CALL TO ACTION: Send videos to OSU administration in support of Boot the Braids campaign before Sunday!

The incredible momentum building across the SFA network, sparked by last month's weeklong fast by 19 Ohio State University students and alumni to pressure the administration to boot Wendy's off campus, is swiftly growing by the day as more (and more!) students join the nationwide rolling fast.

We've got major developments from this week's campus fasts in Tampa Bay and Nashville stacked below, but first, here's an important call to action just released by OSU Student/Farmworker Alliance

Stand in solidarity with students at OSU by sending a short, 30-second to one-minute video addressed to the OSU administration by Sunday, April 23rd.  Students at OSU will be sharing these videos with Ohio State administrators to send the message that we will not stop taking action until they do the right thing by cutting its contract with Wendy’s.
Consider the following points that can be used as a guide to send your message to the OSU administration:
What’s the message?
+ In your video, directly address President Drake and the leadership of OSU
+ Include the message:  “OSU, we’re watching you. Keep your word and cut the contract with Wendy’s.”
+ By maintaining this contract, OSU is complicit in the human rights abuses of farmworkers in Wendy’s supply chain.
+ The OSU administration has met with farmworkers, who have explained in their own words why Wendy’s Code of Conduct has no real mechanisms to ensure their rights, compared to the Fair Food Program, and yet OSU remains unconvinced.
+ Students are not satisfied with the actions of Wendy’s or the OSU administration. Their concerns will not be resolved until Wendy’s joins the Fair Food Program.
What kind of video?  Remember: Short and direct videos that get the message across in a clear and powerful way are the most effective. We are asking for 30-second or minute-long videos.  And feel free to get creative! Consider incorporating props, costumes, or theater in your video.
When you’ve finished recording, post your video to the OSU Student/Farmworker Alliance Facebook page.

Less than two weeks ago, students interrupted the OSU Board of Trustees meeting with a powerful action, demanding that the administration keep its promise and remove Wendy's from campus given students' indisputable dissatisfaction with the fast food company's farm labor practices. And next on the horizon is the “Keep Your Word” Rally on OSU’s campus next Tuesday, April 25 at 3 p.m. 

Number of students fasting for farmworker justice on the rise from Tampa Bay to Nashville! 


Back in Florida, the Tampa Bay student fast — a collaborative action among undergraduate and graduate students at the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa, and Eckerd College — hit the ground running after taking up the torch from students at New College of Sarasota and Valencia College.  Having started the week with eight committed fasters, the three universities now count 16 students taking part in the rolling fast, and over 30 more students who took part in 24-hour solidarity fasts throughout the week!  

On Wednesday evening, students from all three schools gathered at the very Wendy's to which, just a couple short weeks ago, nearly 300 marched during the grand finale of the CIW's Return to Human Rights Tour. In a spirited protest, students and supportive professors and community allies — and even, one of last week's student fasters Xavier, from Valencia College — made a colorful splash during rush hour in the streets of Tampa.

Here are some moving reflections from student fasters Katie Shrum and Zulema Ramos:

Zulema Ramos, University of Tampa: "....I am simply grateful to be alive to help a cause such as the Fair Food Program, and to have come into contact with so many compassionate and driven humans." 

Katie, University of South Florida: "... I had never experienced protest with such rich colors, musical instruments and a general atmosphere of joy in civic engagement. I decided to get more involved, and quickly agreed to participate in the USF fasting action to Boot the Braids. This week has been challenging, and inspirational....  We all stand in solidarity with OSU, the CIW and all farmworkers to say — we will have no food, if we cannot have Fair Food.... we will not waver and we will not stop spreading this message."

Inspired by their peers at Ohio State, students at Vanderbilt University, joined by another student at Trevecca Nazarene, have now entered Day 4 of their own 7-day fast to demand that  Vanderbilt cut ties with Wendy's, which is currently one of the restaurant options on their off-campus dining program.

Since setting up camp outside the Rand Dining Center last Tuesday, catching hundreds of students walking to class or making their way to lunch, the number of student fasters has more than doubled, as more and more students learned of the Wendy's Boycott — and of their university's own unsavory connection with Wendy's. 

On Monday, quickly after students delivered a letter to Vanderbilt Chancellor Zeppos' office declaring their intention to fast for 7 days, the administration reached out to set up a meeting with students to discuss the action. On Tuesday, students sat down with the dining service administrators, who once again, were unmoved by the horrific abuses faced by workers in Wendy's supply chain. Students reaffirmed their own commitment not only to fasting for the remainder of the seven days, but to building the Boot the Braids Campaign on Vanderbilt's campus until the contract was cut.

Head over to the CIW website to catch the full reports and media coverage from the rolling fast in Tampa Bay and Nashville

As the rolling fast continues onward, be sure to check back soon for even more news from the Wendy's Boycott frontlines, and don't forget to send in your video to OSU's President Drake before Sunday.  “We're watching, OSU.  Keep your word, cut the contract with Wendy’s!”

Students' commitment to fast for farmworker justice keeps rolling!

New College students pass the torch to students at Vanderbilt University, Eckerd College, University of Tampa and University of South Florida!

After five long days of fasting — an act that inspired more than 80 of their fellow New College students, as well as college President Donal O’Shea, to fast alongside them — five students from New College of Florida and Valencia College broke bread with farmworkers from Immokalee on Good Friday following a picket at a Wendy’s in Sarasota. Don't miss the exciting photo reports from the New College five-day fast! 

The New College fast was just the latest echo of the tremor felt across the Fair Food Nation when 19 students and alumni from Ohio State University launched their weeklong fast last month as a part of SFA's swiftly growing Boot the Braids campaign.  And the nationwide student fast called by OSU students keeps rolling! 

Next in line this week are four students from Vanderbilt University who begin their own seven-day fast today, joined by dozens of students from Eckerd College, the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa, who will be fasting over the course of five days. 

Like their peers at the University of Michigan – the first school to pick up the rolling fast from OSU – Vanderbilt students are leading their own campaign to Boot the Braids from the Nashville, TN, campus community.  Over the past year, Vanderbilt students have called repeatedly on their university to end its relationship with Wendy’s in light of the fast food chain’s refusal to join the Fair Food Program.  The university, however, has failed to act, despite several meetings with student leaders and over 700 signatures in a campus petition campaign in support of booting Wendy’s off campus.

But Vanderbilt students aren’t the only ones taking action this week!  Inspired by the commitment of their peers, eight students at the University of South Florida in Tampa and the University of Tampa began a three-day fast yesterday, which will end in a 24-hour, campus-wide fast on Wednesday.  

Fresh off an exciting campaign victory just last week that resulted in the affiliation of USF with the Workers’ Rights Consortium – a worker-driven initiative to protect the rights of workers in garment supply chains similar to the Fair Food Program –  the USF chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops is spearheading this week’s fast in alliance with the USF Graduate Assistants Union and farmworker support group, USF Members Empowering True Awareness (META), as well as UT’s Environmental Protection Coalition.

Following the campus-wide fast at USF on Wednesday, Tampa students will pass the torch across the bay to over a dozen fellow students at Eckerd College in nearby St. Petersburg to finish off the week with one- to three-day fasts.  (Of course, this is not the first time Eckerd College students have fasted for farmworker justice:  Thirteen years past, students from Eckerd College joined the nationwide Boot the Bell hunger strikes on campuses across the U.S., with six students fasting for five days!)

And this is only the beginning:  Be sure to stay tuned for more updates as they roll in from student fasts across the country. If you’re interested in joining, hit us up at to add your campus to the growing list! 

Check out the full photo report from the five-day New College fast in solidarity with the OSU Boot the Braids campaign over at the CIW website! 

"Keep your word! Cut the contract with Wendy's!" OSU students put President Drake on blast at Board of Trustees meeting!


PLUS: Students at New College of Florida begin five-day fast in solidarity with OSU's Boot the Braids campaign

On Thursday, the CIW put out an expertly-crafted analysis on OSU's self-destructive relationship with Wendy's, tracking the corporation’s long and disturbing  record of resistance to the "best workplace-monitoring program" in the U.S.  As students across the Fair Food Nation know, the fast food hold-out’s illustrious record includes intentionally shifting its tomato purchases away from Florida to farms in Mexico, where workers continue to suffer from sexual violence, discrimination, wage theft and even slavery, as well as issuing an empty supplier code of conduct with zero mechanisms to trigger real or meaningful consequences for those kinds of human rights violations.

What's worse, Wendy's has become so desperate in looking for ways to escape all the bad press they've received as a result of the ever-larger national boycott, its PR department has decided to pull a trick out of an old, raggedy bag of failed corporate public relations ploys. Their latest move? Falsely accusing the CIW of corruption, stating that "Wendy's considers the extra penny to be a fee paid to the coalition."  In reality the "penny per pound" premium is paid by the buyers to the growers who then agree to pass it along to workers in the form of a bonus — a fact that every single one of Wendy's top competitors could easily verify as they're all participating in the Fair Food Program.

And now, as the CIW simply puts it, "the Ohio State University administration must decide how far it will allow its fast-food partner to drag a proud university down into the mud".

The day after CIW published the knockout post, OSU President Drake was scheduled to speak at the University’s bi-monthly Board of Trustees meeting on significant campus affairs and initiatives since their last meeting in January.  And unfortunately for him, his report on the previous two months didn't go as smoothly as he'd planned.

Over two dozen OSU students, alumni, professors and Columbus community members crashed the meeting, loudly chanting "Keep your word! Cut the contract with Wendy's!" and calling out President Drake for neglecting to mention one very important issue on campus: OSU Student/Farmworker Alliance's burgeoning Boot the Braids campaign, and the University’s opportunity to be a leader among the country’s most prestigious universities in taking a stand for farmworkers’ human rights.

Henry Peller, one of the 19 brave OSU student fasters from last month's weeklong fast at OSU, disrupted the meeting, putting President Drake on blast in front of his colleagues (and the 4,000+ people who watched the action live on Facebook) for breaking his promise to students and extending the Wendy's on-campus lease :

...By cutting the contract, OSU will push Wendy's to join this program. Instead, OSU continues to be complicit in Wendy's exploitation. Two years ago, OSU added a clause to the contract stating that Wendy's must meet the concerns of the Student/Farmworker Alliance — that's us — however, the contract was extended this past November, even though our concerns have not been met. Our concerns will only be met when Wendy's signs the Fair Food Program. Will you, Board of Trustees, keep your word and cut the contract with Wendy's? Yes or no?"

Following the meeting, the group of students and their supporters gathered outside, where OSU student faster Reyna Lusson closed out the triumphant protest by delivering a powerful message for President Drake:

"We challenge you to imagine a world where the foods we eat are harvested with dignity and justice; where farmworkers can live and work without fear of sexual assault or harassment; where they earn a fair, living wage and can actually bring home the fruits of their labor to feed themselves and their families; where just one more penny per pound of tomatoes is enough to make a huge difference.

This is the world that exists for many farmworkers. The world that many have fought for and won already. This world is called the Fair Food Program. This world is possible and you have the power to help us create it."

And as President Drake decides whether or not to use the one form of real leverage within his reach — namely, whether or not OSU will be a leader nationwide as the first university to ban Wendy's from campus until the company joins the Fair Food Program — students and young people across the country are taking note and taking action.

Meanwhile, in Florida...

In the aftermath of last month’s 7-day fast by OSU students, an action that inspired the whole of the Fair Food Nation and millions more through national press coverage, SFAers in Florida have been among  those who have  stepped up to the plate  after OSU students' call for others to take up the fast in support of their Boot the Braids campaign.

Today, the following six students at New College of Florida in Sarasota and Valencia College in Orlando begin a five-day fast in solidarity with OSU students, who the Floridians met during the Parade for Human Rights in Columbus last month:

Alex Schelle, New College of Florida, 3rd year student
Emily Anne King, New College of Florida, 2nd year student
Sarah Friend, New College of Florida, 2nd year student
Xavier Goud, Valencia College student
Ximena Pedroza, New College of Florida, 2nd year student
Yasmeen Wilson, New College of Florida, 2nd year student

New College students will bring attention to their fast with an impressive line-up of events throughout the week, including a dynamite panel on the Fair Food Program's pioneering approach to addressing social responsibility in corporate supply chains, featuring members of the CIW, the Worker-driven Social Responsibility Network and Migrant Justice .  And of course, it wouldn't be a week of action without a protest!  On Friday at 6 p.m., farmworkers, local religious leaders, community allies and fellow New College students will join the fasters for a Boycott Wendy's picket at the Wendy's on U.S. 41 in Sarasota.

And the national rolling fast doesn’t stop there:  Up next, students at University of South Florida, University of Tampa, Eckerd College and Barry University will be continuing the next leg of the rolling student fast. There's still time to add your campus to the growing list. Get in touch with us at to begin organizing your fast. And stay tuned for news on how the national SFA network can support in kicking Wendy's off OSU’s campus before the semester ends!

Following momentous weeklong Ohio State fast to Boot the Braids, national rolling student fast kicks off!

Hot on the heels of the most powerful and inspiring actions to date in the year-old Wendy’s Boycott — anchored by a weeklong fast held by 19 courageous students and alumni of The Ohio State University — the Fair Food Nation is charging full speed ahead in the Campaign for Fair Food. As the semester comes to an end, join students and youth in fighting against Wendy’s disregard for farmworkers’ fundamental human rights and OSU’s complicity in perpetuating abuses in Wendy’s supply chain by allowing the fast food chain to continue operating on campus.

As Ohio State Student/Farmworker Alliance and Real Food OSU get ready to unveil their next big move in their Boot the Braids campaign, students are lining up to take up their call for a rolling student fast across the country. If you’re ready to add your campus to the succession of student fasts in solidarity with the OSU Boot the Braids campaign, get in touch with us at to begin organizing your fast today! 

First in line to adopt the rolling fast are none other than students at the University of Michigan, joined by Ann Arbor community members, who just began a 24-hour fast in solidarity with the Buckeyes’ campaign. Such an act of camaraderie would otherwise cause bewilderment if it weren’t for the strong link that bounds these two Midwest rival campuses together: a shared mission to remove Wendy’s from campus until the company can guarantee — not with empty words, but with a real commitment — human rights for the workers who pick the produce they buy for their burgers and salads. 

Students are demanding that their institutions take a firm stance on supporting enforceable human rights protections in the fields by ending their contractual relationships with Wendy’s, a corporation that has shamefully chosen to do business on farms where workers toil under the same abusive conditions that the Fair Food Program has eliminated in Florida. 

And how has the OSU administration responded to students’ demands for justice? It is best captured in this moving reflection by Alex Hoey, one of the 19 OSU student fasters:

“[The administration] knew the facts and knew the right thing to do.  If they said “yes,” they would finally keep their promise, rise up for farmworker justice, and set an incredible example for Universities across the country. However, a “no” meant that they would ultimately break their word, be complicit in human rights violations and condone the continuation of our fast on their doorstep. The response, although predicted, was astounding. The leaders of this university are arrogant enough to believe that they have more authority to determine if Wendy’s Code of Conduct is valid than farmworkers in the room who are directly affected by their complicity.  An additionally infuriating response came from Dr. J, Vice President of Student Life: “This university is always on the right side of history.”  While, at the same time, saying no to a movement that is and always will be on the truly right and just side of history…. A community of people that are fighting — and winning — the battle for basic human rights….This is a day I will always remember.”

There is still time for OSU President Michael Drake to use the leverage he has to move Wendy’s toward joining its competitors in the Fair Food Program, which is the power to end the Wendy’s lease on campus.  And until President Drake chooses to keep his promise to students and stop protecting OSU’s business with Wendy’s, the SFA network will be keeping up the pressure!  

And on that note, here is another grounding reflection from OSU student faster Reyna Lusson: 

“I was particularly struck by the hundreds of people who gathered in the pouring rain for the Parade for Human Rights on Sunday afternoon. Standing alongside farmworkers, fasters and other allies, I became an activist. I felt the urgency of this fight, and the weight of my commitment to it. I felt the hunger of a week without food, and laughed with children from Immokalee and Columbus who broke bread with us. I sung until my voice was hoarse, and held the hands of friends and strangers. I came out of the week feeling closer to the struggle, grateful for the privileges that I’ve been granted, and hopeful that the momentum we’ve created will lead to a victory.”

Return to Human Rights Tour wraps up with a rocking march from Publix to Wendy’s in Tampa!

More than two weeks after embarking on a journey that covered 12 cities and over 2,000 miles, the Return to Human Rights Tour crew was given a warm welcome by nearly 300 allies in Tampa on Wednesday! The tour's grand finale included a massive march from a Publix Greenwise store in Tampa's Hyde Park neighborhood, to a Wendy’s restaurant on the highly trafficked Kennedy Boulevard. 

Students, worker leaders from local unions and grassroots organizations from as far as Palm Beachm, joined CIW members in taking the tour's incredible energy home to finish off strong — leaving Wendy's and Publix with the message that, the longer they delay justice to farmworkers, the more united and louder our movement's call will be. And to close out the action, New College students announced that they would be taking up the torch from Ohio State and University of Michigan in the Boot the Braids rolling student fast that is taking off across the country. 

Take a look at the CIW's website for a photo report of Tampa's sunny march and rally!

Finally, thank you to each and every SFAer who supported the Return to Human Rights Tour. From organizing busloads of students, coordinating housing and meals for the tour crew and bringing all the ánimo to the many colorful actions along the route — it all helped make the tour a smashing success. And a very special shout out to the 19 OSU students and community fasters for staging one of the most powerful and inspiring actions in the Wendy’s Boycott, which has sparked a wave of national student/community support for the Boot the Braids campaign with the upcoming rolling student fasts. We see you!

“We want to continue to live with freedom and dignity”

After unforgettable Parade for Human Rights through a downpour in Columbus, UMich students commit to next leg of national rolling student fast in support of Wendy’s Boycott

The culmination of the CIW’s Return to Human Rights Tour is a wrap — and what a memorable weekend it was! Hundreds across the Fair Food Nation made their way to the heart of the Wendy’s Boycott in Columbus, Ohio, for the tremendous Parade for Human Rights. A torrential rain could not stop nearly 500 farmworkers, students, youth and community allies from demanding an end to Wendy’s shameful indifference toward human rights violations in their supply chain.

As the flood of marchers entered The Ohio State University campus for the closing rally, the sun broke through, and CIW members and allies celebrated an end to the courageous 7-day fast undertaken by OSU students and alumni and the beginning of a national rolling student fast. And in a true moment of student solidarity, putting their bond in the fight for farmworker justice over campus rivalry, University of Michigan students made the commitment to be first in line to carry the fast forward....

Check out the stunning video and photo report from the major mobilization of the CIW’s Return to Human Rights Tour! 

OSU administration continues stalling on cutting Wendy’s contract as student fast enters Day Six, and Return to Human Rights Tour finally arrives in Columbus!

From dawn to dusk, Friday was a momentous day for the Wendy’s Boycott and the national struggle for farm labor justice.

In the morning, as Day Five of their fast for farmworker justice dawned on their encampment outside OSU’s administration building, 19 student fasters, along with a team of farmworkers from the CIW based in Columbus for the past six weeks, prepared for their long-awaited meeting with OSU administration officials to discuss their concerns over human rights conditions in Wendy’s supply chain. Lifted up by support from allies nationwide, including scores that responded to the students' call for solidarity fasts and petitions, students’ goal was unwavering: to demand an answer, once and for all, as to whether the university would honor its commitment to cut its contract with Wendy’s over the fast food giant’s refusal to join the Fair Food Program. 

Then later that afternoon, following seven days of growing excitement as the Return to Human Rights Tour made its way from Atlanta and Nashville to Minneapolis and Chicago, the tour crew of workers from Immokalee and their allies arrived to Columbus to join forces with the student fasters, religious leaders, and hundreds of national allies for a weekend of action.

In spite of all the obstacles set before the growing Fair Food Nation — be it by Wendy’s, by OSU’s administration, or by other forces working to turn back on the clock on basic human rights in this country — the convergence yesterday of scores of indefatigable farmworkers from Florida, courageous student fasters from OSU, and steadfast allies arriving from all over the nation made one thing perfectly clear: Columbus, Ohio, is indeed, today, ground zero in the battle for Fair Food.

Head over to the CIW website for a full report on the OSU student fasters’ meeting with administrators, and of the Vigil for Human Rights outside Wendy’s headquarters in Ohio!

Support pours in from national religious leaders to warm and lift the spirits of student fasters on Day 3, as CIW is welcomed home to Chicago!

One of 19 students on a weeklong fast on the campus of The Ohio State University

One of 19 students on a weeklong fast on the campus of The Ohio State University

Today, the 19 courageous OSU student fasters cross the halfway mark of their weeklong fast calling on the university to cut its contract with Wendy's unless the fast food giant joins the Fair Food Program. Facing a significant drop in temperatures and the physical challenges that com e with depriving the body of food, as if on cue, the fasters' spirits were warmed by the surge of public support for their cause that poured forth yesterday from faith communities across the Fair Food Nation!

Joining the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), whose letter of March 15th called for its members to honor the student fast by joining in the National Day of Prayer and Fasting tomorrow, major religious leaders and institutions are taking a stand with OSU’s student fasters.  On Wednesday, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), the National Farm Worker Ministry (NFWM), and T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights each published powerful public letters to Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor, reinforcing their commitment to the Wendy’s Boycott and expressing their support for the students’ “inspiring act of solidarity.” 

Head over to the CIW website to read more of the moving statements penned by leaders of each of these longstanding partners in the Campaign for Fair Food and catch the full photo report of the Return to Human Rights Tour's meaningful visit to Chicago!

Students and young people across the country, too, are sending through their messages of solidarity with OSU students throughout the week in response to SFA's national call to action. Get in touch with us at to tell us how you'll be lifting up the fight at OSU in your community!

OSU student fast builds in Columbus as Return to Human Rights Tour hits Madison, Wisconsin!

As the days count down to the culminating Parade for Human Rights in downtown Columbus this Sunday, March 26, we bring you exciting updates from two fronts in the growing Wendy’s Boycott!

First, the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, the focal point of students’ national Boot the Braids campaign as the student-led fast there enters Day 3. With the support of people across the SFA network mounting, 19 students continue their sacrifice to hold the university to its original promise, now broken — to end the university’s lease with Wendy’s should the corporation not satisfy the concerns of the OSU Student/Farmworker Alliance. The students’ request is simple: that Wendy’s join the CIW’s Fair Food Program, the gold standard for the protection of farmworkers’ human rights in the food industry today.

On the second front in Madison, Wisconsin, the sixth stop on the Return to Human Rights Tour, Boycott Wendy’s demonstrations continue to pave the way for the tour’s convergence with the student fast in just a few short days when the Immokalee crew reaches Ohio this weekend.

The CIW’s website has the full report from the ground in Columbus, and features photos from the tour’s musical stop in Madison – hop over to take a look!

Tomorrow, we’ll bring you more from both fronts – up next, the Windy City!

Return to Human Rights Tour passes 1,000 mile mark, connects with worker leaders from Nashville to Minneapolis!

Following the tour’s inspiring stop in Atlanta, CIW members and allies headed northward for the weekend, first passing through the longtime Fair Food hub of Nashville and finally landing in the cold Northern land of Minnesota.

Along the way, CIW members both drew inspiration from and offered their own insights to two sister organizations, Workers Dignity in Nashville and the Centro por Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL) in the Twin Cities, strengthening the ties that naturally bind together all communities who have chosen to rise above fear and seemingly insurmountable obstacles in order to win justice and dignity in the workplace.  And there were two high-spirited actions in support of the Wendy’s Boycott to boot! 

Meanwhile in Wendy’s hometown of Columbus, OH, Day 1 of the OSU student fast got off to a strong start, as students and youth from across the SFA network commit to taking action in solidarity with fasters throughout the week. If you haven't already, let us know how you'll be responding to the call for support by getting in touch at

Head over to the CIW website for the full photo and video report of the Nashville and Minneapolis stops!

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with more from both the OSU student fast front, and the Return to Human Rights Tour’s journey across the Midwest!

OSU students, Columbus community launch national call for solidarity as they begin weeklong fast to Boot the Braids!

OSU students and Columbus community fasters (pictured above) initiate a weeklong fast in support of national Wendy's Boycott. 

OSU students and Columbus community fasters (pictured above) initiate a weeklong fast in support of national Wendy's Boycott. 

Last night, 19 students from The Ohio State University and Columbus community members gathered in a small room to break bread together one last time before embarking on a week-long fast for farmworker justice.  

As the Return to Human Rights Tour makes its way through the Midwest, members of OSU Student/Farmworker Alliance, Real Food OSU, and Ohio Fair Food will go without food for one week to demand that Wendy’s commit to human rights for farmworkers by joining the Fair Food Program — and to demand that OSU abide by their contractual promise to end the university’s lease with Wendy’s should the corporation not satisfy the concerns of the OSU Student/Farmworker Alliance.  

Over homemade soup and fresh bread, fasters heard from Julia de la Cruz and Santiago Perez of the CIW, who participated in the CIW's 2012 Fast for Fair Food, and shared their hopes to deepen solidarity with farmworkers and find new wells of strength for their movement.  Over the course of the evening, the room filled with the power of the many fasts and hunger strikes of CIW and SFA's history and those of other movements for farmworker justice — sacrifices that have given birth to new realities of dignity and human rights once only imagined. Each victory of the past is a promise that the fast that launches today brings us closer and closer to an agriculture industry where all may work free from abuse.

As the only major fast food chain that has refused to join the Fair Food Program, Wendy’s continues to take the low road when it comes to human rights violations in its supply chain; its recently updated Code of Conduct still lacks the enforcement mechanisms and participation of workers themselves integral to the Fair Food Program and necessary to ensure workers are treated fairly.  

“From past meetings between administration and the OSU Student/Farmworker Alliance, the university already knows this,” said Ben Wibking, a member of OSU SFA. “Ohio State has had years leading up to this point to negotiate and gather information from Wendy’s, and it’s time our school keeps its promise and ends the contract.”

Every day this week, students will be fasting outside of Bricker Hall to make clear that OSU administration, and President Drake himself, cannot be neutral: They can either choose to support a corporation that obscures the abuse of farmworkers through PR gambits; or OSU can choose the side of justice and real human rights. Every morning, students will deliver the demand that OSU end its contract with Wendy’s to OSU administrators, and every afternoon — as a community delegation holds vigil at Wendy’s HQ in nearby Dublin — students will hold an open meeting with a special seat reserved for OSU President Drake until the moment when he chooses to come to the table.

In the lead up the big Parade for Human Rights through the streets of downtown Columbus on March 26,  the following 19 OSU undergraduates, graduate students and alumni will be fasting to Boot the Braids from campus:

  • Alex Hoey, Class of 2019, Geography

  • Alyssa Gordon, Class of 2018, Sustainable Plant Systems

  • Amanda Ferguson, Masters Student, Landscape Architecture

  • A. Tang, Class of 2018, Master of Social Work

  • Ben Wibking, PhD Candidate, Astronomy

  • Emily Evans, Class of 2017, Environment, Economy, Development, & Sustainability

  • Ethan Shillington, Class of 2018, Environmental Science

  • Graham Spangler, Class of 2016, Environment, Economy, Development, & Sustainability

  • Henry Peller, PhD Candidate, Soil Science

  • Laura Kington, Class of 2015, Environment, Economy, Development, & Sustainability

  • Luke Feist, Class of 2019, Environmental Policy & Decision-Making

  • Mara Momenee, Class of 2017, Environment, Economy, Development, & Sustainability

  • Maria Fredericks, Class of 2019, Environmental Policy and Decision-Making

  • Patrick Kaufman, Class of 2001, Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering

  • Rachael Birri, Class of 2020, Environmental Science

  • Rachel Metzler, Class of 2016, Environment, Economy, Development, & Sustainability

  • Reyna Lusson, Class of 2018, City and Regional Planning

  • Sally Doyle, Class of 2018, Landscape Architecture

  • Taya Molloy, Class of 2020, Mathematics

By fasting, the group will walk in the footsteps of thousands of other workers and students who have fought for and won better working conditions in the movement for Fair Food — and they are are launching a national call for solidarity for students and young people to show up like never before.  

You can help OSU SFA and Real Food OSU build toward a victory in the Boot the Braids campaign by showing your support in the following ways:

  • Fast for a day in solidarity with OSU student and Columbus community members

  • Send photo petitions to President Drake in solidarity with the fast, include where you’re based, and why this is important to you

  • Write your own reflections and messages of support to fasters

  • Mobilize your campus or community to join hundreds at the Parade for Human Rights on March 26 (ending at the OSU campus)

Not only will fasters be receiving waves of support from students and youth, but also from people of faith and conscience across the Alliance for Fair Food network. Just last week, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) penned a powerful letter in solidarity with the OSU student fast and invited Presbyterians  to participate in AFF's National Day of Prayer and Fasting on Friday, March 24 as the CIW arrives to Columbus to kick off the culminating weekend of action. 

Get in touch with us at if you’ll be supporting the Boot the Braids fast in any way, and stay tuned for reports from the Return to Human Rights Tour stops in Nashville and Minneapolis coming soon!

In Atlanta, Georgia, the Return to Human Rights Tour unites with social justice movements, past and present!

Yesterday, the CIW's Return to Human Rights Tour spent a full and meaningful day in Atlanta, Georgia. On Day 2 of the tour, participants immersed themselves in the city's rich legacy within the American civil rights movement and joined forces with allies from across the Georgia to continue writing history in the long struggle for freedom and human rights. That is, in the words of Atlanta's Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to continue bending the arc of the moral universe toward justice.

After visiting Atlanta's Center for Civil and Human Rights in the morning, and connecting with old and new supporters at Berea Mennonite Church, Emory University, and Grace United Methodist Church, the tour crew headed to Wendy's for a strong, evening rush hour picket outside Wendy's in the heart of the city.  

Check out the CIW's website to watch a beautiful video of the day's events and reflections, and to view photos from the nearly 100-strong protest and final, moving Boycott Wendy's rally!

CIW's Return to Human Rights Tour hits the ground running with a vibrant Boot the Braids march through UF!


And we're off! Yesterday morning, the CIW's Return to Human Rights Tour left Immokalee and hit the road to arrive at the tour's first stop in Gainesville, FL, home to the University of Florida. A Fair Food stronghold since the early years of the campaign (and birthplace to the Fair Food youth movement and the Student/Farmworker Alliance), students welcomed the tour crew with open arms and powerful lungs ready to amplify the growing Wendy's Boycott and UF's ongoing "Boot the Braids" campaign. 

Like students at the Ohio State University, whose brave 6-day fast in solidarity with the Wendy's Boycott is fast approaching, students at UF are currently calling on their university to cut its contract with the Wendy's restaurant on campus. A unified coalition of students, Gainesville community members, and allies from as far as Georgia and Indiana joined the CIW for a colorful march through campus ending with an energetic picket outside the very Wendy's students are attempting to boot. 

Head over to the CIW's website for the full photo report for a play by play of the tour's first action splash! 

Stay tuned for more as the tour criss-crosses the Southeast and the Midwest on its way to Wendy's hometown of Columbus, OH, and as nearly two dozen OSU students and Columbus community members prepare to start their fast in solidarity with farmworkers next week!

ACTION ALERT! Call-in to Ohio State University Admin., tell them: Students will fast on your doorstep if you don't cut the contract with Wendy's!

After two years of stalling, OSU admin postpones meeting with students!  Tell President Michael Drake to Boot the Braids by March 17 — or expect week-long student fast!  CALL NOW!  Number: (614) 292-2424.  

Students at The Ohio State University have been working for two years to end the university’s contract with Wendy’s, insisting that Wendy's refusal to protect farmworkers’ rights by joining the Fair Food Program has no place on a college campus.  And despite a hard-won stipulation in the contract between Wendy’s and the university stating that Wendy’s must resolve the concerns of the OSU Student/Farmworker Alliance in order to continue leasing space from OSU, the administration extended Wendy’s lease by six months this past December — saying they needed more time to “hear from Wendy’s.”  

Yet OSU students have made it clear time and again that Wendy’s Code of Conduct for their suppliers is built on aspirational claims that include no real worker participation or market enforcement.  And in a meeting they were promised by administrators yesterday, students would have explained that the recent addition of third-party audits for some of their suppliers to Wendy’s code remains meaningless without the workers’ voice and real economic consequences for human rights violations of the Fair Food Program.

Students would have said that, had they gotten the chance.  Instead, after over two years of stalling — two years in which Wendy’s has denied farmworkers in its supply chain the protections against sexual harassment, poverty wages, and modern-day slavery that have made the FFP the widely-recognized gold standard in social responsibility — OSU administrators cancelled the meeting. 

OSU students have had enough of the administration’s callous disregard for farmworkers’ suffering. In a snap action today, over a dozen students from the Student/Farmworker Alliance and Real Food Challenge declared that starting on March 20, they will fast outside of the OSU administration building in the lead-up to the Return to Human Rights Tour’s arrival in Columbus, OH with a march ending on campus, unless OSU administrators cut the contract with Wendy’s by March 17: "We will be fasting in solidarity with farmworkers who have had to go hungry because of Wendy’s indifference to the poverty and abuse endemic to the agriculture industry outside of the Fair Food Program.  …Your refusal to follow through on your promises is what has pushed us to this point.  Now is the time — Boot the Braids!”

In the words of CIW’s Julia de la Cruz, who joined our action on campus yesterday: “Wendy’s is trying to silence their consumers through their empty Code of Conduct!  But you all as students no longer have your eyes shut.  Your eyes are open to see the reality behind the produce Wendy’s serves!  You see the labor of farmworkers and the abuse Wendy’s is perpetuating!  For that reason you have taken this step of solidarity in fasting.  And together, we are shaping history."

Justice delayed is justice denied!  Call OSU President Michael Drake TODAY at (614) 292-2424 to demand that OSU cut the contract with Wendy’s by March 17 — or see students fasting on their doorstep, with thousands more arriving to march on campus in the Parade for Human Rights.  See below for a sample script.  

“President Drake, I’m calling because OSU has gone against its word by renewing a contract with the only major fast food chain to refuse to join the Fair Food Program.  Wendy’s Code of Conduct is empty of enforcement and worker participation.  End the contract with Wendy’s by March 17 — or OSU students will be putting their bodies on the line by fasting outside of your offices.  Justice delayed is justice denied!”

BREAKING: OSU students, Columbus community announce weeklong fast in lead-up to Return to Human Rights Tour!

“We are fasting in solidarity with farmworkers who have had to go hungry while harvesting the food we all eat because of Wendy’s indifference to their exploitation …”

In a major escalation in the Wendy’s Boycott, Ohio State University students and Columbus community members with Ohio Fair Food announced this morning that they will begin a weeklong fast on March 20 to demand that Wendy’s join the Fair Food Program.  As hundreds upon hundreds prepare to converge on Wendy’s hometown from March 24-26 for the tour's major weekend of action —culminating in a massive Parade for Human Rights through the streets of Columbus — OSU students and organizers will fast to express solidarity with farmworkers who have had to go hungry because of Wendy’s indifference to their exploitation.  

Each day of the week leading up to the Parade, fasters will deliver the demand that Wendy’s join the Fair Food Program to their Dublin headquarters. And in fasting outside of OSU’s administration building, students will draw national attention to the fact that OSU administrators have yet to Boot The Braids and end their complicity in human rights violations against farmworkers that Wendy’s lets go unchecked.  In fact, they extended the contract with Wendy’s despite their commitment to end it should Wendy's not meet the criteria for farmworkers’ human rights set by the OSU Student/Farmworker Alliance.

Ohio Fair Food asks us, “What are we really hungry for?”  Check out their full announcement below:

Columbus! What are we hungry for?

Columbus community to launch fast calling for farmworker justice, human rights for all, from fast-food giant Wendy’s: We’d rather go hungry than eat fast-food that exploits farmworkers. 

On March 20th, we will launch a weeklong fast outside of the headquarters of the local fast food giant, Wendy’s.  We will be fasting to demand that Wendy’s respect the fundamental human rights of farmworkers in their supply chain by joining the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program.  We are fasting in solidarity with farmworkers who have had to go hungry while harvesting the food we all eat because of Wendy’s indifference to their exploitation.  We are fasting in a long tradition of taking peaceful action to make clear the responsibility Wendy’s has to their hometown of Columbus.  On March 24th, we will receive CIW members as they arrive to Columbus for theReturn to Human Rights Tour, a national mobilization to demand dignity for farmworkers and lift up struggles for human rights across the nation. 

 It has been four years since farmworkers and consumers launched a public campaign against Wendy’s.  But rather than respond to our demand to join CIW’s award-winning Fair Food Program, Wendy’s decided to move their purchases to Mexico, where child labor, sexual violence, modern-day slavery, and other human rights abuses are endemic and go effectively unchecked.  Wendy’s cynically offers consumers the fig leaf of a corporate Code of Conduct --devoid of any actual enforcement or worker participation -- as an alternative to the verifiable, worker-led protections of the Fair Food Program, a program recognized as the gold standard for social responsibility today for its unique success in addressing and preventing abuses in the agriculture industry. 

Wendy’s calls Columbus their hometown.  With attacks on the human rights of immigrants, people of color, women, LGBTQ communities, and so many others on the rise here and around the country, Wendy’s represents the worst of corporate greed locally and nationally.  Through funding political campaigns built on a platform of division and hate, and partnering with local developers on projects that drive Columbus’s most vulnerable communities from their homes, Wendy’s has failed its own community as completely as it has failed the women and men who harvest the fresh produce in their supply chain. 

 To reshape our city’s politics and win human rights for farmworkers, we need Wendy’s to take responsibility for their impact in the communities where they do business.  This spring, we must hold Wendy’s accountable and demand that they join the Fair Food Program once and for all. 

With our fast, we are asking ourselves and our community, “What are we are really hungry for?”  We are fasting for farmworker justice. We are fasting to show those in power who attempt to wait us out, who stall until we are tired and out of resources, that they can’t starve our movement. 

Our fast will begin on Monday, March 20th. Throughout the week, we will be fasting with a presence at Wendy’s Headquarters and with students on Ohio State’s campus, where the administration continues to stall on fulfilling its own promise to students to terminate OSU’s contract with Wendy’s unless it joined the Fair Food Program.

And we are inviting you to join us.

 The Coalition of Immokalee Workers tour bus will reach Dublin on March 24 at 3:30 p.m., joining forces with fasters and Columbus-area allies for a powerful vigil outside of Wendy’s Headquarters.  We will break our fast on Sunday, March 26, along with thousands of farmworkers, Columbus-area allies and people convening from across the country to march in the Parade for Human Rights, which begins in Goodale Park at 1:00 p.m. 

Join us in showing Wendy’s that they can’t starve our movement. It’s time for us to come together in our fight for dignity, justice, liberation: human rights for all.

Email us at to get involved! 

Who doesn’t love a parade?… CIW launches call for artwork ahead of Parade for Human Rights!


Just two years ago, the CIW and thousands of allies flooded the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, for a massive and unforgettable Parade and Concert for Fair Food.  Replete with stunningly colorful floats and billowing painted parachutes…

… as well as dozens of homemade banners representing communities from across the country, the 2015 parade combined the exuberance of a hometown festival with the irresistible demand for justice of the Campaign for Fair Food.

Art at the crossroads of joy and justice has long been a hallmark of the movement for Fair Food.  And the herculean amount of cutting, taping, painting, printing, and sewing that goes into a typical CIW major action is only ever possible with the help of many hands and many creative minds.  But this year, we need even more hands on deck for the Parade for Human Rights in Columbus, Ohio! 

Now just one month out from the culmination of the Return to Human Rights Tour in Wendy’s hometown, the finishing touches are being added to what promises to be a whirlwind weekend of action!  We will kick off the weekend with a powerful vigil on Friday, March 24, to be held directly outside Wendy’s headquarters in Dublin, Ohio.  On Saturday, as allies pour into Columbus from all corners of the country, Ohio Fair Food and CIW will host a “World Café” conference and concert, digging deeper into the CIW’s struggle for human rights as well as how we can build longterm movements for collective liberation. And, of course, the conference will feature an original Immokalee popular education teatro

Finally, as the centerpiece of the weekend’s events, thousands of allies will gather at the heart of Columbus on Sunday, March 26 for the Parade for Human Rights.  The Parade will weave through downtown and straight into the campus of The Ohio State University, where students are building a Boot the Braids Campaign that grows stronger by the day. Together, we will unmask Wendy’s in its own hometown, and demand that Wendy’s join the Fair Food Program. 

To make the Parade as big and beautiful as possible, Immokalee workers arecalling on all Fair Food groups, youth/campus groups, community-based organizations and any and every parade participant to join the national art team.  Whether you want to make a banner, or create a magnificent float,  to represent your campus in the Parade for Human Rights, we welcome your creative talent. Download the CIW’s official invitation to join the art team — we have it both in English and Spanish! — and get in touch with the Immokalee-based crew to let us know what you’re planning.

And, of course, whether you come equipped with artwork or not, we look forward to seeing you in Columbus on March 26th!  If you haven’t had a chance to register your group, your caravan, or yourself as an individual participant, make sure to do so over at the Wendy’s Boycott website.  And while you’re at it, check out the list of caravans and buses as they make plans to head to Columbus next month.

To close, we have some final words from CIW’s Leonel Perez, who has spent the past month in nonstop presentations and meetings in Ohio and across the Midwest to get the word out about the upcoming parade:

“Consciousness + Commitment = Change.  Again, I want to thank you all for participating in today’s meeting.  You help to give us the strength to continue fighting.  Thanks to the participation of allies to the CIW, farmworkers’ rights exist.  We have to keep the Campaign going — we have to move Wendy’s to do the right thing!”

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


The struggle for fundamental human rights in our food system is far from over, and our work in the Campaign for Fair Food is more important than ever before.

Apply now to join the ally team in Immokalee! 

The Alliance for Fair Food is seeking an Immokalee-based staff member to co-coordinate the involvement of people of faith in the national Campaign for Fair Food in direct partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Alongside students and youth, food justice and women’s rights advocates and community groups, people of faith from a number of traditions and denominations represent a central constituency in the vibrant, multi-generational Alliance for Fair Food.  Consider applying or encouraging someone you know to apply! Join the Immokalee team in working on one of the most dynamic and successful struggles for justice of our day.

Areas of work include:

  • Coordination of the AFF network, with a focus on faith organizing:
    • Campaign strategy
    • National mobilizations
    • Education, outreach and leadership development
    • Organizing with a broad network of organizations and individuals, including but not limited to people of faith
  • Organizational operations (fundraising, communications, etc.)
  • Support for the CIW staff and the farmworker community in Immokalee

Read the full description, and contact us at to request an application. Deadline for staff application is April 15, 2017.

We’re hiring summer and fall interns to support the ally team in organizing with a diverse array of Fair Food allies across the country and work side-by-side with CIW staff to provide on-the-ground support for the farmworker community in Immokalee. Responsibilities include development of campaign strategy, helping to coordinate direct actions and assistance with office tasks and projects. A minimum commitment of 3-5 months is preferred; start date is flexible. Interns receive free housing and a modest monthly stipend. 

Apply today! Deadline for the summer and fall internship application is April 15, 2017.

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 both the staff and internship positions.

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! You can write us at or call Shelby at 239-675-9234. 

We are looking forward to receiving your application!

PHOTO REPORT: Boycott Wendy’s Valentines swamp CEO Todd Penegor’s mailbox!

Ohio State Student/Farmworker Alliance stages theater piece on campus before delivering massive Boot the Braids-inspired Valentine to President Drake’s office! 

People from every corner of the Fair Food Nation celebrated Valentine’s Day last week by taking to their pens and paper to show their support for the Wendy's Boycott! With scissors, glue and construction paper at hand, stalwart members of Fair Food Groups and students at campuses with burgeoning Boot the Braids campaigns, among countless students and young people in the SFA network, crafted hundreds of Fair Food Valentines for Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor. 

The resounding message, delivered directly to Mr. Penegor's offices at Wendy's headquarters in Dublin, OH, was more than an urgent demand for the top executive to melt Wendy's frosty heart and commit the restaurant to respecting the fundamental human rights of farmworkers. It was also a chilling reminder that if the company fails to join the Fair Food Program within the month, thousands of farmworkers and allies will storm through the streets of Columbus in a roaring Parade for Human Rights on March 26 at the culmination of the CIW’s Return to Human Rights Tour

Check out the photo selection from the Wendy’s Boycott blitz this Valentine’s Day:

The Ohio State University, University of Florida, Vanderbilt University and Florida Atlantic University

Members of Ohio Fair Food, Nashville Fair Food, Montclair Fair Food Alliance, Ann Arbor Solidarity with Farmworkers Collective, DC Fair Food and Tampa Bay Fair Food

From Florida to New York to Idaho, allies in the struggle for farmworker justice gathered in congregations, classrooms and community spaces to pen their V-Day messages to Mr. Penegor! 

With Valentines sealed and delivered, the Fair Food Nation continues full speed ahead in mobilizing for the Return to Human Rights Tour. Be sure to register your group today to join farmworkers for the major stops in Columbus and Tampa — and donate to help CIW raise $10,000 to send farmworkers on the 2,000-mile journey to advance the Wendy’s Boycott. 

And as you make plans to join CIW on tour, keep an eye out in the coming days for big news coming out of the Fair Food Nation!

Get on the bus! Meet CIW at the culmination of the Return to Human Rights Tour in Columbus!

One month from today, a bus of farmworkers from Immokalee and their allies will be embarking on a 2,000-mile trek through more than a dozen U.S. cities for the monumental Return to Human Rights Tour. The CIW is ready to share its signature energy and message of hope and resilience with thousands of students, people of faith and community allies who will meet them in unstoppable action to advance the national Wendy's Boycott along every stop of the way. 

If we are to keep building a broad and inclusive movement to protect the fundamental human rights of farmworkers, and of all people at the center of struggles for justice, this kind of long-lasting vision and persistence will be needed to pull us through this uncertain moment, and to bring Wendy's into the Fair Food Program.

So, if you're ready to join the CIW from March 24-26 for the tour's culminating weekend of action — featuring a powerful vigil outside of Wendy's headquarters in Dublin, OH, an unforgettable World Café-style gathering at The Ohio State University and a tremendous, lively Parade for Human Rights through the streets of downtown Columbus — reserve your spot on a bus or caravan today!   

Check out the most updated list of buses and caravans leaving from DC, Boston, Ann Arbor, Cleveland, Sarasota and many more cities over at theWendy’s Boycott website!   

Don’t see your city? Get in touch at to start coordinating your own caravan. 

And if you're in Florida, make plans to join hundreds of farmworkers and allies for the tour's grand finale: a march and vigil for human rights in Tampa, FL, on March 29! We will finalize the tour calling on both Wendy's and Publix Supermarkets to ensure dignity and respect for farmworkers in their supply chains by joining the Fair Food Program. 

See you soon!

TOMORROW: Send a Fair Food Valentine to Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor! 

Yesterday, farmworker mothers and their children kicked off the national Valentine’s Day of Action in Immokalee by crafting dozens of heart-shaped boycott messages and an oversized Fair Food Valentine to drop in the mail for Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor. Before leaving their cards at the post office, the spirited group headed over to the Wendy’s restaurant in town to make sure the local manager, too, was made aware of the burgeoning national boycott. Once inside, however, they were given the cold shoulder. 

Speaking of frosty... it’s no secret that Wendy’s spends millions trying to convince consumers that what sets them apart from those “Othr Guyz” — a thinly-veiled identity Wendy’s created with reference to competitors like McDonald’s and Burger King — is their fresh, never frozen beef. But how does Wendy’s stack up against those same competitors when it comes to human rights violations in their supply chain? 

In case you missed it, CIW brilliantly exposes this stone-cold contradiction in a must-see, 30-second adbust of Wendy’s Super Bowl commercial, which has racked up a whopping 17,000 views since the big game. With the same $5 million Wendy's spent on half a minute of airtime, they could have funded at least five years of fairer wages and dignified working conditions for farmworkers through their participation in the Fair Food Program.

This Valentine’s Day, join the Fair Food Nation in letting Mr. Penegor know that we’re not buying any of it — literally. For inspiration in crafting your Valentine to Wendy’s top executive, check out these creative action resources. Be sure to take a picture with your V-Day card and upload it to social media using #BoycottWendys and tagging @Wendys before you mail it to Mr. Penegor: 

Mr. Todd A. Penegor
The Wendy’s Company, Inc. 
One Dave Thomas Boulevard
Dublin, OH 43017

And send us a report of how things went at!

Happy Valentine’s Day!