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The Center for Economic Justice (CEJ)

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The Center for Economic Justice (CEJ) was born in June 1999 in response to requests from the Platform to Advocate Alternative Development in Haiti (PAPDA) and indigenous communities in Chiapas, Mexico. Both groups expressed the need for support from the U.S. to complement their efforts by (1) working for policy changes in institutions based in the global North; (2) improving coordination between global justice groups in the North and South, including better means for sharing information, strategies, and tactics; and (3) assisting global South organizations with access to resources, technology, policy debates, grassroots partners, and media opportunities in the global North. Since then, CEJ has initiated and coordinated a boycott of World Bank bonds, successfully using the strategy of the anti-apartheid movement to convince 20 labor unions, 12 religious groups, and 7 municipalities to commit not to buy World Bank bonds until specific anti-poor policies are ended. CEJ has helped catalyze a hemispheric collaboration, COMPA, that helps movements in the Americas become more effective in policy reform to guarantee food security, education, health care, water, land rights, and—in the case of indigenous peoples—sovereignty. In addition to building citizen awareness in the United States the CEJ also works to strengthen access for organizations from the global South via its Building Global South Power Project. Economic globalization disproportionately harms the poor of the global South who are least able to survive under the policies and practices of corporations, the World Trade Organization, the IMF, and the World Bank. The impact is particularly devastating for low-income women and their children, who are already burdened by poverty and lack of social rights. The same issues which cause these populations to be hardest hit by today's international economy—marginalization, lack of visibility, lack of resources, and lack of social voice—also often impede them from organizing and advocating effectively for their needs and rights. CEJ's Global South Power Project was launched to address the limited access, funding, and information that often render the voices of global South peoples unheard, and constrains their ability to make macro-level change.
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