In all my conversations with fellow seminary students, clergy, and many nonprofit workers, the same anxiety is represented again and again: How do we create/maintain community through a screen? In a time in which we cannot see or touch each other, how do we connect?
The engagement I have seen through working with Student Action with Farmworkers is remarkable, despite the provisions COVID-19 has laid out. The staff members and fellow student interns work tirelessly to plan online-friendly icebreakers, break out rooms, emotionally engaging presentations, and thought-provoking questions. While I have never met many of my fellow interns in person, I feel like I have still gotten to know them, and I look forward to getting to know them even better. I know first-hand how difficult it is to plan an engaging and smooth-sailing online event, so hats off to SAF staff (it is not easy!)
I chose to include this picture because I look at a computer screen for most of my day, and like many people I have been doing so since last March. I recognize that doing so is a position of privilege, and most farmworkers in the U.S. are still put in the terrible place of either coming to work and risking exposure, or not coming and risking their job. Addressing this injustice is one of the many ways SAF is doing their part to fight for workers' rights.
This group, which has been tirelessly engaging with other advocacy groups to fight for secure COVID-19 protections for farmworkers, has also shown how seriously we take the pandemic. Older members of SAF are making a good example of themselves to the younger members by abiding by CDC guidelines, even when it is so tempting to become lax as the months in the pandemic wear on and on. Working with SAF has proven to me that, despite the chaos and sadness COVID-19 has brought, incredible work is still being done in farmworker advocacy. I am so proud and thankful to be a part of this organization, even if it is only from my computer!
The picture features my dog, Bindi. She is glad mom is home more often nowadays!