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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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

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

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

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

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

Vanderbilt University

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

New College of Florida and Riverview High School

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

More students take action! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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We're hiring a National SFA Co-Coordinator!

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Dear SFA, 

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

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

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

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

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

Sending all my love and respect to each of you, 

Natali 

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SFA Co-coordinator Position

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

Areas of work include but aren’t limited to:

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

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

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

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

We’re one month out! Donate now to support the #2017Encuentro! 

The 2017 SFA Encuentro is just around the corner! The SFA Steering Committee and staff have been working around the clock to design the incredible Encuentro weekend, with a focus on building power and support for the nationwide student-led campaigns to “Boot the Braids.” (If you haven’t already, apply to participate in this year’s Encuentro!)

Over the next three weeks, we’ll be putting the final touches on the weekend’s logistics: confirming travel with every participant, creating a delicious menu, collecting workshop outlines from facilitators, among so many other things. And, as always, we’re counting on the support of our SFA community to help us make it all happen! 

Chip in to support young leaders making their way to Immokalee for the SFA Encuentro! 

Our goal is to raise $2,500 to offset the staggering costs of putting together one of SFA’s biggest events of the year. Your donation will go a long way in supporting folks traveling hundreds of miles to join us in Immokalee; contributing to food, housing and meeting space needs for nearly 80 allies; and, pitching in for printed materials and resources.  

The remarkable young organizers that have tirelessly fought to bring the SFA network to this critical moment in the Wendy’s Boycott — including those working to cut contracts with on-campus Wendy’s restaurants and those who courageously took on the national rolling student fasts this past spring — are set to converge in CIW’s hometown to keep building student/farmworker power in the Campaign for Fair Food. Every contribution will bring us closer to making the Encuentro a reality! 

Check out our online fundraising page and make your donation today. Don’t forget to share the fundraiser with your family, friends and community to help us quickly reach our goal. 

See you in Immokalee this September!

The Wendy’s Boycott heats up as 120+ farmworkers and allies take to the streets in Orlando for a spirited summer protest! 

The sweltering 100-degree heat in Orlando on Sunday afternoon did not dampen the loud, contagious energy of over 120 supporters and farmworkers who packed the sidewalk of a Wendy's restaurant on this city's busy Colonial Drive thoroughfare. Farmworkers and their families from Immokalee, just starting to return to Florida after a summer season in northern states, joyfully joined members of the Youth and Young Adult (YAYA) Network of the National Farmworker Ministry, the Iron Workers Union, I.S.L.A.M, Inc., QLatinx, the Florida Student Power Network, the First Unitarian Church of Orlando, among other community allies, to bring the Wendy’s Boycott to O-Town! 

The summer protest followed the conclusion of a 30-day rolling Interfaith Fast for Farmworker Justice, during which over 40 faith leaders participated from seven religious traditions across Florida, the state with the most Wendy’s restaurants in the country. A season of fasting for human rights, initiated by 19 students at the Ohio State University in March and involving hundreds of supporters around the country, has ended with tremendous success as the tomato season rounds the corner.

Before the protest kicked off, Faiza Begani, representing YAYA, welcomed the boisterous crowd: 

"Today we stand outside of Wendy's boycotting their continued lack of responsibility and responsiveness when it comes to the abuses of farmworkers.”

As participants led spirited chants and allies with bright yellow flyers educated passersby about the Wendy’s Boycott, a delegation gathered to deliver a letter to the local Wendy's manager urging the fast food holdout to join the Fair Food Program. And even though they received a no-longer-surprising rejection, the group returned to the picket line determined to speak even more strongly about their support for the campaign. 

Cruz Salucio of the CIW led the closing reflection, addressing Wendy’s unconscionable decision to move their tomato purchases to Mexico, where reporting abuses has serious and life-threatening consequences (including the recent disappearance of 80 farmworkers in Chihuahua): 

"Human rights cannot be ignored in any way. You cannot run away from a place where an important road for farmworkers' human rights is being created.”

Luis Quintana, a former farmworker and representative of the Iron Workers Union, spoke to the heat, humidity, lack of shade, and other conditions that make farm labor some of the most difficult work in the country — and the fact that the CIW’s unique model to uproot those abuses is the only solution to ending violence in Wendy’s produce supply chain! 

Orlando’s principal newspaper, The Orlando Sentinel, reported on Sunday’s protest and Wendy’s failed response to the boycott:

Fair Food Advocates Protest Downtown Wendy’s” 
"… For the past five years, [Wendy’s] refused to sign on to the Fair Food [Program],” said Ofelia Sanchez, a protester from the Youth and Young Adult Network of the National Farm Worker Ministry. “Instead of preventing abuses in the fields, they’ve chosen to take their business from Florida tomato farms to Mexican tomato farms.”
In those fields, Sanchez said farm workers face wage theft, sexual abuse and human trafficking threats.
Wendy’s disputed the groups’ claims in a statement and said the Coalition of Immokalee Workers “objects to the fact that we don’t pay fees to their organization.”
“We do not believe that joining the Fair Food Program is the only way to act responsibly, and we pride ourselves on our relationships with industry-leading suppliers who share our commitment to quality, integrity and ethics,” Wendy’s spokeswoman Heidi Schaurer said.
Supporters of the Fair Food Program say it works toward educating farmworkers on their rights and also has created a 24-hour hotline aimed at curbing abuses.
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers said it has educated about 35,000 workers in meetings, and reached thousands more with video and written materials.
“The conditions of farms where we now have the Fair Food Program … have changed tremendously,” said Nely Rodriguez, who works with the Coalition. “Abuses are being eliminated and workers are able to report abuses.”

Of course, Wendy’s hollow Code of Conduct is no match for the Fair Food Program’s gold standard of human rights protection, an internationally-lauded worker-driven solution to farmworker abuse in the fields. 

Wendy's may be convinced that ignoring this national boycott, responding only with a weak and ineffective Code of Conduct and false insinuations that the CIW profits from the Fair Food Program, and continually turning a blind eye to the exploitation that remains in their supply chain will undermine our efforts to bring them to the table. But as over 120 farmworkers and their allies made clear in Orlando this weekend, "This action does not end today... Let's use all we can to push this boycott until one day we yell that we beat Wendy's." 

Sunday’s protest is but a taste of the tremendous energy and support that is building up for the coming Campaign season as the Student/Farmworker Alliance Encuentro (September 7-10) and fall action plans roll out. Stay tuned for more soon! 

We've raised an astounding $14,000 in grassroots donations — pitch in today to take us all the way to our $25,000 goal!

Since we launched the Wendy's Boycott Fund in May, right before the Fair Food Nation delivered a powerful surprise message to executives at the annual Wendy's shareholder meeting, SFAers have answered the urgent call to fuel the ever-growing boycott with an incredible $14,000 in individual grassroots donations!

Thanks to the generosity of allies like you, we’re more than half of the way to our goal of raising $25,000 to equip the SFA network to build on the spring's incredible momentum and carry us forward to a victory with Wendy's as the semester kicks back up.  It’s this kind of grassroots fundraising — support from those who carry this work and live it out daily — that can sustain this movement for the long haul as, led by farmworkers, we achieve justice for farmworkers.  

Announcing the 2017 SFA Encuentro: September 7-10 in Immokalee, FL!

We've had an incredible run, Fair Food Nation! In this relentless struggle to hold Wendy's accountable for the horrid abuses farmworkers face in its produce supply chain, it is now more urgent than ever to grow and strengthen the new, dignified reality of tens of thousands of workers protected by the CIW's Fair Food Program. This past spring, we've seen the most creative — and courageous! — methods of student organizing advance the Wendy's Boycott, epitomized with the 7-day fast to Boot the Braids from The Ohio State University by 19 students and alumni, and the roaring wave of rolling fasts that spread like wildfire over a dozen university campuses nationwide as a result. 

At this tipping point in the Wendy's Boycott, we're ready to bring it all home, right here in the beating heart of the CIW's struggle for dignity and justice in Immokalee, and invite the SFA network to join us in paving the path to victory at the 2017 Encuentro

This September 7-10, we're continuing the decade-long annual Encuentro tradition by bringing together brilliant young organizers from across the country to develop SFA's vision to continue fighting alongside the CIW in the Wendy's Boycott. At the Encuentro, we will build our organizing skills and leadership as a network, all the while learning from and deepening relationships with the farmworker community in Immokalee.

After an invigorating weekend-long strategy retreat in Washington, DC, last month, the SFA Steering Committee and staff are diving deep into planning for the 2017 Encuentro and finalizing details for an action-packed fall semester! 

Apply to join us this September in I-Town! If you still have questions about the Encuentro, check out all the details you need to know about our annual gathering. Drop us a line at organize@sfalliance.org or give us a ring at 239-657-8311 if you've got ideas or questions you'd like to share. 

See you at the #2017Encuentro!

Another exciting update: Smithsonian enshrines CIW's own Lady Liberty statue at the National Museum of American History!  

If you find yourself in Washington, DC, don't miss the CIW's spectacular Lady Liberty statue, once carried across Florida on the shoulders of farmworkers during the historic 234-mile march for Dignity, Dialogue and a Fair Wage, now on permanent display in the new exhibit "Many Voices, One Nation" at the National Museum of American History. This powerful march in 2000 was the spark that ignited the Student/Farmworker Alliance network, as hundreds of students from colleges across the state declared their solidarity with farmworkers  while marching, side by side, to end sweatshops in the fields! 

Check out CNN’s new Fair Food video series and donate to the Wendy’s Boycott Fund today!

Two days ago, as the office of Ohio State University President Drake received call after call from countless allies across the country outraged by the university’s decision to renew its contract with Wendy’s for three more years, the movement for Fair Food took the national spotlight! The CNN Freedom Project released a stunning video series, entitled "How America's 'ground-zero' for modern slavery was cleaned up by workers' group," highlighting the three broad and overlapping spheres of the CIW’s tremendous work: the Fair Food Program, the Campaign for Fair Food and the Anti-Slavery Campaign. 

The piece features farmworker testimony on the transformed, and truly dignified, conditions workers experience on Fair Food Program farms; details the market-backed consequences that allow for effective enforcement of farmworker-designed human rights standards; and packs a punch in exposing Wendy’s stubborn and shameful refusal to join all of its major competitors in “the most comprehensive social responsibility program in U.S. agriculture.” 

The videos speak for themselves: 

After enjoying the videos, make a donation to the Wendy’s Boycott Fund to help us bring the fast food holdout into the Fair Food Program! 

In the month of May, nearly 100 Fair Food allies have pitched in to bring us over 20% of the way to reaching our $25,000 goal (including a successful two-day $1,000 matching challenge by SFA veteran Rob McGoey!). As hundreds of students and young people from across the country power the Wendy's Boycott, we're continuing to reach toward our fundraising mark and counting on you to throw down and help SFA sustain and increase constant student action in the upcoming months.

CALL NOW: Ohio State renewed its contract with Wendy’s for three years! Call President Drake’s office today!

For over three years, students at The Ohio State University have been escalating their organizing efforts to remove Wendy's from campus: a tireless fight marked by lengthy meetings with administrators, two national mobilizations with hundreds marching on OSU's campus in support of the Boot the Braids campaign and a 7-day fast for farmworker justice on behalf of 19 OSU students and Columbus community members in March. 

And the uphill battle to defend farmworkers' human rights continues...

Last Thursday, Amanda Ferguson, an SFA Steering Committee member and one of the student leaders of Ohio State Student/Farmworker Alliance, received a cold, matter-of-fact email from the OSU administration issuing the University's decision to renew the Wendy's contract for three more years:

Dear Amanda,
Ohio State worked with Wendy’s actively for two years as it developed a new Code of Conduct. The code specifies measures put in place by Wendy’s to ensure that workers picking tomatoes are doing so under safe and appropriate conditions.
We are pleased that the code extends to all produce suppliers for Wendy’s restaurants and covers workers throughout the United States and Canada.
We will have the ability to verify adherence to the code with onsite inspections at any time of our choosing.
We have renewed the lease with Wendy’s for a term of three years.
Sincerely,
Jay Kasey
Senior Vice President, Administration and Planning

This intentionally-timed move by President Drake and his administration, desperate to escape any real form of accountability, not only shuts out the students, faculty, community members and farmworkers who continue to work relentlessly to push OSU to do the right thing, but also exposes the University's arrogance in "actively" putting their name by Wendy's empty Supplier Code of Conduct at whatever cost. 

And despite students winning the inclusion of an important clause to the Wendy's lease — the promise that the renewal of the contract would "be conditioned upon a satisfactory resolution of the Student Farm Workers Alliance with regard to the sourcing of tomatoes" — the administration still chose to deceive students and decided for the students that their concerns over human rights violations in Wendy's supply chain were met with the implementation of Wendy's code. 

OSU's betrayal does not represent the values of the OSU community, and it certainly does not mark an end to OSU SFA's Boot the Braids campaign. In fact, this will only give OSU students — and the hundreds of people across the country that have been following and supporting this incredible struggle for farmworker justice —more fuel to continue campaigning until OSU cuts its contract with Wendy's. 

Join the SFA network for a national call-in day to the offices of President Drake, to express our outrage over the OSU administration's shady, back-door deal with Wendy's. Check out this sample script before calling his office TODAY at 614-292-2424

“President Drake, I’m calling because your administration has chosen to turn its back on its students, faculty, Columbus community, and farmworkers by renewing its contract with Wendy’s. With this decision, your administration demonstrates its blatant disregard for farmworkers’ basic human rights, instead actively working with Wendy’s to develop a meaningless Code of Conduct. 
Completely lacking in worker participation and enforcement mechanisms, Wendy’s code has been publicly and repeatedly discredited as a nothing more than a sham by farmworkers, students, and more recently, international labor law expert James Brudney — and yet, OSU has chosen to support that CSR model, one that is failing thousands upon thousands of farmworkers in Wendy’s supply chain even as we speak.  I am joining community members across the country in supporting students’ escalating efforts to remove Wendy’s from campus until you decide to stand on the right side of history regarding farmworkers’ human rights.”