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For Immediate Release

Contact

Adam Mason, State Policy Organizing Director

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

(515) 282-0484, adam@iowacci.org

Lisa Griffith, National Family Farm Coalition

US Food Sovereignty Alliance

(773) 319-5838, lisa@nffc.net

Press Release

Food Sovereignty Prize to be Awarded October 15th at Iowa State Historical Building

Grassroots Movements from the Frontlines of Hunger and Poverty to Receive the 6th Annual Food Sovereignty Prize in Des Moines
DES MOINES, Iowa -

Two organizations will receive the 2014 Food Sovereignty Prize – the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) of Palestine and Community to Community Development (C2C) of Bellingham, WA, U.S.A. – at a ceremony on Wednesday, October 15th at 7 pm CT at the Iowa State Historical Building.

UAWC and C2C are organizations and movements from communities whose human rights to food, land and life are in constant violation – farming and fishing families in Palestine’s occupied West Bank and Gaza and indigenous Mexican immigrant farm worker communities in Washington State. They are being honored for their work to reclaim their human right to food, because the solutions to hunger are political and because the people who are on the frontlines of hunger need to be the leading voices at the forefront of change.

Mr. Ali Abd ElRahman, a Palestinian humanitarian aid expert and the Chair of UAWC’s Board of directors, will speak about his organization’s work and the struggle of Palestinians to achieve their rights to food. Rosalinda Guillen, the Director of C2C, and Patricio Martinez, a farmworker and member of Familias Unidas por la Justicia (Families United for Justice), a new farmworker union in Washington state, will speak about their work and the issues facing migrant workers in Washington and the United States more broadly.

The Food Sovereignty Prize Ceremony will also feature George Naylor, an Iowa corn and soybean farmer and former President of the National Family Farm Coalition, which is a member of La Via Campesina. He and Yeshica Weerasekera, the Regional Director for Africa at the International Development Exchange, based in California, will be the Masters of Ceremony.

A keynote statement and presentation will be made by Mary Hanson Harrison of Des Moines, President of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom US, along with John Peck, PhD and the Executive Director of the Family Farm Defenders and member of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance, who is based in Madison, WI. The Ceremony will also feature cultural dances and songs by Gateway Dance Theatre, and African farm leaders from Kenya and South Africa will be joining the Celebration and meeting with farmers in Iowa during the week.

Members of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance will also present a special memorial to Charity Hicks and John Kinsman, two leaders in the struggle for food sovereignty, food justice, and human rights in the US who passed away this year and joined our ancestors. Charity and John were inspirations to everyone who met them, and their memories continue to inspire and strengthen those they touched.

The Food Sovereignty Prize Ceremony will be livestreamed all over the world at www.foodsovereigntyprize.org/live.

The US Food Sovereignty Alliance represents a network of food producers and labor, environmental, faith-based, social justice and anti-hunger advocacy organizations. Additional supporters of the 2014 Food Sovereignty Prize include Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – Des Moines, Occupy the World Food Prize, and the Small Planet Fund, along with media sponsor EcoWatch.

Visit www.foodsovereigntyprize.org to register for the Ceremony. Also, visit the Food Sovereignty Prize on Facebook (facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyPrize) and join the conversation on Twitter (#foodsovprize).

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