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 organize@sfalliance.org 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!c

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 organize@sfalliance.org.

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 organize@sfalliance.org 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!

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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 OhioForFairFood@gmail.com to get involved! 

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

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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! 

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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! 

AFF STAFF POSITION
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 organize@allianceforfairfood.org to request an application. Deadline for staff application is April 15, 2017.

AFF INTERNSHIP
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 organize@allianceforfairfood.org 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:

BOOT THE BRAIDS SCHOOLS
The Ohio State University, University of Florida, Vanderbilt University and Florida Atlantic University

FAIR FOOD GROUPS
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 organize@allianceforfairfood.org 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 organize@allianceforfairfood.org!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

SFA’s leadership convenes in Immokalee and rolls out student escalation in the Wendy’s Boycott! 

Two weeks ago, members of SFA’s new leadership made their way to Immokalee for the annual Steering Committee (SC) Face-to-Face meeting. Seven new members joined five returning SCers for three intensive days of building strategy in the Wendy’s Boycott, connecting with members of the CIW and strengthening the reach of the SFA network in the year ahead.  

Ready to take on corporate exploitation in Wendy’s supply chain, the SC developed plans to bring contract-cutting campaigns at “Boot the Braids” campuses to victory — with a sharp focus on strongholds like The Ohio State University, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and University of Florida. 

The SC also spent the weekend zeroing in on mobilization plans for the CIW’s upcoming Return to Human Rights Tour and mapping out tactics to bring the Wendy’s Boycott more heavily into campuses and communities across the country. And, together with the CIW, SCers spent time crafting a vision for longterm solidarity among grassroots movements to fight exploitation and corporate greed in our country’s food system and beyond. Stay tuned as these plans unfold over the course of the spring semester! 

The steady stream of actions leading up to the major spring tour have already begun. Last week, hundreds of students, young people and community allies flooded the voicemail inbox of Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor with promises to show up by the thousands to Wendy’s doorstep in March unless he finally brings the company to commit to joining the Fair Food Program. 

Up next, join SFAers in keeping up the pressure on Wendy’s top executive — this time, by mailing boycott-themed Valentine’s Day cards to Mr. Penegor’s corporate office! Resources to support you in planning your action are up on the Alliance for Fair Food site, including talking points, sample Valentines and more. 

And in case you missed it, check out how CIW expertly brand busted Wendy’s $5 million “Cold as Ice” Super Bowl commercial!

Long live student/worker power!

CALL-IN DAY: Give Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor a buzz on Feb. 1 in advance of CIW’s Return to Human Rights Tour!

As thousands of people across the country gear up to take action with dozens of farmworkers on CIW’s 14-day, 12-city Return to Human Rights Tour — including the major mobilization in Columbus from March 24-26 — join SFA for a national call-in day to Wendy’s corporate headquarters. We’re giving Wendy's CEO Todd Penegor a ring on Feb. 1 to give fair warning that SFAers nationwide are boycotting and mobilizing in full force to demand justice, dignity and respect for farmworkers! 

Check out the call script below, and be sure to fill out the form after your call to let us know how it goes. Let’s make sure Mr. Penegor gets the message loud and clear that if Wendy’s doesn't join the Fair Food Program before March rolls around, we’ll be bringing our friends, classmates and communities to participate in a massive, visible and powerful action in the heart of Wendy’s territory in Columbus, OH! 

Call-in day: February 1, 2017

Call-in number: 614-764-3100, dial #3 and ask to leave a message for Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor (and they will transfer you to his assistant, Lisa Spears)

Sample script: “Hi, my name is _______ and I’m calling to leave a message for Mr. Todd Penegor in support of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. The CIW is a human rights organization that's calling on Wendy’s to end exploitation in their supply chain by joining the internationally-recognized Fair Food Program. I am currently participating in the national boycott of Wendy's because of your company's ongoing failure to make a commitment to human rights. If Wendy's doesn't join the Fair Food Program by March, I will be attending a massive, farmworker-led mobilization from March 24-26 in Dublin and Columbus, and I’ll be bringing my community, too! Thank you for relaying this message.”

Name *
Name
Who did you speak with during your call? What was your experience speaking with this person? Any noteworthy information shared?

Pa’ lante! 

On Valentine's Day, remind Wendy's CEO Todd Penegor of the Fair Food Nation's commitment to boycott!

During the next few weeks, people across the country will prepare to celebrate Valentine's Day by sharing in the promise of love and unity with friends and family. As storefronts and online feeds begin filling with hearts and flowers, the Fair Food Nation will begin making special plans of its own... to mobilize our campuses and communities for the CIW's Return to Human Rights Tour set for March 16-29! 

And just in from the CIW's website, check out the full tour schedule below: 

  • March 16 – Gainesville, FL
  • March 17 — Atlanta, GA
  • March 18 — Nashville, TN
  • March 19 — St. Louis, MO
  • March 20 — Minneapolis, MN
  • March 21 — Madison, WI
  • March 22 — Chicago, IL
  • March 23 — Louisville, KY
  • March 24-26 — National Convergence & Action in Columbus, OH
  • March 27 — Chapel Hill, NC
  • March 28 — Charleston, SC
  • March 29 — Tampa, FL 

But, even before converging with dozens of farmworkers and thousands of their allies in support of the Wendy's Boycott during this year’s major spring mobilization, we're calling on allies to build the drumbeat in the weeks leading up to the tour. On Feb. 14, join the Fair Food Nation in mailing Valentine's Day cards to Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor, to remind Wendy’s top executive of our commitment to boycott the fast food holdout until they join the Fair Food Program! 

Check out these action resources for creative ideas, graphics, guides and tips for sending your Valentines to Wendy's Headquarters and for organizing a spirited action at your local Wendy’s. 

Join the SFA network in putting Mr. Penegor on notice that when it comes to human rights for farmworkers, we have high standards – and Wendy's should, too. The longer Wendy's leadership weighs the merits of "expecting" more from their tomato suppliers versus returning to an industry where real, enforceable protections for farmworkers are flourishing, the stronger students and youth will deliver on their word: If you don't sign, we won't buy!

Give the gift of human rights for farmworkers!

What if this holiday season, you could give a loved one the gift of human rights for farmworkers? 

Over the past 15 years, through the tenacious Campaign for Fair Food, hundreds of thousands of students and youth have fought shoulder-to-shoulder alongside farmworkers to bring corporate giants to implement human rights in their supply chain. And the unprecedented result of that epic (and ongoing) fight — the creation and implementation of the award-winning Fair Food Program — is guaranteeing freedom to work free from sexual harassment, an end to forced labor, access to shade, water, bathrooms and the right to report abuse without fear of retaliation to farmworkers in tomato fields across the East Coast, as well as bell pepper and strawberry fields in Florida.

Now, our challenge is not only to strengthen and expand these rights, but to also sustain them for the long haul.  And that’s why this holiday season, we invite you to give the gift of human rights to a friend or family member by making a sustaining donation in their honor. The impact of a sustaining donation is truly remarkable: 

If 20 people gave $20 a month, SFA would have the resources to fully fund both of the Steering Committee’s annual strategy meetings for 2017 — the Face to Face in January and the Mid-year Retreat in the summer — where SFA’s official leadership body convenes to formulate student-specific strategy in the Campaign for Fair Food, share and build upon their organizing skills and strengthen relationships with CIW members, SFA staff and fellow SCers. 

If you make a recurring donation, consider that if just 10 people commit to becoming Sustainers at $100 a month, the costs of 100 students and young people attending the annual SFA Encuentro will be completely covered, including meals, lodging, meeting space, materials, and travel scholarships for this crucial gathering in Immokalee. The Encuentro is a pivotal moment for youth of the Fair Food movement to develop campaign strategy, build leadership skills, and create a strong community. And this year, it will be more critical than ever that young people are equipped to protect the future of the Fair Food Program and our communities at large.

Finally, we are sharing an example of the impact of donations to the Fair Food Sustainer Program directly from the CIW’s website:

If 25 people gave $25 a month, the CIW worker-to-worker education team would have the resources necessary to bring Fair Food Program education to 1,000 workers in the northern states of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina each summer, where the team rises before dawn each morning, drives to distant fields, and informs workers, face to face, of their right to work free of violence, sexual harassment, and dangerous working conditions.”

Your gift to the Fair Food Sustainer Program is an investment in a different future: A future where the New Day of human rights dawning in fields across the East coast becomes the norm.  It is an investment in the future of the world we are creating together – one where all people are treated with dignity and respect on the job, at home and beyond. 

Join us in making that future a reality: Become a Fair Food Sustainer today!

VIDEO REPORT: Wendy's slammed with dozens of "Boycott the Fast Food Grinch" videos!

Last week, the SFA network put out a special online call to action in the Wendy's Boycott asking students and young people to submit videos declaring Wendy's the official Fast Food Grinch of 2016! And the Fair Food Nation took up the holiday challenge, chiming in from Idaho to Wisconsin to Florida — even from Guatemala! — affirming their commitment to boycott Wendy's until the Fast Food Grinch has a change of heart and joins farmworkers at the table.  

We were blown away by the remarkable spirit of solidarity and the incredible amount of creativity reflected in the whirlwind of videos that stormed SFA's Facebook page on Friday. Scores of students — including SFAers at Boot the Braids campuses, such as The Ohio State University, University of Texas-Austin and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill — and community allies added to the flurry of Grinch-themed theater skits, ultimatums, soliloquies and remixes.

So, without further ado, here are the Top 12 videos from SFA's "Boycott the Fast Food Grinch" action (though be sure to peep the full selection!):

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA – Students at UNC-Chapel Hill

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Students at UT-Austin

LAKELAND, FL – Crystal

MILWAUKEE, WI – Young People's Resistance Committee - UWM

ANN ARBOR, MI – Mikey of Ann Arbor Solidarity with Farmworkers Collective

COLUMBUS, OH – OSU SFA PT. 1

UPSTATE NEW YORK – Gaby

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Katie from Eckerd College

CHICAGO, IL – Students from Autonomous University of Social Movements

COLUMBUS, OH – OSU SFA PT. 2

GUATEMALA – Charlotte of Nashville Fair Food  

GAINESVILLE, FL – Jabari

BONUS: Members of the CIW and Fair Food toddlers Tepochtli and Oliver from Immokalee, FL! 

We'll wrap up this stunning video report with the re-mastered lyrics of this soon-to-be Fair Food holiday classic by Mikey from Ann Arbor, which perfectly encapsulates SFA's indefatigable commitment in the struggle for farmworkers' human rights:

You're a scoundrel,
Fast Food Grinch,
Is your profit worth the price?
Blocking worker participation in protecting their human rights,

Fast Food Grinch, 
Your rhetoric is deceptive
And your Supplier Code of Conduct bites. 

So we boycott! 
Fast Food Grinch,
It's the way we will declare
That your actions are immoral,
We can't wait for you to care,

Fast Food Grinch,
I wouldn't buy your burgers without...
Knowing your food is fair! 

ANNOUNCED! Save the date for CIW's Return to Human Rights Tour March 16–29, 2017!

In the tradition of the Taco Bell Truth Tours that successfully mobilized tens of thousands of students, people of faith and community allies nationwide toward victory during the seminal Taco Bell Boycott – and on the heels of last year’s successful Workers’ Voice Tour – farmworkers from Immokalee will converge with communities in action on next year's Return to Human Rights Tour! From March 16-29, 2017, farmworkers and their allies will take the Wendy’s Boycott deep into Wendy’s territory throughout the Midwest and the Southeast. 

The Tour will culminate with a major action in Wendy’s hometown of Columbus, Ohio on March 26 and finish strong with a powerful concluding vigil in Tampa on March 29 – stopping in nearly a dozen cities over the 13-day journey, including Gainesville, Chicago, Minneapolis, and more.

So, start making plans to meet us at major stops in Columbus or Tampa! And get in touch with us at organize@allianceforfairfood.org to begin mobilizing your campus or community to this year's major action! 

It’s time for Wendy’s – and the country – to return to human rights. To read more about the Return to Human Rights Tour, check out the full tour announcement on the CIW’s website!

See you in the spring!

WENDY'S VIDEO ACTION: Boycott the Fast Food Grinch!

This fall, the Fair Food Nation lit up with Wendy's Boycott actions as the CIW's Behind the Braids mobilization traversed over 25 cities across the country from Miami to Columbus to Austin. But the action is far from over....

Wendy's disdain towards the demand for Fair Food in their supply chain has shown through over the years – and it's just getting worse.  Wendy's has consciously and shamefully isolated themselves from the human rights transformations taking place in U.S. agriculture, as every single one of their top competitors is already participating in the Fair Food Program. Going so far out of their way to undermine this new reality for farmworkers in East Coast tomato fields, Wendy's decided to shift its purchases to one of the darkest corners of agriculture in comparison to Fair Food Program farms. 

So, the SFA network is officially branding Wendy's as the "Fast Food Grinch" of the year – and we're putting out the call for students and youth to let the hamburger giant know they won't get away with stealing farmworkers' fundamental human rights!

This Friday, take action by submitting short videos to Wendy's on social media! Be sure to include your name, where you're joining from and why you're boycotting the Fast Food Grinch. Upload your 30-second video to Facebook or Instagram – or send it over to organize@sfalliance.org. Don't forget to tag @Wendys and use #FastFoodGrinch and #BoycottWendys. If you need some more inspiration as you're getting your video ready for this Friday, check out these Wendy's Boycott resources.

As students and young people across the country join thousands in tarnishing Wendy's image with the boycott, Wendy's will realize that their stubborn resistance to joining the Fair Food Program is worthless. Farmworkers and their allies won't let go of the sharp belief that the responsibility for ensuring human rights and fair wages for farmworkers must be shared by the multibillion dollar companies that most profit from their labor. This national boycott will only end with Wendy's having a change of heart, just as the Grinch did, and joining farmworkers at the table. 

No matter what year-end tradition we celebrate, this season is a time for us to reflect on the commitment – and love – that drives the Campaign for Fair Food. This Friday, let’s remind Wendy’s of the true meaning of commitment, which goes way beyond being "quite happy with the quality and taste of the tomatoes" we consume. SFA’s commitment to the CIW's fight for Fair Food is deeply rooted in student/farmworker solidarity, tirelessly struggling alongside farmworkers to demand justice, dignity and respect in the fields. And no corporation – not even one as greedy as Wendy’s – will steal that away from us.