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Keynote: Farmworkers on the Forefront: Connecting Our Struggles for Liberation

Thursday, January 21, 8:30 - 10:00am PT

How are farmworkers and their families organizing to build community, redefine power, and transform our food system for all, especially amidst the covid pandemic and climate change events, where farmworkers are disproportionately affected? Vital to our collective liberation, farmworker justice is bound to both urban and rural movements for justice. It is all at once food justice, rural justice, gender justice, land justice, and so much more. On this panel, we will be hearing about the successes and challenges farmworkers and their families face as they resist corporate industrial agriculture, racism, and patriarchy in our food system. From inequitable access to housing, healthcare, education, living wages, and safe living and working conditions the presenters will also be discussing how farm owners/operators and farmworkers can come together in our collective struggle to build resilient livelihoods, economies, and ecologies in the rural countryside. Let this be a call to greater sustained action and change.

Track and Session Info

Session: 
Keynote | 8:30am

Date and Location

Day: 
Thursday
Presenter(s): 

Mily Treviño-Sauceda

Title: 
Mily Treviño-Sauceda
Presenter Affiliation: 
Alianza Nacional de Campesinas
Bio: 
Born in Bellingham, Washington to a migrant farmworker family, Mily worked in agricultural fields since age eight. Mily was a union organizer with the UFW in the 70s and 80s, while raising her son as a single mom. She co-founded “Mujeres Mexicanas”, and co-founded Líderes Campesinas in 1992, the first state-based farmworker women's grassroots organization, where she served as Executive Director for 12 years. In 2011 co-founded Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, as the first national grassroots based farmworker women's organization. Mily has won numerous awards for her tireless efforts, has earned multiple degrees, and sits on many advisory boards.

Elvira Carvajal

Title: 
Elvira Carvajal
Presenter Affiliation: 
Alianza Nacional de Campesinas
Bio: 
Elvira is Lead Community Organizer and co-founder of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas. She is from Michoacán, Mexico where her parents were farmworkers. She has worked picking lemons, okra, harvesting wheat, and in nurseries in Florida. As lead community organizer for Alianza, she works with farmworker groups as well as organizations around the country, advocating to advance the rights of communities and farmworker women.

Rita Mancera Hernandez

Title: 
Rita Mancera Hernandez
Presenter Affiliation: 
Puente
Bio: 
Serving as Executive Director of Puente in Pescadero, CA for 13 years now, Rita’s goals are to continue closing the gap in education for community members, increasing services so youth can succeed, expanding local leadership, and supporting local individuals and families to move out and stay out of poverty. Puente is the region’s only community resource center, providing critical resources to farmworkers and their families including healthcare, childcare, education, scholarships, food and nutrition assistance, legal and immigration assistance, rental assistance, and voter registration. Rita was born in Mexico City and grew up in Baja California Sur.

Gerardo Reyes Chavez

Title: 
Gerardo Reyes Chavez
Presenter Affiliation: 
Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)
Bio: 
Gerardo Reyes Chavez is a senior staff member with the award-winning human rights organization, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW).  Mr. Reyes is a farmworker and has worked in the fields since age 11, first as a peasant farmer in Mexico and then in the fields of Florida picking oranges, tomatoes, blueberries, and watermelon. Mr. Reyes has worked with consumer allies to organize national actions in the Campaign for Fair Food.  As part of the implementation of the Fair Food Program, Mr. Reyes conducts workers’ rights education with thousands of farmworkers on participating tomato farms.

Greg Asbed

Title: 
Greg Asbed
Presenter Affiliation: 
Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)
Bio: 
Greg Asbed co-founded CIW as well as the coalition’s Fair Food Program (FFP), and is a principal architect of the Worker-driven Social Responsibility (WSR) model. WSR is a breakthrough, cross-sector approach to verifiable corporate accountability that emphasizes the leadership of the rights holders in the monitoring of their own rights and the rigorous enforcement of standards through market-based consequences. Greg coordinates relations amongst transnational corporate buyers, industry suppliers, and farmworkers. Greg also consults with other industries and sectors on the adaptation of the FFP and the WSR model to other contexts. Greg is a 2017 MacArthur Fellow and spent 18 seasons harvesting watermelons across the Southeastern United States.

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