NEW VIDEO: On International Human Rights Day, support the Fair Food movement!

On this day in 1948, before a war-weary world, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed a vision of equality, dignity, and rights held by all: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  This historic document forms a crucial part of the foundation of the CIW’s movement for Fair Food and farmworker justice.  Indeed, in some of their earliest meetings, farmworkers in Immokalee read aloud and reflected on the rights contained in the UN’s declaration, and conceived of a brighter future for all who work in the fields.

Thanks to an unwavering commitment to the pursuit of justice — and the support of millions of consumers over the past twenty years — what was once a dream of human rights for farmworkers has become a reality today under the Fair Food Program.  Now, the rights to humane working conditions, to fair wages, and to freedom from slavery and sexual violence are enforced in agricultural fields along the East Coast.

Today, we need your help to make human rights a reality for even more women and men who labor in fields across the U.S. 

On this International Human Rights Day, help us bring what the Washington Post called “one of the great human rights success stories of our day” to hundreds of thousands of farmworkers by becoming a Fair Food Sustainer!

We're hiring spring interns to join us at the heart of the Wendy's Boycott!

unnamed.png

Ever thought about living and working alongside farmworkers who are radically changing the agricultural industry? Want to learn more about grassroots organizing with diverse communities for systemic change? If you or someone you know is interested in an opportunity like this, then look no further and consider applying to intern in Immokalee

The Alliance for Fair Food is seeking interns to live and work at the epicenter of the Campaign for Fair Food this spring. Interns should be flexible to organize with an array of Fair Food allies including, but not limited to, university and high school students, communities of faith (at both a local and national level), and food justice organizations from around the country.

Intern responsibilities include:

  • Development of campaign strategy together with the CIW and allies
  • Regular communication with the Fair Food network
  • Office assistance
  • On-the-ground support for members of the Immokalee community 

A minimum commitment of 3-5 months is preferred and the start date is flexible. Interns receive free housing and a modest montly stipend.

Given our commitment to developing a diverse leadership, we strongly encourage people of color, women, working-class, LGBTQ, gender non-conforming, and differently-abled people to apply for the intern positions.

The deadline for the spring internship application is December 29, 2017. If you have any interest or know someone whom you think may be a good fit, please forward this to them and reach out to us! You can write us at organize@sfalliance.org or give us a call at 239-657-8311.

We are looking forward to receiving your application!

Spend MLK weekend building strategy and community in the struggle for farmworker justice at the SFA Encuentro!

Apply today to join over 80 young organizers from across the country in crafting the next phase of the Wendy’s Boycott at SFA’s annual student gathering.

The Fair Food Nation has been on the grind in the Wendy’s Boycott this fall… and we’re only getting started!  Hot on the heels of a gorgeous farmworker women-led march through Midtown Manhattan earlier last week, demanding accountability from Wendy’s Board Chairman Nelson Peltz for the rampant gender-based violence in the company’s supply chain, plans for the upcoming annual Student/Farmworker Alliance Encuentro are now in full swing. 

From Jan. 12-15, coinciding with the weekend our country celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy of creative nonviolence in the face of social injustice, the SFA network will come together for a gathering like never before… and you will not want to miss out on it. 

If you remember, the big Encuentro convergence was set for Sept. 7-10 but was postponed due to Hurricane Irma making landfall over Southwest Florida that same weekend. Following an action-packed fall, we’ll be hosting the Encuentro at The Ohio State University, one of the Boot the Braids campaign hotspots. Another exciting announcement accompanying the big news is that we’re re-opening the Encuentro Application for those who didn’t get a chance to apply the first time around and are interested in attending! 

Throughout the long weekend, participants will spend time learning from the tremendous history and leadership of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and creating broad-based strategies with brilliant young organizers to take the national Wendy’s Boycott to new heights. The Encuentro offers skills trainings and organizing workshops, and a space to build community with like-minded individuals who share a vision for a world free from the bounds of corporate greed and impunity. 

The application deadline for the SFA Encuentro is fast approaching. Check out all the details you need to know about the Encuentro, and don’t be shy to hit us up if you’ve got any questions at organize@sfalliance.org or call 239-692-1482. 

See you at the Encuentro! 

Join the official leadership team driving student organizing in the Wendy’s Boycott! 

2018_SC_App.jpg

Want to be a part of one of the most dynamic and creative student/worker movements around? Apply to join young people from diverse regions across the country in forming the 2018 SFA Steering Committee!

The SC is the main organizing body of the SFA, working throughout the year to build up a vibrant, decentralized network of allies to fuel the CIW’s national Campaign for Fair Food. Each SC member forms part of a dynamic team of highly committed SFA members who work closely together to lift up the Fair Food Program’s highly successful model for transformative change in low-wage corporate supply chains, while tirelessly organizing to bring Fair Food holdouts to the negotiating table with CIW. 

Before applying, please carefully review the roles and responsibilities that come with being a member of the SC. Applications are due on Monday, Nov. 20.

The work of bringing the world’s third largest hamburger joint into the CIW's award-winning Fair Food Program is no easy task. As a powerful team, we depend on the work we can all do together. To that end, we strive to build a community of support and accountability among the SC, while creating the food system we envision alongside farmworkers. 

PHOTO REPORT: Students nationwide give Wendy's an F for failing to respect farmworker women!

IMG_9064.jpeg
OSU.jpg

Last week, members of the Ohio State Student/Farmworker Alliance kicked off the “Wendy’s, You’re Failing Farmworker Women” national Week of Action, as they joined forces with the CIW Women’s Group to demand an end to sexual violence in the fields — first with a moving delegation to OSU President Drake’s office and later outside of Wendy’s doorstep at the company's national headquarters in Dublin, OH. During the closing rally, OSU student Reyna Lusson sharply declared: 

“We are stronger and more determined than ever.  We will soon realize a day where farmworkers will no longer have to sacrifice their dignity in order to feed their families.”

Over the course of the week, SFA demonstrated its resolve to stand in solidarity with farmworker women defending the right to work free from sexual harassment and assault, with students at over a dozen schools, from Florida to Vermont, taking part in the national week of action! 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

After a successful debut in Columbus, OH, the CIW’s “Harvest without Violence” mobile museum made its way to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, home of the Tar Heel State, and also home to a (surely soon-to-be booted) Wendy’s restaurant. Over 250 students and faculty toured the pop-up exhibit outside of the Campus Y, including UNC’s own Chancellor Carol Folt. 

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt visits the CIW's mobile exhibit at the Campus Y. 

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt visits the CIW's mobile exhibit at the Campus Y. 

After an in-depth tour led by CIW’s Nely Rodriguez, Chancellor Folt not only expressed admiration for the Fair Food Program’s impressive track record in eradicating sexual violence and forced labor in U.S. agriculture, but also committed to personally boycott Wendy’s in support of the CIW’s national campaign and begin a conversation around university-level support for human rights and ethical food contracting by removing Wendy’s from UNC. 

After learning about Wendy’s unconscionable decision to keep supporting the labor regime of violence and impunity in the Mexican tomato industry, UNC students were ready to take action! Dozens of students — led by Students United for Immigrant Equality, Carolina Advocates for Gender Equity and Student Action with Farmworkers — marched from the Quad to Wendy’s, demanding the fast food holdout be removed from the Graham Student Union as a dining option on their campus! 

Vanderbilt University

Continuing their efforts to remove Wendy’s from the Taste of Nashville dining program, students at Vanderbilt University braved the cold outside of Wendy’s to broadcast the many ways in which Wendy’s failed to make the grade when it came to respecting the rights of the women who harvest their produce! Check out their Fair Food assessment

New College of Florida and Riverview High School

The newest Fair Food Group on the block is Sarasota Fair Food, and to launch their efforts they organized a 90-strong protest at a Wendy's restaurant on busy US 41! Students from New College of Florida and Riverview High School joined forces with community members and the local faith community, including members of the Quaker Meeting, St. Thomas More Catholic Church, and Covenant Presbyterian of America, to host farmworker women, men, and their families and demonstrate in solidarity with Immokalee. The photos speak for themselves!

More students take action! 

It does not take a labor law expert to conclude that Wendy’s supplier code of conduct fails to address the epidemic of gender-based violence (although, one already did) in the Mexican agricultural industry, where sexual harassment and assault flourish without any consequence for abusers. Meanwhile, the Fair Food Program’s success in eliminating and preventing gender-based violence has received international recognition, most recently in an extraordinary editorial in the New York Times, which singled out the Program as a national model to end sexual harassment at work.  

Wendys_Infographic.jpg

And while it may be a fool’s errand to search Wendy’s code of conduct for worker input and effective mechanisms for enforcement, the young leaders of the Fair Food Nation will not be fooled by Wendy’s bogus code and its glaring failure to protect the dignity of farmworker women. 

Stay tuned for more news and action alerts on the Wendy’s Boycott front, as we build the drumbeat for CIW’s major march to Wendy’s Board Chairman Nelson Peltz’s NYC offices on Nov. 20. Mark your calendars today to take part in a national call-in day to Mr. Peltz's offices that very same day in solidarity with farmworkers!

Brown.jpg

Farmworker women and students hit up OSU and Wendy’s in the same day, demanding an immediate end to the epidemic of sexual violence in the fields!

Harvest_Without_Violence_OSU_Delegation_Oct173.jpg

OSU students: We are here today calling on Wendy’s to witness this ongoing struggle and take a stand against sexual violence….Despite years of students and community members demanding that Wendy’s be kicked off campus, OSU quietly and cowardly renewed their contract with Wendy’s after students had left for the summer. As students and farmworkers cry “Me too,” Wendy’s and OSU respond: “Too bad.”

After a weekend of education and reflection in Wendy’s hometown, students and community allies in Columbus, OH, joined members of the CIW for not one, but two, powerful actions calling for a halt to sexual violence in Wendy's supply chain — first at the heart of the national Boot the Braids Campaign at The Ohio State University and the second outside of the Wendy’s Headquarters in Dublin! 

Early on Monday morning, CIW members, led by the fearless Women’s Group, headed to the President’s office at OSU for a special early morning delegation. Over the course of the years, students and CIW members have held various delegations to President Drake’s office, each demanding that the University cut ties with Wendy’s until the company joins the Fair Food Program, the only real and enforceable solution to farmworker abuse in the company's supply chain. Yet, this particular visit was like none before. 

Joined by several of the 19 OSU students and alumni who fasted for seven days in support of the Boot the Braids Campaign last spring, CIW members funneled, one by one, into the President’s office. The Women’s Group members carried a beautiful quilt composed of patches stitched together by Immokalee farmworkers, detailing experiences with sexual harassment and violence in the fields, their thoughts on the extraordinary transformation brought about by the Fair Food Program, and their firm belief that Wendy’s will one day join them in the struggle to build a more dignified agricultural industry…

Head over the CIW site to read the full report on the Women’s Group delegation to OSU President Drake’s office and the powerful action outside of Wendy’s headquarters! 

ACTION ALERT: “Wendy’s, You’re Failing Farmworker Women” National Week of Action, Oct. 21-28!

14424914_10153777783867026_1577015345192236752_o.jpg

The fall semester is in full swing, and student leaders in the SFA network are ready to take the Wendy’s Boycott into the streets — and into their university halls!  Following the CIW Women’s Group’s breaking announcement this week of their new “Harvest without Violence” campaign, which calls for an end to sexual violence in Wendy’s supply chain, students and youth across the country are making moves to show up by the hundreds in solidarity with farmworker women. 

On October 21, the CIW Women’s Group will hit the road for Wendy’s hometown of Columbus, OH, to exhibit the brand-new Harvest without Violence Mobile Exhibit, an interactive educational tool that exposes the brutal reality of sexual violence in agriculture — including in Mexico’s tomato industry, where abuse is met with impunity — and lifts up the Fair Food Program as a proven model for real and lasting change for farmworker women.  That very same day in October, SFA will kick off a week of coordinated solidarity actions to demand that Wendy’s top executives commit to protecting the rights of  farmworker women by joining the Program.

OSU_Wendys.jpeg

The message for Wendy’s from students is clear: we’re more than just a profitable demographic, and until you make a real, verifiable commitment to protect the dignity and safety of farmworker women, you will fail to make the grade with our generation! 

This October 21-28, join SFAers across the country in calling out Wendy’s abject failure to support farmworker women in the fight to end gender-based violence in its supply chain, and in condemning universities, such as The Ohio State University, for bypassing the call to “Boot the Braids” and instead doing business with a company that chooses violence and impunity over human rights.  

As you begin planning your own action, check out these creative action resources to support your local organizing. Make sure to hit us up at organize@sfalliance.org or 239-692-1482, so we can add your campus or city to the growing list of actions. And be sure to keep an eye in the coming days for even more resources, including a sample press release, outreach email and more!

BREAKING: CIW to join Abby Wambach, Glennon Doyle on national Together Live Tour!

2017_Glennon_Abby_visit_Immokalee6.jpg

This morning, the CIW announced a major partnership with U.S. Women’s soccer superstar Abby Wambach and New York Times bestselling author Glennon Doyle: CIW’s Lupe Gonzalo will be joining Glennon, Abby, and a dozen other powerful women leaders – including Olympic Medalists, authors, actors, and activists – for eight stops in major U.S. cities on the second annual Together Live Tour!

The tour will feature “badass earth-shakers, hilarious heroines, and authentic storytellers” in order to inspire and energize audiences around the country to find purpose and effectuate change. Representing the CIW’s own badass Women’s Group, Lupe will bring the incredible story of the Fair Food Movement – in which consumers around the country joined together with farmworkers to transform the agricultural industry – to tens of thousands of new allies nationwide and invite them to join the Wendy’s Boycott.

On tour with Abby and Glennon, Lupe will launch the Fair Food Sisters campaign, a brand-new community initiative for women’s rights advocates around the Fair Food network to stand together and take action to eliminate the abuses that plague farmworker women outside the Fair Food Program.

Head over to the CIW’s website to read more, and find out if Together Live is visiting your city!

Hurricane Irma slams the farmworker town of Immokalee, recovery begins and the work for justice continues

irma2.jpg

After pummelling islands throughout the Caribbean last week and leaving much destruction in its wake, Hurricane Irma began its slow but powerful ascent onto the mainland of Florida on Sunday afternoon and evening. The historic storm arrived in Immokalee as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of up to 130 miles per hour. Yesterday’s report from the CIW describes Irma’s impact on vulnerable farmworker towns in Florida’s interior

...Immokalee, the already impoverished farmworker community — and several others north of Immokalee, including Florida’s citrus capital, LaBelle — saw some of the worst of the storm, as the northeast quadrant of the massive hurricane’s eye wall slammed directly into small inland towns along the length of the state.

We are happy to report that, remarkably, despite hours of fierce lashing by Irma’s winds and stinging rains, no lives were reported lost as of the writing of this report….The physical damage wrought by the storm was great, however, with the worst impact reserved for communities like Immokalee, where the housing stock consists mainly of used trailers and flimsily built wooden shacks ...

Even as the region begins recovery from Irma, it is imperative that we remember why Immokalee and communities like it are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters like these. Often fleeing war and devastation in their home countries, thousands arrive to Immokalee only to be met by poverty wages (more than half of Immokalee residents live below the poverty line), abusive conditions, and a system that is historically stacked against them. Without a strong social safety net or the resources to rebuild after a major storm, Immokalee farmworkers are among the millions on the frontline of climate change. In the years to come, warmer waters will generate more extreme weather — and further escalate the threats faced by vulnerable communities.

Today, we must respond to the immediate needs of Immokalee. But we must go further than the demands of the moment.

Our generation must continue to follow farmworkers’ leadership to transform the reality that demands they fight for their survival and human rights on a daily basis — we must expand the Fair Food Program. Beyond that, SFA must stand with frontline communities around the world to ensure they also reduce their structural vulnerability, and to curb climate change while we still can.  Just as we raise our voices as students and young people to Boot the Braids from campuses around the country, we must continue to support campaigns for university divestment from fossil fuels and all movements for collective liberation.

Given this long-term vision, the CIW has called on the SFA network to continue organizing with more vigor as ever before.  Next week, we will announce a major new initiative in the Campaign for Fair Food to intensify the call to Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program. Stay tuned for the details!

In the meantime, Immokalee is calling on our support to get back on her feet. If you are in Florida and are able to support with supplies or volunteering, contact Julia Perkins at julia@ciw-online.org.  If you wish to donate to relief efforts to Immokalee farmworkers and other farmworker communities, you can do so securely here.  

Visit the CIW's website to read more about Irma's impact on Immokalee (and catch a bonus son jarocho video!)

NEW VIDEO: Support SFA in building student/worker power at the #2017Encuentro!

We’re just days away from hosting 70 of the SFA network’s most active young organizers in Immokalee, FL, to craft a vision for student strategy in the burgeoning Wendy’s Boycott this upcoming season! As we begin welcoming participants – coming from campuses in Denver, Columbus and Boston, to just name a few — Encuentro organizers are putting finishing touches on the weekend’s logistics and program. 

All summer, SFAers have put a tremendous amount of energy and resources into putting a fresh spin on the decade-long Encuentro weekend tradition. Now that it’s just around the corner, we’re calling on our SFA community to support us in offsetting the staggering cost of putting together such an extraordinary gathering. 

Check out this sweet video starring one of the youngest members of SFA, our friend Elias Perez of Immokalee Middle School, and head over to the Encuentro fundraising page to make a donation!

Your contribution — big or small — will help cover the cost of food for 70 people, transportation, meeting space rental, printed resources, travel scholarships for participants and much more. We’ve still got a long way to go. Pitch in today to bring us closer to our $2,500 goal! 

IMG_0241 copy 2.JPG

We're hiring a National SFA Co-Coordinator!

natali copy.jpg

Dear SFA, 

I am writing to share big news with all of you who have participated in actions, presentations, Encuentros, convivio, among so many other things in order to raise up the work of the CIW and their vision for farmworker justice. After nearly three years of living and working in Immokalee as one of the two SFA Co-coordinators and a few more years before that of being involved in the network, I will be continuing my partnership with the CIW by joining their staff. I will be supporting their work within the Fair Food Program by helping coordinate worker-to-worker education sessions in farms from Florida to New Jersey. 

While I’m happy to share with you all this exciting new phase of my work, the Wendy's Boycott continues! There are students from Denver to Florida to Ohio getting ready for another hard-hitting fall in the Campaign for Fair Food. The Immokalee crew is preparing for another few months of travel to spread the Wendy's Boycott far and wide — and the 2017 SFA Encuentro is just around the corner! 

I am grateful for all that the SFA network has given me over the years — a home, endless lessons, life-long friendships, a vision for justice. I know a hard-fought Wendy's victory is on the horizon. 

As this work moves forward, keep in mind that SFA is now hiring a National Co-coordinator! We hope to count on all of you, who know the spirit of SFA and understand the importance of following farmworker leadership, to help us fill this open position as part of the ally team in Immokalee. 

Check out the description below and share the announcement with your comrades and networks. Don't hesitate to reach out to us with questions or if you have a potential candidate in mind. 

Sending all my love and respect to each of you, 

Natali 

IMG_0460 copy.JPG

SFA Co-coordinator Position

The Student/Farmworker Alliance is seeking an Immokalee-based staff member to help coordinate the student and youth network within the national Campaign for Fair Food. Staff members are compensated with a modest, livable salary and health benefits. A commitment of a least three years and proficiency in English/Spanish are required. SFA Co-coordinators work as part of the larger Alliance for Fair Food staff. 

Areas of work include but aren’t limited to:

  • Student and youth organizing, building campaign strategy, and developing leadership;
  • Coordinating national mobilizations and logistics;
  • Developing educational opportunities and executing outreach;
  • Contributing to organizational development;
  • Offering support for CIW and the farmworker community in Immokalee. 

Read the full description and apply! We’re accepting applications on a rolling basis. 

Given our commitment to developing a diverse leadership, we strongly encourage people of color, women, working-class, LGBTQ, and gender non-conforming people to apply. If you have any interest or know someone who you think may be a good fit, please forward this to them and reach out to us! 

Get in touch with Natali Rodriguez at natali@sfalliance.org or by calling 239-675-9497.