Rachel Wright Junio
Who am I? I’m a lot of things. Most notably, I’m a mother, a wife, an educator, an advocate, and an aspiring salsera. I come from a small town in East Tennessee where our claim to fame is the first impeached President, Andrew Johnson. I come from a family of farmers on my mom’s side and a family of blue-collar workers on my dad’s side. Both of my parents worked hard to provide my brother and me with a comfortable life, but still instilled the principles of hard work and discipline by making us pick up dead chickens every weekend. I have fond memories of unloading the new chicks into the chicken houses every 7 weeks – mostly because we got to miss school and drink Cokes. I am still trying to figure out how my upbringing in an overwhelmingly white small town set me up to be a fierce advocate for migrant, immigrant, and students of color, but here I am.
Since I graduated from college in 2009, I have been working directly with migrant students and the farmworker community. I recently took a job that will allow me to make a larger impact on students statewide but takes me out of the direct work with the farmworker community. I am excited about the Cosecha fellowship because it will help me stay connected with the farmworker movement. I also relish the opportunity to build community with the other fellows and learn from their unique experiences. I’m hoping that we can help each other be accountable and create space in our days both to take care of ourselves and to support the causes that we care most about.