2016 World Social Forum: Another World Is Needed, Together It’s Possible!

fsm logo enWhyHunger is excited to be participating in the upcoming World Social Forum (WSF) in Montreal, where tens of thousands of people from groups in civil society, organizations and social movements will gather to strategize for global social justice. Since it began in 2001, the WSF has been one of the most important convergences in the world for people who want to build a sustainable and inclusive world, where every person and every people has its place and can make its voice heard. This year marks the first time the WSF will take place in North America, and WhyHunger is playing a large role in the Forum, organizing two workshops and bringing together many alliances and networks from across many sectors.

The organizers of the World Social Forum say “Another world is needed. Together, it is possible!” In that spirit, WhyHunger is bringing together many different international and national social movements and alliances to solve problems in the US. We are organizing two roundtables, one focused on the Human Right to Food in the US and the other focused on People’s Agrarian Reform.

 WhyHunger WSF2016 Roundtables Invite

The Human Right to Food in the US – Roundtable

It is important to understand hunger as a violation of human rights, because the data shows that people are hungry because the current food regime is focused on making profits, not feeding people. Year after year, the United States overproduces staple grains, yet according to the US Department of Agriculture, over 14% of the households in the US are food insecure. Feeding America – a network of food banks and pantries – estimates that there are currently 48 million people who are food insecure in this country.

The fact that human rights to food is re-emerging in the debate around hunger is a reflection of the fact that families in the Global North are still suffering after the neo-liberal policies and fiscal austerity that followed the 2008 financial crisis. In order to end hunger, we need to protect the human rights of the families facing hunger, which means developing the leadership of farmworkers, farmers, and vulnerable families and learning how to build a national alliance around the Right to Food framework in the US.

This panel will highlight the perspectives of farmworkers, farmers and scholars around the issue of food as a human right in the US. Speakers from Via Campesina – North America, Closing the Hunger Gap, allies, scholars and more will address the opportunities and challenges on how to build a nationwide alliance around the Right to Food framework in the country.

Will you be in Montreal? Join us at the roundtable!
The  Right to Food in the United States
Date/time:  August 11th, 2016; 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Venue: Université du Québec à Montréal – Pavillon SB (Local SB-M220)
141, avenue du Président-Kennedy. Montréal, QC, Canada

People’s Agrarian Reform: What does it mean for North America? – Roundtable

The international peasant movement La Via Campesina organized the International Conference on Agrarian Reform last April, where they brought 130 representatives from 28 countries together to talk about the need for agrarian reform that not only redistributes land to farmers, but ensures that all of society has a healthy and just food system. Via Campesina asks:

“Now we ask, which is better? Do we want a countryside without peasants, trees or biodiversity? Do we want a countryside full of monocultures and feedlots, agrochemicals and GMOs, producing exports and junk food, causing climate change and undermining the adaptive capacity of communities? Do we want pollution, illness, and massive migration to cities? Or do we want a countryside made up of the food producing territories of peasants, indigenous peoples, family farmers, artisanal fisherfolk, and other rural peoples, based on human dignity and diverse knowledges and cosmovisions, with trees, biodiversity, and the agroecological production of healthy food, which cool the planet, produce food sovereignty and take care of Mother Earth?”

We are planning to bring together allies from La Via Campesina, the US Food Sovereignty Alliance, the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, and the National Black Food and Justice Alliance to learn about the meaning of People’s Agrarian Reform in the context of the global struggle for food sovereignty and climate justice and discuss the challenges and opportunities raised in the International Conference. The speakers will also reflect on how this framework can contribute to the building of a broader alliance between different sectors in the North American context.

Will you be in Montreal? Join us at the roundtable!

People’s Agrarian Reform: What does it mean for North America?
Date/time:  August 12th, 2016; 9:00 – 11:30
Venue: Université du Québec à Montréal – Pavillon SB (Local SB-M220)
141, avenue du Président-Kennedy. Montréal, QC, Canada

The WSF is going to be a great opportunity for us to build new relationships and strategize with partners and allies from around the world about critical issues that affect us all. In August we’ll share learnings, pictures, stories and actions with you about our WSF takeaways, so stay tuned! 

Have questions, want to connect at the WSF? Email [email protected] 

Tristan Quinn-Thibodeau and Calondra McArthur