SAF Readers' Theater

During our End of Summer Celebration we shared a readers’ theater of quotes from our participants and supporters over the last 25 years:

“I think that the internship was to provide some kind of direct service to farmworkers, to the organizations that were trying to make conditions better for farmworkers, but I think that what we wanted to do, more than that, was to develop leadership, or just change the students’ perceptions and create in them a desire to stay involved, if not with farmworkers, with some other kind of social justice work.”
– Carolyn Corrie, Founding SAF director

"SAF taught me how to act on my desire to change the world."
– Dan Dwyer, SAF alumni, 2006

“My own tour of duty with SAF began in 1993, the year that I started graduate school at Duke. I arrived in Durham after working as an organizer with the United Farm Workers of Washington State during our (ultimately successful) Chateau Ste. Michelle Boycott. SAF director Carolyn Corrie recruited me to participate in a campaign to push the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue licenses to undocumented individuals in North Carolina. We wrote letters, educated legislators, and picketed the DMV. It worked!”
– Paul Ortiz, donor and former SAF board member

"SAF has taught me that knowledge is nothing without action."
– Gerardo Silguero, SAF alumni, 2015

“There were thirty to fifty migrant farmworkers that were working at one of the very large Christmas tree farms here in Avery County…they had only been in the country two or three days, had a very different set of expectations of what would be provided to them according to the H2A policies and here they were basically being held captive and their passports had been taken. It was a very tense moment, becoming very aware of how vulnerable this population is and how often growers and the power of capitalism and the labor economy puts profits over people way too often.”
– Greg McClure, SAF alumni, 1995

"Ain’t nothing good come easy."
– Ella, poultry processing worker, 2014

“Look, in reality we come here with hope, but, I am realizing that there are a lot of people that run into bad luck, and they return to their countries the same way they arrived in the United States. You come looking to make money. And this is a lie because you come to suffer worse than in your own country… You leave your family behind suffering just to come to make money here in the U.S. and it is not true, how you imagine it will be.”
– Miguel, farmworker, 1997

"I think that one day the labor of farmworkers will be valued."
– 
Rigoberto, migrant farmworker, 2015

“SAF does a really good job helping donors feel connected. The mission has not changed and a lot of people working at SAF have not changed. That’s key. It’s a personal relationship plus the fact that they’re continuing the amazing work. It’s never just about the money. Melinda sends personal e-mails fairly regularly and reminds me of my college self, and the changes I went through personally during those years.”
– Seema Kakad, SAF alumni, 2003, and donor

SAF has taught me that knowledge is nothing without action.

“I think I felt like I took my parents for granted. The biggest thing that it really made me realize was how much my parents sacrificed for us and how much they gave for me to be here. It was huge going from a farmworking family to help other farmworking families.”
– Guillermo Raya, SAF alumni, 2005

I think that one day the labor of farmworkers will be valued.

“No matter what your background is and where you come from we all have rights and we are all humans trying to provide for our families no matter the hardships we may go through.”
– Luis Carlos Arreguin, SAF alumni, 2006

SAF has taught me that knowledge is nothing without action. 

“Going to SAF broke down all the barriers I had set up for myself between who I could hang out with or who could be my friend or who has interest in the same things that I do and just opened my eyes to see that. We’re all one and we’re all here to fight for the same issue, we all feel the same struggles and we all want to do something about it.”
– Adriana Sánchez, SAF alumni, 2007

SAF taught me how to act on my desire to change the world.

“My parents didn’t even know that there were regulations and that there were some kind of protections for farmworkers. And so, in my small community, we were able to spread that word around. And so while there was still work going on in the summer, my parents spread the word to the people who were working in my community. And so that was empowering, too.”
– María Mandujano, SAF alumni, 2009

SAF has taught me that knowledge is nothing without action. 

“It’s hard to hear people not understand why we want better treatment. Their simple answer is to get another job. It’s not that easy for me, especially because I am undocumented in this country. My answer to them is, it’s not the only option I have but it is the closest to my reach, and it’s my hands that harvest the food you eat.”
– Jesús, farmworker, 2011

Ain’t nothing good come easy.

“Participating in this program has made me feel more aware of my roots. It has also made me feel more included within my own culture because now I have the base understanding of where I come from. This program has given me the tools to develop into a professional, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and empathetic person.”
– Yesenia León, SAF alumni, 2011

SAF taught me how to act on my desire to change the world.

“So many students approached us after the event to share their reactions to the documentary "Harvest of Dignity"; many had no idea of the conditions in which our food is harvested, and many more were inspired to take part in the movement toward justice for farmworkers. With such interest, we are now hoping to provide medical student volunteers to the mobile clinics of the South Carolina Migrant Health Program!”
– Eliza Hardy, SAF alumni, 2013, and National Farmworker Awareness Week partner

I think that one day the labor of farmworkers will be valued. 


“SAF has been such a great program; Just remembering day 1, I was the most timid person you could ever meet. Now I can't stop talking. I learned to speak in public. SAF wasn't just an after school program my mom made me join, everybody became part of a family. I will forever be grateful to my first role models: Raúl Gámez and Yazmin Rico. All the events were helpful, but what impacted me the most, was having them as my leaders and teaching me to bring the best out of me.”
– Karla Hernández, SAF alumni, 2013-15

SAF taught me how to act on my desire to change the world.

“Seeing my parents work hard every day makes me want to be a better daughter so that they can see me doing what no one in the family had done before—get an education, get a better future, not struggling every day, every year.”
– Xochil, farmworker youth, 2014

Ain’t nothing good come easy.

“I had been working with farmworkers before starting with SAF, but the Into the Fields internship connected me to the social justice farmworkers movement in a way I hadn't been connected before. I had been working directly with farmworkers but oblivious to the movement occurring for their rights. This made a huge impact on my future because it made me realize I wanted whatever career I end up in to be tied to farmworker, Latino, or immigrant justice. SAF opened my eyes to so many possible careers in social justice and got me excited about graduating college and pursuing these career options and staying involved in the movement.”
– Rachel Taylor, SAF alumni, 2015

SAF taught me how to act on my desire to change the world.

“To me, SAF is about societal transformation and about social justice within the society, our society, but also within ourselves. People come out of the SAF experience changed and transformed, and I think that’s what we also want for our world-- to change it and transform it. And I think that that takes longer than a summer. SAF interns come out transformed and committed to justice after one summer, but we’re also working on the rest of the world.”
– Lori F. Khamala, SAF alumni, 1999


SAF taught me how to act on my desire to change the world.

Ain’t nothing good come easy.

SAF has taught me that knowledge is nothing without action. 

I think that one day the labor of farmworkers will be valued.