Who We Are and How We Roll
In all aspects of our work, SFA focuses heavily on developing the skills and confidence of students and youth around the country so they can have the tools to organize for social justice around a broad array of issues on campus and in their communities.
We facilitate educational activities for students and farmworkers to come together in an exchange of knowledge and experience, cultivating a critical analysis that reveals the intersections between people on opposite ends of the corporate food industry.
We are committed to building a youth base whose understanding of systemic change and injustice in the fields leads them to act in solidarity with farmworkers to work toward a shared vision of collective liberation.
SFA is a decentralized network of diverse organizations and individuals whose actions are unified by the following principles:
I. We work with – not for – farmworkers.
Only farmworkers can speak for themselves. SFA is dedicated to working with farmworkers for change but we will not act on their behalf, instead taking our lead from the workers themselves. Farmworkers' daily experience of working in sweatshop conditions in the fields puts them in the best position to build movements to change those conditions—and the larger power imbalances they stem from. In turn, we take responsibility for organizing our communities to understand—and act on—our role in this movement.
Our struggles are not the same but they converge. Both farmworkers and young consumers are objectified by the corporate food industry: farmworkers are seen as tractors that harvest raw materials cheaply while youth are seen as mouths that obediently consume branded, unsustainable products. In an increasingly polarized global economy—where the growing concentration of wealth and corporate power threatens nearly everyone—it is imperative that we unite in common struggles and create meaningful solidarity with one another.
II. We have a powerful voice in working with farmworkers for systemic change
Young people have a powerful voice in our communities. Historically, we have been creative and forceful catalysts for change, and today young people are at the forefront of movements throughout the world confronting injustice.
Students have a powerful voice on our campuses and can hold our educational institutions accountable for who they chose to do business with. In the words of students at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), who waged a 9-month campus-wide strike in 1999: “The University belongs to those who study in it!”
Consumers have a powerful voice with corporations that profit from worker exploitation. With this awareness, we can pierce the veil of branding and multi-billion dollar advertising budgets, disrupting business as usual for unethical corporations.
III. We organize to build long-term movements for collective liberation
As a network comprised of people with diverse backgrounds and experiences, we strive to keep a focus on collective liberation at the forefront of our work so that we do not reproduce patterns of oppression. We believe that organizing according to these principles is essential to building truly democratic and effective social movements that can win systemic changes while prefiguring the type of world we want.