Letting Leaders Know that Rice is a RIGHT

We’re still savoring the success of AJWS’s first benefit event for Global Circle—a new program for young professionals committed to global justice—that took place in New York City about two weeks ago. The room was bursting with the energy of more than 350 people gathered together to support AJWS’s work in the fight against hunger. Amidst the buzz, the schmoozing, the drinking, eating and learning, Global Circle guests packed more than 100 bags of rice with an accompanying note to send to Ambassador Ronald Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative.

The message was loud and clear:

“Food is a human right and cannot be treated like just another commodity. During the upcoming World Trade Organization Ministerial, please ensure that U.S. trade negotiators support the right of developing countries to safeguard food staples such as rice, maize and wheat.”

AJWS’s advocacy team delivered the bags of rice to Ambassador Kirk’s office last Wednesday with the support of fourteen faith groups. “This is a moral issue, not a political one: Trade rules should not hinder the ability of developing nations to provide food for their people,” said AJWS president Ruth Messinger. “A safeguard mechanism is needed so that vulnerable populations do not find themselves at the mercy of the volatile market forces that caused the 2008 food crisis.” Check out the press release to learn more.