Tyshenna Phillips, SAF Solidaridad intern
During my Solidaridad internship, I have learned that in order to create systems change within any social movement, collaboration across different sectors is essential, whether it is between different races and ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, or career fields. Systems change occurs when we address both the root causes of social inequalities and provide immediate relief to impacted communities and individuals. This is what I was able to witness and be a part of during my time with SAF.
Throughout the year, I saw immediate relief to farmworkers provided through various in-person volunteer opportunities such as providing food, hygiene, clothing and COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
On a collective level, Solidaridad interns and Levante students collaborated during National Farmworker Awareness Week to engage community members in a discussion about farmworkers' experiences in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We talked about some of the conditions farmworkers live in that increase their susceptibility to the virus, such as barrack-style housing, lack of paid sick leave, and health insurance.
As an individual, I was able to create a Chromebook training guide that farmworkers can use to share their experiences with the world and connect with their loved ones. The guide contains instructions on how to utilize the different functions of a Chromebook and lists resources that workers can use to access legal, social, health or educational assistance.
This internship truly revealed to me how resourceful we can all be to the movement–– both collectively for systems change and on an individual level working on immediate relief. The farmworker justice movement is not a movement just for farmworkers – it's for everyone, because we all rely so heavily on the work they do.