The second-annual Java Jog For A Cause is taking place this Friday, April 25th during the SCAA Event in Seattle. This event is a 5k/10k run/walk to raise funds for women coffee farmers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Java Jog was found at last year’s SCAA Event in Boston by Kimberly Easson, Beth Ann Caspersen and Aimee Russillo, and last year they successfully raised $7,500, which they disbursed to Sopacdi, a co-operative representing over 5,600, for projects supporting “coffee women in the Congo who face tremendous hardship in their quest to rebuild their communities and produce great coffee.”

This year, they hope to raise $30k, and they’ve set up a crowd-funding page to let you support running teams from some of your favorite coffee companies. Sprudge contributor Jenny Neill will be running the race–her first–and reporting back with a look at the coffee/running nexus from the coffee side.

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The Java Jog is so far an “informal initiative by a handful of volunteers,” but they are working with the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), a non-profit coffee research group, to manage and distribute funds. They have invited three women’s groups from small farmer organizations in the DRC’s South Kivu region to submit proposals for funding, and will be distributing the funds raised to one winning proposal. You can read more about the conflicts facing the Democratic Republic of Congo here, and about some of the work being done by organizations like the Joint Marketing Initiative with women coffee producers in the DRC here.

According to Java Jog:

Last year, 50% of the funds collected were invested in productive improvements by the women’s group at Sopacdi, including buying a motor for wet mill equipment, and receiving specialized training.  The other half was donated to a local crisis medical center to provide health services and counseling to women affected by the ongoing violence in the area.

This year, Westrock Coffee Company has signed on as the Platinum sponsor for the event, alongside sponsors Baratza, Equal Exchange, Roast Magazine, Equator Coffees & Teas, and Schluter Coffee. Many of the sponsors are fielding teams that you can fund here, or you can fund Jenny Neill’s run, and it’s not too late to register for the event yourself. Just be ready for an early morning! The race starts at 7:30am for the 5K Run and Walk (7:00am for the 10K Run).

For more on the intersection of coffee + running, see our earlier feature from today on coffee at the Boston Marathon, by Runner’s World Senior Editor Scott Douglas. 

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