Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Host a Student/Farmworker Alliance Program on October 26th?

My name is Marc Rodrigues and I work with the Student/Farmworker Alliance (SFA) in Immokalee, Florida -- one of the largest agricultural communities in the country and home to the internationally-recognized farmworker organization, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and their Campaign for Fair Food.

On Wednesday, October 26, Santiago Perez -- a farmworker and CIW leader -- and myself will be in the Cincinnati area and are available for educational presentations in classrooms and other venues about the CIW, farmworker living and working conditions, modern-day agricultural slavery, and the exciting and groundbreaking efforts underway by farmworkers, students, consumers, people of faith and others to transform America's food system and ensure decent wages and human rights for the men and women who work in the fields to harvest our food.

Please let me know if you would be interested in hosting Santiago and me for a speaking event on the 26th.

There's more information below on who we are, what we do, and what our presentations entail.

Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon,

Marc Rodrigues
Student/Farmworker Alliance
(239) 292-3431


Santiago Perez
is originally from Guatemala and has been a farmworker in Immokalee for seven years. He recently became a staff member of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). The CIW ( is a community-based farmworker organization headquartered in Immokalee, Florida, with over 4,000 members. The CIW seeks modern working conditions for farmworkers and promotes their fair treatment in accordance with national and international human rights standards.

Marc Rodrigues is originally from New York and has lived in Immokalee for five years as a national organizer with the Student/Farmworker Alliance (SFA). SFA ( is a national network of students and youth organizing and working in partnership with farmworkers to eliminate sweatshop conditions and modern-day slavery in the fields. SFA works closely with the CIW as a key driving force behind the Campaign for Fair Food.

Perez and Rodrigues will be visiting Cleveland, Canton, Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati October 19-26 to build awareness about the Campaign for Fair Food and how students, community members, people of faith and consumers can partner with farmworkers to promote human rights and fair wages in the tomato supply chains of supermarket giants such as Trader Joe's and Kroger.

CIW and SFA representatives will be available for educational presentations and workshops in high school, college/university, religious, community and other settings. Our presentations are participatory, bilingual and tailored to course content and time allotted, and can include multimedia elements, such as a short DVD documentary.

The Campaign for Fair Food seeks to improve wages and working conditions for Florida tomato pickers by calling on major buyers of tomatoes to pay a premium of one penny more per pound for their tomatoes, ensure that this penny is passed down directly to farmworkers, and work together with the CIW to establish and implement a code of conduct in their supply chains.
The other major facet of the CIW's work -- its Anti-Slavery campaign -- is an effort to put an end to the continued existence of modern-day slavery in the agricultural industry. To date, the CIW has worked together with the Department of Justice and the FBI to uncover, investigate and federally prosecute seven cases of modern-day slavery in Florida’s fields. The CIW is a founding member of the Freedom Network USA, and through the Freedom Network Training Institute (FNTI) also trains law enforcement and NGOs on how to eliminate forced labor in their communities.
For selected national and international recognitions of the CIW's work, see
See also,

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