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Women's Earth Alliance - WEAvings the Newsletter
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A NOTE FROM THE DIRECTORS

Amira & MelindaDear Colleagues, Allies and Friends,

Welcome to the new version of our WEAvings Newsletter!

The summer months have offered us a moment to stop and smell the flowers. The bright green shoots of WEA's leaders are emerging strong in the world. Legal professionals within our Advocacy Network have partnered with Native American women leaders to offer support for key environmental justice campaigns; African women participating in the Global Women's Water Initiative have provided clean water to their communities through income-generating water projects; and a global team of women agriculture experts have designed the framework for a cross-cultural learning exchange in Northern India for the Fall. With a 3-year strategic plan and an expanded circle of partner organizations, advisors, and donors, we have a greater capacity than ever before to do the crucial work of coordinating training, technology and financial support for women and communities to thrive.

The exciting part is that economists, world leaders, and policy experts alike are beginning to recognize the central role of women to community health and economic stability. A recent New York Times article said "Only a small proportion of aid specifically targets women or girls, but increasingly donors are recognizing that that is where they often get the most bang for the buck." President Obama appointed a new White House Council on Women and Girls, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a recent interview "women and girls" are a "signature issue" of the administration's foreign policy. During her tour this month through Africa, Clinton stated, "Until women around the world are accorded their rights and afforded the opportunities of education, health care and gainful employment, global progress and prosperity will have its own glass ceiling."

We dedicate this Summer 2009 issue of WEAvings to all the women and their allies who have said "no" to degradation and injustice and "yes" to regeneration and hope. Below you will find a glimpse into the work of WEA in recent months including our new video, our upcoming events, and other ways to join us on this journey of collaborative, earth-based, and purpose-driven leadership.

With joy,
Follow usAmira & Melinda
Amira & Melinda, Directors
Women's Earth Alliance

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Initiative Highlights

WOMEN AND AGRICULTURE

Women and AgricultureCalling women leaders, visionaries, academics and practitioners in sustainable food and agriculture!

Join Women's Earth Alliance in India this Fall (October 20 to November 1) for a journey of learning, dialogue and building networks with women who are guiding the next global paradigm in sustainable agriculture.

Our India Women and Agriculture Delegation will be comprised of women with expertise in food security, sustainable agriculture, international development, business, micro-lending, permaculture, and philanthropy. The delegation will travel through the north of India to visit with grassroots women leaders who are co-designing solutions in the areas of sustainable agriculture, right livelihoods and food justice. Learn More...

FROM THE NEWS: Report highlights hunger in India "Studies worldwide show that the hungriest of people are its producers - the farmers".


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WOMEN AND WATER

Women and Water PicIt has been just over a year since our select group of African women leaders from 8 countries began their year-long participation in the 2008 African Women and Water Training (WEA's joint program with organizations A Single Drop, Crabgrass, and GROOTS Kenya). We are thrilled to report that our 2008 teams completed their work plans and received their seed grants. They are implementing water projects, launching micro-businesses, and passing along valuable knowledge to their communities. Already, thousands of people in communities across Africa have improved access to water.



Here are some stories from the field...

Women and Water PicIn Kitui, Kenya, 2008 participants Jennifer Mutinda and Priscah Mutia installed rainwater harvesting systems and water storage tanks in a school and health dispensary just in time for the rainy season. Their nearby school was able to provide daily access to more than 400 children and even plant mango trees on the school grounds. The tank at the health dispensary provides the local water committee with funds to purchase food for youth orphaned by HIV and AIDS.




Women and Water PicIn Uganda, the community organization UCOBAC, represented by training participants Solome Mukisa and Matilda Nabukonde, taught simple Rainwater Harvesting techniques to ten different compounds in their community. The communities worked together to build rainwater harvesting systems using a gutter from a hollowed out trunk of a banana tree. Each home now has a 200 liter storage tank for their household water use, saving women in the community long and arduous walks to fetch water. Solome and Matilda plan to expand their reach to schools, health facilities and nearby communities.

Watch a video clip from the Training in Nairobi. Visit the blog to hear more stories and see our participants in action! Stay tuned for information about the GWWI 2010 African Women and Water Training in West Africa.

FROM THE NEWS: A Forgotten Glass Ceiling: A Safe Drink of Water "...the economic, physical and health burden that women and girls must endure everyday of their lives to provide water for their families - this is the forgotten glass ceiling."


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WOMEN AND LAND

Women and LandWomen's Earth Alliance is proud to announce that development of the Sacred Earth Advocacy Network, a project of WEA's Women and Land Initiative, is now underway. Advocacy Director Caitlin Sislin, Esq., draws from her experience as an environmental attorney and a longtime student of the environmental justice movement in building this Advocacy Network. The Advocacy Network is based upon the learnings and successes of three years of work uniting advocates and activists in the Americas for dialogue and collaboration. This next iteration links pro bono advocates and advocates and indigenous women environmental justice activists for collaborative advocacy towards justice, health and sustainability. The Network provides expert "technical support" services in opposition to environmentally-unjust projects, and catalyzes systemic change through collaboration towards visionary environmental and human rights policy shifts. Learn more about the Advocacy Network.

FROM THE NEWS: Navajo Nation Pledges to Go Green "In April, the federal Environmental Protection Agency revoked an air permit for a massive coal-fired power plant on Navajo land that would have helped power cities in Arizona and Nevada."

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WEAving the Worlds Events

WEAving the World's Events PicWeaving the Worlds 3.0 Gala: Together we made history!

WEA's annual fundraiser, Weaving the Worlds 3.0: The Next Generation of Connectivity was an enormous success! On June 4th, an incredible community of 165 friends and supporters gathered at the Golden Gate Club in the Presidio of San Francisco, shared a delicious organic meal brought to us by Back to Earth Organic Catering, sipped on eco-friendly wine and cocktails courtesy of Big Basin Vineyards and VeeV, shook it to live African music from Dogon Lights, delighted in the presence of thought leaders like Paul Hawken, and left home with a special eco-gift from To-Go Ware. We are thrilled to report that we met and exceeded our fundraising goal! Together we ushered in a new level of support for the courageous, unstoppable work of women environmental leaders worldwide! View the photos and more.


WEAving the World's Events PicJoin us for "Coming up from the Roots", Weaving the Worlds Fall 2009 Event Series

3 Tuesday Evenings at the David Brower Center:
September 15, October 13, November 10

Featuring 3 of WEA's International Advisors:
Rosemary Enie, Wahleah Johns and Joanna Macy

Updates from WEA's 3 Initiatives by WEA's 3 Directors:
Melinda Kramer, Caitlin Sislin and Amira Diamond

Music and Food from the 3 regions where WEA works:
Sub-Saharan Africa, North America and India.

Learn more and buy tickets today!


WEAving the World's Events PicVirtual event with Wahleah Johns, September 29th

Please stay tuned for information about an upcoming call-in event with Wahleah Johns, Executive Director of the Black Mesa Water Coalition. Wahleah will describe BMWC's recent victory in the Navajo Nation Council, which approved an unprecedented Green Jobs bill. Wahleah will describe the powerful coalition-based effort leading up to the historic vote, and will share her vision for the future of green jobs and sustainable energy development in the Navajo Nation.

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WEA Updates

WEA UpdatesWEA's new intro video is here!
Thanks to Dirty Robber Productions, Gayatri Roshan, Global Oneness Project, and Julia Butterfly Hill. Watch it here.

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WEA Voices

WEA VoicesOfelia Rivas is Tohono O'odham, born and raised in Ali Jegk, Arizona and CuWi I-gersk, Sonora, Mexico. Ofelia serves as a Traditional Leader recognized by community elders. She is a core member of O'odham Solidarity Project, O'odham VOICE Against the WALL and O'odham Rights Cultural and Environmental Justice Coalition. "There is a word for our way of life: Himdag," says Ofelia. "Our way of life is based on the land and living in harmony with the land. All of this has been violated and there has been a tremendous imbalance even within our own people." Watch the Narrative here.

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Participate

ParticipateJoin the WEA Giving Circle: This group of incredible individuals is our roots, providing foundational support for the expansion of our work. Learn more about how to join the Giving Circle Community.

Contribute to a Seed Grant for a grassroots woman today! Help make it possible for her to launch an income-generating project that uplifts her entire community. When women thrive, communities thrive.

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