International Conference 2012 May 18 – 19
GMO Awareness Week May 14 – 20
San Francisco, California
Biosafety Alliance is pleased to announce the 2012 Justice Begins with Seeds International Conference.
This year there will be exciting presentations, by some of the more experienced activists, researchers, farmers, indigenous and entrepreneurs from California, Kenya, South Africa, Mexico and other places around the world.
THIS YEAR’S SPEAKERS INCLUDE:
Winoana LaDuke is a Native American activist, environmentalist, economist, and writer. In 1996 and 2000, she ran for vice president as the nominee of the United States Green Party, on a ticket headed by Ralph Nader. In the 2004 election, however, she endorsed the Democratic candidate John Kerry. In the 2008 presidential election, LaDuke endorsed the Democrat Barack Obama. She is currently the executive director of both Honor the Earth and White Earth Land Recovery Project, which she founded.
Plenary Speaker Anuradha Mittal: Oakland Institute
Anuradha Mittal, founder and executive director of the Oakland Institute, is an internationally renowned expert on trade, development, human rights and agriculture issues. Recipient of several awards, Anuradha Mittal was named as the Most Valuable Thinker in 2008 by the Nation magazine.
Mittal has authored and edited numerous books and reports including (Mis)Investment in Agriculture: The Role of the International Finance Corporation in the Global Land Grab; The Great Land Grab: Rush for World’s Farmland Threatens Food Security for the Poor; Voices from Africa: African Farmers and Environmentalists Speak out Against a New Green Revolution; 2008 Food Price Crisis: Rethinking Food Security Policies; Going Gray in the Golden State: The Reality of Poverty Among Seniors in Oakland, California; Turning the Tide: Challenging the Right on Campus; Sahel: A Prisoner of Starvation; America Needs Human Rights; and The Future in the Balance: Essays on Globalization and Resistance. Her articles and opinion pieces have been published in widely circulated newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Bangkok Post, Houston Chronicle, and the Nation. Anuradha has addressed the Congress, the United Nations, given several hundred keynote addresses including invitational events from governments and universities, and has been interviewed on CNN, BBC World, CBC, ABC, Al-Jazeera, National Public Radio and Voice of America.
Mariama Sonko: Association of Young Farmers of Casamance, Senegal
Mrs. Mariama Sonko is from the indigenous Diola people living in the Casamance, southern Senegal, a rice growing area. She is an active farmer who is passionate about traditional knowledge, women’s farming and seed saving. She is a member and treasurer of the Association for Young Farmers of Casamance (AJAC), with some 6,000 members. She is also president of the National Association of Women Rice Farmers and president of her village women’s group. She is actively involved in the regional campaign ‘We Are the Solution, Celebrating Family Farming in Africa’, and recently participated in the citizen farmer dialogue with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in Ghana, where she was recognized as an outstanding contributor speaking on issues of food sovereignty.
Founded in 1984, AJAC-Lukaal has been led by and served peasant/indigenous farmers in the Casamance for over twenty years. It contributes to lasting peace by assisting local communities to carry out economic, social and cultural activities that improve the living conditions of those affected by years of civil conflict. AJAC promotes family-based, sustainable agriculture for a healthy and balanced environment, provides agricultural and technical assistance, and helps channel funding from international donors. It has a growing membership (70% of whom are made up of women), who have organized themselves into 33 rural women’s groups and 4 mixed gender groups. It is actively engaged in issues of food sovereignty, agro-ecology and climate change.
Phrang Roy: Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty. India
Phrang Roy, born and raised in the Khasi matrilineal hill tribe of Meghalaya in India, is an internationally renowned expert on rural development, gender and indigenous peoples. He previously held positions as Assistant President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the highest ranking held by an indigenous person within the UN system, and as a Global Program Officer for the Christensen Fund. Mr. Roy is currently serving as Coordinator for The Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty, collaboration between people’s organizations throughout the world and global organizations dedicated to food and agriculture. In his home state in India, Phrang continues to work actively chairing efforts to create greater political transparency and control of public governance, the Meghalaya Water Foundation and the North East Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society of India.
Adelita San Vicente: Sin Maiz no hay Pais, Mexico
Mpatheleni Makaulule: VhaVenda Nation, South Africa
Gathuru Mburu: African Food Sovereignty Alliance, Kenya
Lilián Amarilis Guamuch: AFEDES, Guatemala
Lilián Amarilis Guamuch
Is a single mother, community organizer and indigenous Mayan Kakchiquel leader of AFEDES: Women’s Association for the Development of Sacatepéquez. Formed in 1993, AFEDES is comprised of 31 indigenous women’s groups in the Sacatepéquez province promoting political participation, social empowerment and food justice for indigenous women. Born and raised in El Pachali village near Santiago Sacatepequez in Guatemala, Amarilis started at AFEDES as a Program Coordinator, and now leads the organization as its dynamic Executive Director. Amarilis led AFEDES’ transition from working purely on economic development to incorporating an integrated rights-based framework to develop a School for Political Education that builds indigenous women’s leadership, and integrates sustainableagriculture, traditional knowledge of weaving, economic solidarity and psycho-social care for women survivors of domestic and community violence. Amarilis has also participated in several civil society spaces created during the Guatemalan Peace Accords of 1996. Amarilis is an active member of the national women’s movement that successfully helped pass the historical Anti-Femicide Law in 2008, a monumental piece of legislation, which formally penalizes gender-based violence. She has also served as a member of the monitoringteam in the Consciousness Tribunal on Sex Violence during the civil war.
Ann Lopez: Author and activist
Tezozomoc: South Central Farm
Ronnie Cummins: Organic Consumer Association
Jeff Conant: Global Justice Ecology Project
Luis Magaña: Organizacion de Trabajadores Agricolas de California
David Murphy: Food Democracy Now
Robin Carpenter: Journalist and Ahutor
Pamm Larry: Label GMO’s
Armando Nieto: California Food & Justice Coalition
Sabrina Siegel: Northwest Food Sovereignty Coalition
Dana Harvey: Mandela Marketplace Cooperative
Maria Catalan: Catalan Farms
Esperanza Pallana: EBUAA
Barb Finnin: City Slicker Farms
Doria Robinson: Urban Tilth
Caryl Levine: Lotus Foods co-founder
Antonio Roman-Alcala: SFUAA
This event has been planned as a platform to present different perspectives and solutions related to food justice and sustainability, as well as to grow momentum and support for various food system related campaigns. We encourage you to be part of the GMO Awareness Week (May 14 – 20) by organizing a documentary film screening, a discussion, panel, or a cultural event in your community! If you are interested in organizing a workshop, panel or presentation, during the summit (May 18 – 19), see the tracks below and please contact:
This is a summit for the people by the people!
The purpose of the upcoming conference is to grow the food sovereignty movement by advancing learning and building coalitions between the GMO countermovement in the US, and other movements thriving to develop sustainable food systems, alleviate climate change through soil practices, defend the rights of indigenous communities, reduce social inequalities and encourage citizen democracy against corporatocracy.