José Gómez Farmworker Justice Day 2021
At Evergreen’s eleventh annual Farmworker Justice Day, we are honored to host members of the Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) and Tabajadores Unidas por la Justicia (TUJ) farmworker unions, as well as the Community to Community (C2C) Promotoras. From the onset of the pandemic, farmworker activists at FUJ and C2C have pointed out the cruelty of being deemed “essential” workers, and yet denied basic human rights and dignity. Workers have been vocally resistant to the systemic injustice in the agriculture system and the unique risks they’ve faced due to unsafe pandemic conditions. In May 2020, more than 400 farmworkers from 6 different apple packing sheds in Yakima, WA went on strike in response to the unfair labor practices and lack of protection from COVID-19, creating the largest ag worker strike in the Pacific Northwest since the 1980’s. Leaders of the strikes from Allan Bros Fruit went on to form a union, FUJ– though the struggle to become an official union with the National Labor Relations Board is still at hand.
We had the tremendous opportunity to hear from these leaders as we stand in solidarity with their struggle. At FWJD 2021, workers testified on how COVID-19 has furthered the exploitative conditions on corporate farms and packing sheds due to unjust labor conditions. In addition, organizers shared how they’ve navigated community needs and fought for justice within this particular moment. This included a presentation by the C2C Promotoras, a women-led advocacy group for farmworker health and rights. During the pandemic, the Promotoras have worked tirelessly to provide PPE and vaccines for workers, connect farmworkers to health resources, and present ‘know your rights’ orientations.
Now is the time to stand with the people who grow your food, and support their work to build a just food system modeled on food sovereignty and a solidarity economy.
On Zoom with the Arts Lecture Series at The Evergreen State College
April 21, 2021 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Community to Community Development Promotoras
Trabajadores Unidas por la Justicia
Please read the bio page for more information on this year’s presenters, and follow Community to Community Development, The C2C Promotoras, Familias Unidas por la Justicia, and Trabajadores Unidas por la Justica on facebook for more updates and ways to get involved!
Honoring José Gómez
Before the event, watch professor Alice Nelson give tribute to José Gómez, a life-long activist for farmworker justice, LGBTQ justice, and labor organizing– and a faculty member at The Evergreen State College. ¡José Gómez Presente!
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To learn more about José Goméz and hear from him in his own words, check out this memorial zine made in his honor: Evergreen Archives: José Gómez Memorial
Preparing for Farmworker Justice Day
In addition, please take the time to look at our Preparing for Farmworker Justice Day 2021 page, and note the additional educational resources provided throughout the site. This is a crucial way to honor the farmworkers who will speak, by saving them some of the educational labor.
Arts Lecture Series
The President’s Equity Fund
Masters of Environmental Studies (MES)
Center for Community Based Learning and Action (CCBLA)
Climate Justice and Resilience Speaker Series
The Academic Programs:
(Spanish Speaking World, Food, Health and Sustainability, SOS CCBLA, Terroir/Merroir, Public Health and Pathophysiology of Nutritionally Related Diseases, Advanced Projects in Media, Gateways for Incarcerated Youth and Community Food Systems: Worker Cooperatives and Food Justice )
Virtual Solidarity Shop Table:
Get beautifully designed t-shirts, patches, bumperstickers, and more! Donations are also gratefully appreciated. We have a special focus this year on T-shirts with the phrase guiding this year’s discussion, Farmworkers Are Essential featuring the beautiful image by WA artist Antonio Gonzalez. They can be found here: Farmworkers Are Essential T-Shirt at C2C’s solidarity shop!
Image: Stepheny Lopez, photo taken by Lucy Madrigal. All images from the C2C website.
Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ)
Donate to FUJ at FUJ Donate
Follow up Event:
Current Evergreen students are invited to participate in a follow up workshop by Rosalinda Guillen, executive director of Community to Community, hosted by Evergreen programs Community Food Systems: Worker Cooperatives and Food Justice and Intro and History of Cooperatives