Membership Criteria, Expectations, and Benefits
We welcome grassroots, community-based, faith-based and non-profit organizations with leadership of women, youth, people of color, workers, farmers, indigenous peoples, immigrants, queer folks, people with dis/alter-abilities, trans people, and gender-nonconforming people. Membership shall be made up of groups who endorse the Mission, Vision and Operating Principles and organizations which strive to involve the above constituencies in all aspects of community and organizational work: planning, decision-making, implementation and evaluation. Organizations may choose to join as either general or core members, based on their capacity to fulfill responsibilities below.
General Member Responsibilities:
• Uphold and support the mission, vision, and operating principles of the Alliance
• Be involved in food sovereignty work and/or work that intersects with the food sovereignty/food justice movement (e.g. health care reform, labor rights, economic justice, immigrant rights, trade justice, climate justice, water privatization, anti-poverty, anti-oppression, etc.)
• Dedicate time, resources, and effort toward ending racism and other forms of exclusion and oppression evidenced in the food system and perpetuated in our own organizations.
• Inform other members about your work and stay informed about the work of other members
• Take action to support the work of the Alliance and its member groups (e.g., commit to solidarity actions with other member organizations, widely publicize your membership and activities in the Alliance, contribute member/staff time and funds, etc.)
Additional Responsibilities for Core Members:
• Dedicate time and resources toward common ground strategies and campaigns of the Alliance.
• Serve on at least one work team of the Alliance – Grassroots Power and Movement Building, Corporate Control and Policy, Media/Messaging, Fundraising (forming), Building Local Food Economies (forming), etc.
• Commit to take part in racial justice/anti-racism trainings and to actively work to apply anti-racist principles to the work of the Alliance (internally and externally).
• Agree to undertake actions in solidarity with other member groups, that are not within the usual themes, agenda or actions for your organization, at least 3 times each year.
General Member Benefits:
• Be connected to the U.S. and international food sovereignty movements.
• Learn from the experience and knowledge of others in the Alliance.
• Receive recognition and/or support for your food sovereignty-related work from the Alliance and other members.
• For new groups trying to start up local food sovereignty efforts, you will receive referrals to resources to help you to develop your work.
• Access to information and educational opportunities on ending racism and addressing injustice in the food system.
• Broaden the audience for your work.
Additional Benefits for Core Members:
• The right to vote for Coordinating Committee members.
• Opportunity to serve on the Coordinating Committee.
• Participate in decision-making for committees and the overall goals and work of the Alliance.
• Gain broader attention and support for your food sovereignty-related work through promotion to the public by the Alliance (via Alliance website, emails, public events).
• For core member groups aiming to strengthen local food sovereignty efforts, you will receive help and mentoring from more established Alliance members.
If you are an individual interested in getting involved, we encourage you to join an organization that is a member of the Alliance. Please contact us for a list of member organizations.
If you are an organization, network, or alliance interested in working with the US Food Sovereignty Alliance on campaigns and projects but cannot join as a member, you may apply to join as an Affiliate, allowing you to participate in a committee, but not have a vote. Affiliates are determined by the Coordinating Committee.
Process to Apply for Membership
1. Organizations fill out an application for membership (see below), either for Core or General Membership, indicating that they meet the membership criteria, provide information about their organization and indicate that a decision-making body of their organization has made an affirmative decision to join USFSA.
2. The USFSA Coordinating Committee is empowered to approve applications for membership and may nominate new members.
To Apply for Membership, fill out our application here or download a pdf here. Para nuestro Documento de Fundación en Espanol, haga clic aqui; y para nuestro Formulario de Solicitud para Membresía, hago clic aqui.
Structure and Decision Making
The US Food Sovereignty Alliance membership decides the overall political vision and strategies of the Alliance, and carries out the work of the Alliance through committees, ad hoc working groups, and a Coordinating Committee. The Coordinating Committee includes one representative from each of the committees and makes administrative and program decisions during the course of the year.
Additionally, the Coordinating Committee seeks to have balanced representation that is inclusive of all regions and the experiences of those most impacted by the problems and conditions of the predominant agrifood system. All committees, including the Coordinating Committee, hold regular monthly calls and ideally a minimum of one face-to-face meeting per year. The work agenda for the Alliance is set by the membership during an annual assembly. Additional opportunities for the fullest degree of participation and improved communication will be explored.
All decisions made in the committees and by the membership are made by consensus. In the event that full consensus is unable to be reached, decision will be made by voting.
Through food sovereignty, the Earth can feed all living things.