Get Involved

The Evergreen State College’s student group Farmworker Justice Solidarity Collective was formed in 2015, in support of the Driscolls berry boycott. This boycott was organized during the unionization of workers at Sakuma Brothers berries (a nested company under Driscolls), forming Familias Unidas por la Justicia. When students graduated, the collective dissipated.

On Farmworker Justice Day in early 2018, the collective was reformed after a call-to-action by Rosalinda Guillen and Maru Mora Villalpando. Of the many people who signed their names, only a dozen people ended up joining the collective. Now, amidst the pandemic and the graduation of current members once again, we are concerned for the collective’s endurance.

Olympia is a very important location for this work– as the capital and a central city of Washington, there is great potential for organizing. C2C regularly makes trips to fight for just legislation involving agriculture and workers rights; Olympia is also the location of the annual farmworker tribunal, a “people’s court” giving testimony and demanding action on the exploitation of farmworkers in Washington state. In addition, The Evergreen State College student group framework can provide useful resources, such as: campus spaces, access to funds for speaker invites, and materials for flyers.

Though Evergreen students are typically very passionate about organic farming and environmental justice, this interest almost always excludes farmworkers. Students are often excited about the prospect of starting their own small farms, or convinced that shopping local and organic or avoiding animal products is the road to food justice. However, in addition to being situated within a capitalist model, this is often self serving. The people who are the most oppressed by the food system remain the most invisible.

To truly work towards environmental and food system justice, we must support farmworker leadership, who show us the way every day. Our dreams are the same: we want our earth to be protected and free from pesticides, we want the people who work the land to be its stewards and be shown respect and dignity, and above all, we want access to delicious, and healthy food cultivated by loving hands.

The time is now to show up for farmworker justice at Evergreen. Please email farmworkersolidarity.olympia@gmail.com expressing interest in taking initiative. With your involvement, we can make farmworker solidarity ongoing at Evergreen.

Olympia Farmworker Justice Collective Contact Sheet
Photo Credit: Maddi Parvankin

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