25 years of activism for Human Rights

Global Exchange, founded by Medea Benjamin, Kevin Danaher and Kirsten Moller, has been a leader in human rights, social and economic justice, and environmental sustainability work since 1988. Over the last 25 years, we have won victories big and small on behalf of workers, small farmers, the environment and vulnerable communities around the world.

Global Exchange was founded with the aim of educating and organizing people at home while building people-to-people ties of solidarity with global allies. 
Global Exchange works in Brazil, launching our first Reality Tour to meet with civil society groups, including the landless workers movement (MST).
Global Exchange launches our No Blood for Oil campaign to end the war in Iraq, rallying millions to march for peace under banners that made the link between U.S. oil addiction and war. 
Global Exchange opens an office in South Africa, making it easier for us to build alliances with grassroots organizations working toward democracy. 
Global Exchange helps build a Fair Trade movement in the U.S., co-founding the National Fair Trade Federation. 
Global Exchange launches our Freedom to Travel Challenge, leading 175 courageous U.S. citizen diplomats to exercise their constitutional right to travel to embargoed Cuba. 
Global Exchange joins activists worldwide to oppose the unjust and oppressive policies of the World Bank and IMF, and co-founded 50 Years is Enough
Global Exchange starts our Mexico program to support democracy while challenging militarization, repression and impunity. 
Global Exchange re-brands Nike as “the sweatshop shoe company,” calling international attention to workers’ conditions. 
Global Exchange jumps into cyberspace, launching our website. 
Global Exchange’s San Francisco Fair Trade store moves out of a 300 sq. foot garage space, and into its own shop in Noe Valley—5 other physical stores follow. 
Global Exchange joins with social movements around the world to protest corporate globalization at the Seattle World Trade Organization ministerial meeting. 
Global Exchange launches our Fair Trade coffee campaign, successfully convincing both Starbucks and Proctor & Gamble to offer Fair Trade. 
Global Exchange hosts our first annual Human Rights Awards, honoring local hip-hop activist Michael Franti and Guatemalan human rights attorney Mynor Melgar. 
Global Exchange’s Medea Benjamin co-founds CODEPINK, a network of women dedicated to ending the war, and holds a 4-month vigil for peace outside the White House. 
Global Exchange celebrates with the workers of Saipan, winning the largest ever sweatshop class-action lawsuit settlement against 26 giant retailers, including The Gap. 
Global Exchange’s Fair Elections International brings distinguished election monitors from global democracies to observe and report on U.S. elections for the first time in history. 
Global Exchange brings Indigenous activist Elaine Alexie on speaking tour of the U.S., putting a human face on the “environmental issue” of climate change. 
Global Exchange launches our Raise The Bar, Hershey! campaign and files charges against chocolate manufacturers Nestlé, ADM and Cargill for human rights abuses. 
Global Exchange takes a stand for workers rights, bringing together Walmart critics from U.S. and Mexico for the first ever bi-national meeting to reform the company’s anti-labor practices. 
Global Exchange adds Seattle as a home for the Green Festival, introducing over 100,000 people to the thriving local and green economy. 
Global Exchange joins with communities around the world to demand Chevron—and the entire dirty oil industry—end its egregious exploitation of people and the planet for profit. 
Global Exchange partners with Not For Sale and sends a Reality Tour to Uganda to learn about the abduction of children forced to become “child soldiers”.
Global Exchange organizes the first-ever discussion of the Rights of Nature at the United Nations, and launches the book, “The Rights of Nature: The Case for a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth.” 
Global Exchange helps Mexican victims of the drug war speak truth to power on the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity, traveling through 29 U.S. cities, examining the drug war and gun violence on both sides of the border. 
Global Exchange’s Elect Democracy campaign takes on the hired hands that call the shots in DC: big money lobbyists. From challenging Super PAC millions to lobbyist billions, our work is going to be fun, tough, and more important than ever.