Women for Common Sense Immigration Reform. Take the pledge!
We are all better off when our communities are healthy and strong, we feel safe and our children can thrive. Women especially know the importance of coming together and wouldn’t be where we are without the help and support of the women in our lives—our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. We honor and celebrate our unique commitment to protecting families and giving equal opportunities and respect to women and girls. We also know that it’s not about what you look like or where you were born that makes you American. It’s how you live your life and what you do that defines you here in America.
Lake Worth, FL - Francisco Diaz, 41-year-old undocumented immigrant who lives in Homestead, got on his bike this past Sunday, March 2nd, and started "Pedaling for 20 Million Dreams" until he reaches Washington DC. Francisco will bring a pen to President Obama with the purpose of asking him to use his power and sign an executive order that stops deportations, echoing the campaign launched by the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities, Mr. President, yes you can! Use the power of the pen!. He also seeks to ask Congress to pass Immigration Reform.
Taken from W.K. Kellog Foundation
“I am happy to see the changes taking place from the ground up. Our community is using its farming knowledge to benefit our own families,” says Yolanda Gomez, community organizer and garden manager with the Farmworker Association of Florida (FWAF). “I am proud of our accomplishments, and excited to see the garden project growing and involving young people. We are eating healthier and, in our own way, practicing food sovereignty.”
Among those who came to Capitol Hill to lobby for protections was Selena Zelaya, 18, a freshman at Seminal State College in Florida. She took time off from her busy schedule to visit the Hill twice, where she spoke to Florida congressional officers with her father Miguel about the harm her parents face from working as farmworkers.
Zelaya said the announcement was “great news” but cautioned that “any revisions or updates must be strong enough to protect farm workers." She continued:
It is important because many farm workers are being exposed to things they don't even know about and in some cases they don't see the importance of protections because they are not being trained every year. It means so much to my parents being farm workers for many years and having pesticides affect our family directly.
Why does this issue matter? Because an estimated 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides are applied to crops annually in the United States. Our nation’s estimated 2.4 million farmworkers form the backbone of the U.S. agricultural economy and face the greatest threat from the health impacts of these chemicals.
Selena Zelaya, with her father Miguel, in Washington, D.C. (Matt Roth / Earthjustice)
Taken from Fusion Net
You might think that the days were gone when elementary school kids would work long hours in the field picking crops, but that’s the reality at farms across the country.
The minimum age required for children to work in agriculture is 12 years old, but a Fusion investigation found kids as young as 8 and 10 years working in tobacco fields in North Carolina.
The presence of children in the agricultural sector isn’t a secret. Roughly 400,000 children work in agriculture every summer in the United States, according to The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Program.
Studies show these children face a high risk of dropping out of school, getting injured, or experiencing other serious health issues like heat exhaustion or green tobacco poisoning. Efforts to be better regulate the child labor have been pushed back by the farm lobby.
In this video, investigative reporter Rayner Ramirez visits the fields, talks to the young workers and their parents, and confronts farm industry officials about the persistence of child labor in agriculture.
From January 24 to January 27, the Farmworker Association of Florida was proud to host La Via Campesina International Peasant's Movement.
La Via Campesina is the international movement which brings together millions of peasants, small and medium-size farmers, landless people, women farmers, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers from around the world. It defends small-scale sustainable agriculture as a way to promote social justice and dignity. It strongly opposes corporate driven agriculture and transnational companies that are destroying people and nature.
La Via Campesina comprises about 150 local and national organizations in 70 countries from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Altogether, it represents about 200 million farmers. It is an autonomous, pluralist and multicultural movement, independent from any political, economic or other type of affiliation.
The slogan of this movement is: "Globalizando la lucha! Globalizando esperanza!" meaning "Globalizing the struggle! Globalizing hope!"
“We would like to dedicate this blog in memory of the four Lake Apopka farmworkers, community leaders, and long-time Farmworker Association of Florida members – strong and dedicated women leaders and agricultural workers - who we lost in 2013. In memory of Angela Tanner, Willie Mae Williams, Betty Woods, and Louise Seay. With gratitude and remembrance from the community. We will miss you.”
By Jeannie Economos
When I first started working for the Farmworker Association of Florida in 1996, they told me part of my job was to work on the issue of Lake Apopka. Little did I know at the time that Lake Apopka would become my life’s work for the next 17 years. And, it would become personal…as I came to know and love the community of people I worked with – the farmworkers who fed America for generations.