After a hiatus last year, the JavaJog will be coming back at the SCA Expo this April—but you can start donating and raising money right now!
BY ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
The time is now to start fundraising for the annual JavaJog, a 5K run/10K walk or run taking place at the SCA Expo in Seattle on April 21. Every year, runners from all corners of the coffee world come together to raise money and awareness for women in different coffee-producing regions. This year, JavaJog looks to expand its reach and help women globally.
The JavaJog started in 2013 during the then-SCAA Expo in Boston. The inaugural run brought together 15 runners who “braved biting winds to run 5K and raise $7,500 for women farmers in the Eastern Congo who suffer unbearable violence, yet remain full of inspiration,” according to the JavaJog website. Since the first race, JavaJog has raised over $65,000 for women in coffee-producing countries, and hopes to beat their prior fundraising efforts this year.
After taking a hiatus during Expo in Atlanta in 2016, the founders of the JavaJog are looking to make an impact with the next two runs. “By focusing our efforts on making the 2017 and 2018 runs in Seattle bigger and better, we are confident that our mission to connect women to the coffee community and funnel resources to projects that enable them to improve their position, their well-being and that of their families, farms, communities and organizations, will be met,” said Kimberly Easson of the Coffee Quality Institute.
JavaJog was founded by Kimberly, along with Beth Ann Caspersen of Equal Exchange and Aimee Russillo, as a way to bring light to the issues that women in coffee-producing countries face. As their website points out, “In most coffee-producing communities, women do much of the work, yet it is predominantly men who have access to the land and resources and who are targeted for training investments.” The JavaJog hopes to empower women and invest in training and resources that usually end up going to men. “The global coffee industry can no longer afford to let these significant capabilities go to waste as we try to resolve the monumental global challenges that threaten to disrupt the supply of quality coffee upon which our businesses thrive. Engaging the full capabilities of women and men in coffee producing communities and throughout the value chain will be what assures a sustainable coffee future,” the website reads.
You don’t have to be a running guru to participate in the event. “I feel that everyone can get involved either by spreading the word or helping to raise money (by donating or running and raising funds),” shares Elizabeth Goldblatt, owner of Six Degrees Coffee in Chico, Calif. “The underlying premise is that we have to support women at origin. This fundraiser is a great way to do so.” Elizabeth is passionate about participating and collecting pledges, and shares the impact of donating through a letter she’s drafted to share with potential donors. “According to Grounds for Health, a previous recipient of some of JavaJog’s funds and an organization that delivers life-saving healthcare to women in coffee-growing regions, less than $5.00 can afford a screening for cervical cancer,” she shares in her letter.
So far, Elizabeth has raised over $800 in pledges, and you can contribute to her and other runners’ campaigns. The JavaJog is also accepting sponsorships from companies small and large (sponsors for the 2017 run include Baratza and Equal Exchange). You can find out more about past runs and the history of the JavaJog on their website.