit Kats, agrees to take action to address and be accountable for inequality issues facing women cocoa farmers in their supply chains >> Learn More
  • Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most recognized global brands, commits to a zero tolerance land grab policy in its supply chain >> Learn More
  • Pepsi-Co, the world’s second largest food and beverage company, commits to a zero tolerance land grab policy in its supply chain >> Learn More
  • General Mills, once ranked last on the Behind the Brands Scorecard for climate impact, commits to cut greenhouse gas emissions from its operations and agricultural supply chains >> Learn More
  • Kellogg agrees to help small scale farmers adapt and advocate across the private sector and government, and also commits to cut greenhouse gas emissions from its operations and agricultural supply chains >> Learn More

Stayed tuned for more opportunities to take part in Behind the Brands campaign actions and keep an eye on the Behind the Brands Scorecard to track the progress of some of the world’s largest brands in critical impact areas including women, climate, water, land, farmers, workers and transparency.

If you haven’t yet joined the Behind the Brands movement, help us reach our target of 750,000 by joining today!

We'd love to have you on board with us!

Hello Oxfam SF/Bay Area friends,

Thank you for your continuous moral support and volunteering efforts! As our group is expanding month by month, we'd love to have you on board with us-- in the SF Oxfam Action Corp Leadership Board!

If you'd like to be further integrated into our OXFAMily network in the Bay Area, and believe Oxfam can leverage your skills and strengths to help us get to the next step, send us a quick interest email at:

We would love to continue this chat with you individually and explore various initiatives and tasks we have at hand together. Please see our open role descriptions below.


Janet & Nadine

1) Local Agriculture Liaison + Hunger Banquet Manager

Leading outreach efforts at local farmer's markets. Building relationships and alliances with local food producers. Maintaining OAC presence at Bay Area farmer's markets. Will also assist lead organizers with the Hunger Banquet (with operations/booking/gathering volunteers), one of our biggest events of the year, in November. This is a role with great visibility, as we are hoping to gain more media attention through the Hunger Banquet. 

2) Lead Graphic Designer

Will partner with lead organizers, social media specialist and lead blogger to create original, engaging and creative branding graphics for use in OAC communications efforts. Graphics may include online banners, promotional graphics, infographics, flyers and handouts. 

3) Political Advisor

Partnering with the lead organizers to create strategy and messaging for political outreach to local elected official and government organizations. Securing lobby visits and recruiting political constituents to attend lobby visits with elected officials and/or partisan policy groups. Building relationships with local elected leaders or their staff. Added bonus if the member has a flexible work schedule to conduct lobby visits during the weekdays!

4) Strategic Partnership Liaison

Partnering with the lead organizers to build relationships with and partnership opportunities with local organizations working on issues relevant to Oxfam America's current campaigns. Must research and filter all potential partners prior to any relationship building to avoid controversial alliances. This can be broken out into non-profit partnership and for-profit partnership!

5) PR/Editor In Chief

Will be responsible for brainstorming monthly blog and newsletter content with the lead organizers. Will spearhead some of the writing initiatives and can assist with social media upkeep (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook). Fun, energetic, and a great Oxfam America promoter who is passionate about sharing our campaigns and initiatives online and offline! 

6) Chief of Volunteer Happiness

Do you love setting up social events and fostering a great culture within organizations? Do you have a knack for being a social butterfly in the room, a talent for hospitality in making everyone feel invited and at ease? This role is intended to have someone closely monitor our current and future members' happiness and to manage social events/plan various city outings aside from our monthly recap meetings. 

#Winning- Our big victory with Kellogg

As part of our GROW Campaign, Oxfam America has been urging Kellogg and General Mills to cut down on their greenhouse gas emissions and their significant contributions to Climate Change. 

We are so happy to report that since we've started this campaign back in May, General Mills and Kellogg have both responded positively and made important commitments toward looking into their supply chains and to help stop Climate Change. 

A huge thank you to consumers like you, and for your support in signing and gathering petition signatures for the last couple months! We were able to garner hundreds of supporters' signatures just within SF/Bay Area through various concert outreach activities ranging from Broken Bells, OK GO, to Outside Lands Music Festivals. 
Our second victory with Kellogg, August 12th

In late July, General Mills committed to setting targets to reduce emissions, participate in real climate advocacy, and become a true climate leader. On August 12, Kellogg followed suit and became the second global food giant in one month to commit to bold new steps to fight climate change and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. 

General Mills has pledged to: 

  1. “Know and show” by disclosing their emissions as well as their suppliers of sugar cane and palm oil.
  2. Set emissions reductions targets by 2015 and put in place stronger safeguards against deforestation.
  3. Advocate by taking a leadership role in addressing climate change with businesses and governments.

While Kellogg specifies that, for the first time, the company will set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to agricultural production. It will also join a leading coalition of businesses committed to working with lawmakers to pass meaningful climate and energy legislation. 

The companies' full commitments can be viewed through the links below:

Ok Go!- July Concert Outreach

On July 16th, Oxfam Action Co-Lead Organizers, Janet and Nadine, led the OK GO concert outreach at The Independent venue in San Francisco.
With Ok Go after the dress rehearsal 

It was a great experience speaking to various OK GO fans regarding the band's support for Oxfam America, and to also educate them about Oxfam's GROW campaign. For this particular concert, we focused on speaking to the fans about Oxfam's latest initiative to urge Kellogg to make commitments towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and their contributions to Climate Change.

At the end of the night we were able to gather multiple pages of our supporters' signatures and it was great to see the fun performance!

Promoting their latest album, Hungry Ghosts, on their 2014 tour

A night filled with fun confetti and enthusiastic fans
Oxfam Volunteers Build Community in a Population of 7.4 Million

The San Francisco Bay Area has quite the reputation; one of flowering natural vistas, pronounced diversity, technology driven innovation and social activism, but advocating for hunger, poverty and social justice inequality is no easy task even within an activism incubator like the Bay Area. Bearing this in mind, how does one build relevance and elevate above the clutter of bustling lifestyles and boundless priorities to become a force for change in the Bay Area's local advocacy landscape?

For Oxfam America's California based grassroots arm, the Bay Area Oxfam Action Corps (OAC), the answer lies in community building and a microscopic focus on relationships to connect advocates, volunteers, local leaders and politicians alike in an area with a population of 7.4 million.

As OAC volunteers, we worked to make community building center stage and create relationships based on the shared vision of a world without hunger and poverty by prioritizing one-on-one communication, managing diverse and engaging local events and creating fun, social atmospheres.

We help foster an active passion for social justice advocacy within members of the Bay Area Oxfam community by establishing partnerships with leading nonprofits, opening dialogue with local elected officials and of course encouraging our communities to flex their outreach muscles.

Effecting these tiny moments of connection create countless memories and allow us to master the dynamic relationship and community building skills invaluable to any career path and essential to promoting social awareness anyplace whether San Francisco or Indianapolis.

In Case You Missed It

USA defeats Ghana in World Cup match, but can Ghana defeat the ‘Resource Curse’?

Like so many of you, I cheered at home earlier this week as the USA’s Clint Dempsey scored the quickest goal of the World Cup so far, seconds after kick-off, and later as John Brooks put the US ahead of Ghana with an 86th-minute goal. The 2-1 victory over Ghana in the first round was significant, since the USA was eliminated by Ghana in the past two World Cups.

But the game also made me think about a much more important issue for Ghana than emerging from the so-called Group of Death: avoiding the “resource curse” that has plagued too many African nations.

Ghana is Africa’s second largest gold producer. But Ghana, which traders named the Gold Coast due to its mineral wealth, hasn’t seen its hopes for the gold trade realized. Mining hasn’t transformed the country’s economy or addressed poverty. In fact, most of the gold money leaves the country, and the industry has seen human rights violations, pollution, land grabs, and conflict between security forces working for the mining companies and the local communities. Ghana is struggling to properly regulate the industry, and many people turn to illegal mining to support themselves – often at a terrible health and safety risk as they use toxic mercury in the process. Despite their mineral wealth, a quarter of Ghanaian citizens live in poverty.

Oxfam America has been working with our partners in Ghana for years on extractive industry issues – making sure natural resources benefit Ghanaians, and they have the right to decide how these resources are developed. Ghana has taken big steps to try to avoid the “Nigerian model” and push the government to put strong transparency protections in place. The government has made a strong commitment to transparency and good management of these resources by passing a Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) in 2011 designed to make sure that payments between companies and the government are transparent. 

To help, visit our natural resources rights page, or tell the SEC to protect transparency. You can also watch the documentary Big Men, which follows Ghana’s oil discovery and the debate over how to develop the reserves. 

While the World Cup is an exciting time for countries around the world, Ghana’s most important match right now isn’t in Brazil, but back home fighting poverty and corruption. If the oil wealth isn’t managed properly, it could fail to address the poverty or even make it worse. The question is whether this revenue will go to support sustainable and inclusive development.

To read more: 

Fighting Climate Change through Corporations

If General Mills and Kellogg are serious about their commitment to addressing climate change, they will come clean about their position on the President’s Climate Action plan and exactly what they are doing about it. They can start by publicly supporting the EPA’s new rule, disassociating themselves from the backwards lobbying by the US Chamber, and signing on to Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy’s (BICEP) Climate Declaration.

To read more:

Farmers from different hemispheres come together to face the same changing climate.

Virginia lives in a region that relies on water flowing from rivers emerging from glacier and snow melt. Living and growing at an altitude of 13,500 feet, these indigenous farmers have relied for centuries on the Pastoruri glaciers, and a progression of seasons that alternated between rainy and dry, warmth and cold. The changing seasons have not been kind to Virginia’s potato and vegetable production and Virginia said that since climate change is taking effect, “there is little water, little rain, and spring water is scarce. In the area, there are places where there is no water.”  If the Pastoruri glacier continues to disappear and the weather continues to become more extreme, there will be limits to the community’s ability to adapt. That is why Virginia came to ask food companies and people in the US to do their part to fight climate change and decrease greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate this growing disaster.

To read more: 

Combating poverty

Starting June 11th, Oxfam launched an interactive series of maps on the working poor and a new report that illustrates how raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 would give 25 million workers across the US a much-needed raise. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which works out to $15,080 per year for a full-time worker. That’s almost $4,000under the poverty line for a family of three.

Although the US is a wealthy country, tens of millions of workers today earn wages so low that they and their families are either poor or “near poor.” Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would benefit more than 25 million workers, one-fifth of the nation’s workforce, as well as the family members who depend on their earnings.

To read more: