2019 Messages

During this year’s National Farmworker Awareness Week we are highlighting documentary work by Student Action with Farmworkers' Into the Fields interns who work with farmworkers in the southeast each summer. Through oral history interviews and participatory documentary workshops, students and farmworkers share stories and learn about each others' lives. The theme for this year's messages is "Farmworkers Are..." representing the many different identities that farmworkers have shared with us about themselves over the last 25 years.

Monday March 25 | PROVIDERS
Tuesday March 26 | DREAMERS
Wednesday March 27 | DIGNIFIED
Thursday March 28 | ARTISTS
Friday March 29 | RESILIENT
Saturday March 30 | FRIENDS
Sunday March 31 | UNITED

Farmworkers Are...

PROVIDERS
Monday, March 25

“You do it for your children, so they have a better future.”
– NC Farmworker, 2017

“They do not know who brings their food, they just go to the store and buy their fruits and vegetables, but they never wonder how their food got there; We are the ones who take their food to their table and they do not know it.”
– NC Farmworker, 2017

Take Action:
+ Help protect farmworkers in your state. Participate in the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) long sleeve shirt drive by collecting long sleeve shirts and bringing them to a drop-off site in your state, or by organizing a drop-off location in your community.
 

DREAMERS
Tuesday, March 26

"It is my dream to, regardless of my accomplishments, never lose sight of my heritage and the spirit of the farmworker who deserves the right to be heard and never ignored.”
– Lupe Huitron, SAF alum, 2005

"My dream, for me, is that God willing, there will be a visa for my son to come study here in the United States. This is my biggest dream."
– Manuel, SC Farmworker, 2014

Take Action:
+ Sign the petition to pass a clean Dream Act now to keep families together and protect immigrant children, or start a grassroots campaign of your own through United We Dream.
 

DIGNIFIED
Wednesday, March 27

“I think that one day the labor of farmworkers will be valued.”
– NC Farmworker, 2015

“If I don’t speak I will not be heard.”
– NC Farmworker, 2017

Take Action:
+ Tell your Congressional representatives that farmworkers deserve overtime.
 

ARTISTS
Thursday, March 28

"The beadwork I do is a way for me to live at home away from my home. I sit under the tree stringing each bead onto the threads that my aunt made with her own hands; looking up into the same sky she might also be looking at, and creating a masterpiece that will be passed down from generation to generation."
– Noel, NC Farmworker, 2009

"Aureliano is a craftsman and guitar maker from Los Pinos, Paracho, Michoacán who farms Christmas trees in the mountains of North Carolina.  Aureliano had to miss an important celebration in Mexico this year – the baptism of his eight year old granddaughter. Although he could not be there in person, he found a way to be present in spirit, by designing, hand cutting, and sending papel picado flags to be hung in the house at the celebration. These flags, traditionally part of any big celebration in Mexico, had special meaning because they were requested specifically by his granddaughter and sent to Mexico with a little piece of Aureliano’s heart included."
– Jessica Haywood and Marisela Martinez, SAF alumni, 2009

Take Action:
+ Partner on the Bandana Project to raise awareness about the widespread workplace sexual violence that farmworker women suffer.

 

RESILIENT
Friday, March 29

“Just keep on trying. Keep looking up. Keep looking ahead because if you don’t aspire to something more, you’re going to stay put right there.”
– SC Farmworker, 2013

"He started to fight with me, and that time, I couldn’t put up with it anymore because the situation was unbearable. I said, 'Stop! I won’t work with you.'”
– Leonardo, NC Farmworker, 2006

Take Action:
+ Support the Farm Labor Organizing Committee's (FLOC) Vuse boycott campaign by writing and dropping off a letter to your local Circle-K convenience store.

 

FRIENDS
Saturday, March 30

"You need to get along well with your co-workers in order for things to go well. Because we are part of a family, so to speak, because we see each other here for three months, four months."
– Vicente, NC Farmworker, 2014

"We wanted to interview Cristian because of how obvious it is that he loves farmwork, and how proud he is of being a campesino. He’s always telling us stories from the fields, and showing us pictures and videos. In fact, the first time we went to try to interview him, we spent the whole hour and a half with him showing us pictures from his (many) cell phones. I was touched by how excited he was to share his stories with us. It was very obvious how interested he was in the work he did, the different crops he’d worked in, and the many places he’d been.”
– Caroline LaFave, SAF alum, 2015

Take Action:
+ Pledge to boycott Wendy's, and take action on Coalition of Immokalee Workers Wendy's campaign
 

UNITED
Sunday, March 31

“I don’t care if it’s Mexican people, if it’s American people, if it’s people… from whatever country it may be. What I would say is, well, I think that we’re in the United States, we’re in a place that is not our country, and we should work united, together, helping each other out."
– Don Santiago, NC Farmworker, 2011

"A compañero who was walking with me looked at me and said, 'Are you sick?' He told the boss that I was sick. The boss said, 'Just have him work slowly. If he doesn't work, I'll get someone else from Mexico.' So I kept going. My compañero never left me. He walked with me and helped me the whole time."
– Benjamin, NC Farmworker, 2006

Take Action:
+ E-mail your Congressmembers today and ask them to support the Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2019 that provides farmworkers a way to earn lawful permanent residence.

 

Farmworkers Are…

Individuals. Artists. Musicians. Mothers. Fathers. Friends. Providers. Contributors. Doers. Spiritual. Visionaries. Hardworking. Thinkers. Dreamers. Complex. Misunderstood.  Strong. Resilient. United.

Farmworkers Are Human. Farmworkers Deserve Human Rights.