Category Archives: Race Updates

JavaJog for a Cause Takes Hiatus in 2018; Restructures for Event in 2019

Founders of JavaJog for a Cause, the fun run and fundraiser benefitting women in coffee growing communities around the world, have announced that the annual event will take a hiatus in 2018, but will return in 2019 at EXPO in Boston.

“Since our first event in 2013, JavaJog fun runs have raised nearly $100,000 for projects that benefit women in coffee farming communities around the world,” explains Kimberly Easson, who co-founded JavaJog with Beth Ann Caspersen and Aimee Russillo in 2013. “JavaJog has significantly grown  in size and impact since the first event in Boston in 2013. As it’s impact continues to make its mark throughout the world, it has become apparent that there is a need to take a year off to build the infrastructure to support the project’s goals, and to ensure all stakeholders receive maximum benefit from the fundraiser.”

JavaJog founders are gratified at the support shown by the global coffee community for JavaJog since the first run in Boston in 2013. The success of past events have counted on an outpouring of support from many sponsors, fundraisers, on-site volunteers, grant review committee volunteers, coffee providers, runners, walkers, press/media support and more.

“You are all the heart of JavaJog, and we are deeply indebted to you,” says Easson. Special mentions go out to JavaJog host Marcus Boni; top fundraisers Elizabeth Goldblatt, Boot Coffee, Baratza; and all of our sponsors (especially our platinum sponsors Westrock, Metad and Starbucks); star volunteers especially Laura Everage, Charlene Farmer and the Russillo family in Seattle; and the team from Run for Good Racing Company.


For more information, or to help with the planning of JavaJog 2019, email

Find details about the grant recipients and how they’ve used JavaJog funds at


Great Fun, Great Cause, Great T-Shirts ~ JavaJog’s T-shirts also for a Cause

JavaJog participants have spent weeks training and fundraising for coffee women in the Congo. Now, on race day, April 25th, the 150+ participants will proudly sport fair trade organic t-shirts from FairTri™.

Provided by Tri4Freedom, a group committed to raising awareness about the global extent of human exploitation and empowering survivors and marginalized communities by promoting social and environmental sustainability in sport. FairTri™ T-shirts, made by Freeset Global in India, a women-owned business that brings freedom to survivors of human trafficking.image002




The shirts are made by a group of women in India who have been given a chance to empower themselves in a life free from slavery. More than 27 million people are currently enslaved around the world.

JavaJog for a Cause brings together the coffee community for a fun and fitness event that benefits a great cause, raising funds to invest in community-based efforts to improve the quality of coffee and the lives of the people who produce it, with a particular focus on women. This year’s fundraising goal is $30,000, which will be invested in women’s coffee groups in Eastern Congo, South Lake Kivu region.

Sponsors for JavaJog 2014 include Westrock Coffee Company (Platinum Sponsor), Equal Exchange, Baratza, Schluter and Equator Coffees & Teas are providing Bronze Level support, and Roast Magazine is serving as the Media Sponsor. A number of product sponsors, including Theo Chocolate, and Kind Bars round out the current sponsorship lineup for JavaJog 2014.

To learn more about JavaJog for a Cause, visit; or to donate to runners/walkers, visit the JavaJog Crowdrise site.

To learn about FairTri’s mission to introduce triathletes to superior quality products that bring freedom to people around the world, including t-shirts and coffee, visit

We regret that given the overwhelming response to this year’s race, after April 1, we are no longer able to guarantee a t-shirt for every runner.  Great incentive for registering early for next year’s event!

JavaJog for a Cause Welcomes Sponsors for 2014 Run for Congo

JavaJog - In Globe2 - Green - NoJavaJog for a Cause organizers welcome 2014 sponsors for the second annual run/walk to benefit the coffee-farming women in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Westrock Coffee Company, which provides global export opportunities and purposeful employment to partners at origin, has signed on as Platinum Sponsor for the event. Equal Exchange, Baratza, Equator Coffees & Teas, and Schluter Coffee are providing Bronze Level support, and Roast Magazine is serving as the Media Sponsor. A number of product sponsors, including Theo Chocolate, round out the current sponsorship lineup for JavaJog 2014, which will be held April 25, 2014 starting in Seattle’s South Lake Union Park.

“We are grateful to all our sponsors for this year’s race,” says Kimberly Easson, co-founder of the event, which was launched in early 2013 by Easson, Beth Ann Caspersen, and Aimee Russillo as a way to bring together fun and fitness in the coffee community – all to benefit a great cause. “With their generous support, we are able to bring the race to Seattle, and help us reach our goal of $30,000. JavaJog is still welcoming additional sponsors and runners for the event,” she adds.

JavaJog’s ‘Founders Run’ was held in Boston, April 12, 2013. Fifteen runners participated, raising $7500, which was donated to the women’s committee of the Sopacdi farmer’s cooperative in South Kivu, DRC.

“The support from our sponsors – Westrock, Equal Exchange, Baratza, Equator Coffees & Teas, and Roast Magazine – will go a long way in helping us raise awareness and funds for the women in coffee farming communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” explains Easson.

We are excited to sponsor this year’s JavaJog.,” says Elizabeth McLaughlin of Westrock. “Like the organizers of JavaJog, we share a common goal of improving the lives of coffee farmers in Central and East Africa through the production of transparent, specialty coffee. We know financial independence is the most empowering thing a woman can have, and that can be achieved through coffee. Groups like JavaJog help create this independence.”

The goal for the Seattle 2014 JavaJog is to raise $30,000 for women in coffee farming communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. “While a much larger goal than last year, we wanted to set a goal that would allow us to raise more money for the cause,” explains Easson. “There are 8 farmer organizations in the region – Sopacdi is just one. And, by raising more money, we could help to link the groups together, and invest in activities across the region working together with local, community based organizations. There is no doubt that the need is great, and if we can strengthen our impact through sponsorships and a goal of 100 runners, $30,000 seemed like a realistic number. To date, we have more than 60 runners registered and raising money.”

For more information about our sponsors, visit Westrock Coffee Company, Equal Exchange, Baratza, Equator Coffees & Teas, Schluter Coffee and Roast Magazine websites.

To sign up for this year’s run, or to support the cause, visit the JavaJog Crowdrise site. To learn more about the cause, visit

For more information about the race, or sponsorship opportunities, please email




Celebrating International Women’s Day: Spotlight on Coffee Women in the Eastern DR Congo

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, March 8, we celebrate the triumph of spirit of women from around the world, especially those in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and realize that their fight for economic and social freedom continues.

In the past decade, violence, poverty and disease in the DemocratiImmaculeec Republic of Congo have claimed the lives of over 5 million men, women and children. Despite democratic elections and multiple peace agreements, the eastern region is still impacted by conflict—more than 1.3 million people are not able to return to their homes.

Through the tragedy, hope still shines in the coffee farming villages along Lake Kivu in the Eastern DR Congo.  Coffee trees are coming back to life — a reflection of the enduring force of nature and the indelible human spirit of those tending to them.

Yet the uncertainly and threat remains. Every day, the women in Eastern Congo face continued obstacles to their ongoing recovery, as it is one of the most violent and difficult places to be a woman. Whether they are a farmer of coffee or a staple crop, these women continually struggle to find the means to get by and to care for their families.

In an effort to support the recovery of these communities, the second annual JavaJog will be held April 25th in Seattle in conjunction with the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Annual Conference and Exhibition. JavaJog, which brings together the coffee community for a fun and fitness event that benefits a great cause, will raise funds to invest in community-based efforts to improve the quality of coffee and the lives of the people who produce it, with a particular focus on women.

On Friday, April 25th more than 100 coffee industry professionals will gather at South Lake Union Park in Seattle, WA for the second annual JavaJog 5K (and 10K).

The objective of JavaJog 2014 is to build a collaborative platform of companies and organizations working in the Eastern DR Congo to:

•            Put Congo Coffee, and the communities that produce it, on the map;

•            Elevate the profile of women in these communities; and to

•            Raise funds to invest in community-based efforts to improve quality of coffee and the lives of the people who produce it, with a particular focus on women.

Several coffee-community businesses have signed on to help raise awareness and money for the women in Eastern Congo, joining together with JavaJog in its efforts to reach this year’s goal of $30,000. Westrock Coffee based in North Little Rock, AR, has signed on as Platimum Sponsor of JavaJog 2014. Other sponsors include Equal Exchange, Baratza, and Roast Magazine.

In addition to company sponsors, each participant in JavaJog 2014 will raise money for the cause. Runners and walkers have set up fundraising campaigns on the JavaJog Crowdrise site, and are reaching out to their own networks to spread the word and garner support. Prizes will be awarded to the top fund-raisers.

Last April, at the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Annual Conference and Exhibition in Boston, fifteen runners raised $7,326 for the women’s committee at the Sopacdi cooperative in the Kivu region of Congo.

The women have invested the funds to make a difference in the lives of women not only from the coffee cooperative, but more broadly for women impacted by the ongoing violence.  Half of the funds were invested to implement specific income generating activities, including small portable mills and a boat engine to provide transport services to the community.  Profits from the project have been transferred to a microcredit and savings institution based in Minova. The other 50% of the funds was donated to local health centers around Minova who regularly attend women affected by sexual violence.

Funds from Java Jog 2014 will be invested through Sopacdi and other community based organizations working in the region through the Eastern Congo Initiative.

Please join JavaJog and its sponsors in our efforts to bring caring industry professionals together in solidarity with women in the Democratic Republic of Congo – to understand, to advocate and to do more – together.

This International Women’s Day, join together with JavaJog in support of these women. Visit to participate. To support runners and walkers, head on over to Crowdrise. For sponsorship opportunities, please email