Student Union Board of Representatives:  “It is the position of the Michigan Union Board of Representatives to not support companies that engage in practices deemed unethical by the Fair Food Program…”

One down, three to go, and the “4 for Fair Food” Tour hasn’t even started yet!

After years of building their case to kick Wendy’s off campus, students at the University of Michigan have won their battle to “Boot the Braids” until the fast-food giant joins the Fair Food Program.  The move turns next month’s planned demonstration on the UM campus into a celebration, and sends an unmistakable message to the administrations at other schools where students are demanding that Wendy’s put human rights on the menu, or take its business elsewhere.  

With the CIW’s human rights tour just weeks away, a dramatic wave of support for the Fair Food Program surged across the UM community this past month, marked by skyrocketing support for a student petition, overwhelming backing from the Student Government for a strongly-worded resolution, and a powerful statement, quoted above, from the Michigan Union Board of Representatives (which, as it happens, plays a key role in choosing vendors for the university’s massive student union).  Even the city of Ann Arbor got in on the action with an unequivocal resolution by the City Council. 

Kimberly Daley, a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan and member of the Washtenaw Solidarity with Farmworkers group that has taken the lead on the Boot the Braids Campaign, sums up the sentiment on campus in the wake of this momentous decision, with a statement on behalf of the student movement there:

Intrepid students from the University of Michigan post up outside of the campus Wendy’s, urging passing students to join the national boycott in 2016.

As influential public institutions, our universities have a responsibility to maintain a clear and unwavering moral standard in their business relationships.  Wendy’s, as the sole fast-food company that has yet to join the Fair Food Program, has refused to meet that standard. Instead of cheap “4 for $4” meals, as students, we need to see human rights on the menu. Until then, students, university officials and local leaders alike in Ann Arbor have declared that Wendy’s is not welcome on our campus.”

Michiganders have made one thing abundantly clear: Wendy’s has worn out its welcome in Ann Arbor, and will most certainly not be invited back until it cleans up its act and joins the Fair Food Program like the rest of the fast-food industry giants.  Now the attention of the Fair Food Nation turns to the other universities on the tour – principal among them UM’s key rival just a few hours away, Ohio State University – contemplating whether to continue doing business with a company as deeply compromised as Wendy’s.

How we got here…

The exciting news at the University of Michigan unfolded over the course of a dramatic two weeks, but it was the culmination of more than four years of hard organizing work by students like Kim and community members with Washtenaw Solidarity with Farmworkers...





PART 2: University of Florida and the “4 for Fair Food” Tour…

February 12, 2019

Florida Gators, proud of the state’s homegrown Fair Food Program, are fighting for University of Florida to kick Wendy’s off campus.  Will this be the year that Florida’s flagship public university and agricultural school finally demonstrates support for the world-renowned social responsibility program in its own backyard? For the finale of the upcoming “4 for Fair Food” Tour, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and allies from across the South will be converging on Gainesville, Florida, home to the state’s largest and most prestigious educational institution, the University of Florida.  Home to over 53,000 students, the sprawling UF campus is one […]

THIS WEEK: Student/Farmworker Alliance calls for Valentines to be sent to 4 for Fair Food University leaders!

February 11, 2019

ACTION ALERT: Join Fair Food Nation in calling for “No More Frosty Hearts” from university leaders doing business with Wendy’s by sending Valentines this week! This morning, the Student/Farmworker Alliance put out a call to action for not only students, but all members of the #FairFoodNation, to get geared up for the 4 for Fair Food Tour by sending a very special Fair Food Valentine this week!  By this Friday, February 15th, students and Fair Food supporters across the country will be sending creative Valentines to ask these university leaders to show some heart and end their toxic relationships with Wendy’s.  […]

TEDMED video featuring CIW’s Gerardo Reyes Chavez and Greg Asbed goes live!

February 8, 2019

CIW at TEDMED 2018:  “…a new theory of change was born: Rather than fight with farmers over a shrinking slice of the pie, we were going to have to make common cause with consumers to demand an entirely new kind of food – Fair Food…” Just a few short months ago, CIW’s Gerardo Reyes and Greg Asbed sat together on the TEDMED stage and delivered a wide-ranging, 18-minute talk on a movement and a model “with the potential to spark a 21st century human rights revolution.”  Since then, TEDMED has been releasing full videos of each talk one by one […]

“On Common Ground”: CIW, faith leaders come together in NYC for “an extraordinary conversation”…

February 6, 2019

Campaign for Fair Food event in New York brings together theologians, farm labor human rights activists in what by all accounts was a moving evening of reflection… On Monday, January 28, faith allies packed into Wallace Hall at St. Ignatius Loyola Roman Catholic Church on Park Avenue in New York – a dozen or so blocks north and a million moral miles away from the Park Avenue offices of Trian Partners, majority shareholder in Wendy’s and site of last year’s Freedom Fast – to hear distinguished faith leaders reflect with Gerardo Reyes Chavez of CIW on the enormous strides made […]

PART 1: Ohio State University and the 4 for Fair Food Tour

February 1, 2019

On International Women’s Day, Ohio State University students will join with farmworkers to march on the president’s office and demand an end to Wendy’s contract following years of broken promises by President Michael Drake… Today we bring you the first of our four-part series diving deeper into the particular context of each of the “4 for Fair Food” Tour’s stops, beginning with the flagship school in the nationwide Boot the Braids campaign: The Ohio State University.  After years of courageous student-led actions at OSU’s Columbus campus, including an historic seven-day fast by 19 students and community members, OSU students are […]

Get on the bus! 4 for Fair Food Tour caravans are popping up from coast to coast!

January 29, 2019

Make sure to sign up for your seat on the caravan nearest to you to join the CIW in Ohio or Florida during the 4 for Fair Food Tour… Plans are well underway – both in Immokalee and across the nation – for the 4 for Fair Food Tour, when farmworkers will be traversing the country to visit the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Ohio State University in Columbus, and the University of Florida in Gainesville!  Already, the call for Wendy’s to put human rights on the menu instead of cheap […]

Why are farmworkers embarking on the 4 for Fair Food Tour?

January 25, 2019

By now, you know that farmworkers will be embarking on the 4 for Fair Food Tour from March 2-14, traveling across the nation to four of the country’s top public universities – the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Ohio State University in Columbus, and the University of Florida in Gainesville – to join students and community members in calling on these institutions to end their relationships with Wendy’s until the fast-food giant joins the award-winning Fair Food Program.  Beyond the tour itself, young people, community leaders, and farmworkers are calling for […]

Get ready! Farmworkers from Immokalee are bringing the Wendy’s Boycott to a campus near you!…

January 23, 2019

As students, community leaders and farmworkers lay the groundwork for the upcoming tour, calling on four leading universities to cut ties with Wendy’s, YOU can start making plans for getting in on the action! Today, we bring you a brief but exciting update on the 4 for Fair Food Tour, the four-stop major action that the CIW has planned for March 2-14 – just six weeks from now! Back in December, we announced the 4 for Fair Food Tour, making sure you had time to mark your calendar.  In case you missed it, here’s a quick reprise from the original […]

Newest farm to join Fair Food Program “proud to partner with the CIW,” hopes “other young, organic farmers see the benefits of protecting human rights…”

January 14, 2019

St. Simon’s Farm of Miami-Dade County joins Fair Food Program, ushers industry-leading human rights program into the world of small-scale, organic, urban farming… Newest FFP partner specializes in taking “unused plots of land in the urban Miami area and turn[ing] them into neighborhood farms, creating community hubs centered around food and friendship.” Here’s some great news to kick off the new year in Fair Food! When most people think of the Fair Food Program, they tend to imagine vast crews of workers harvesting tomatoes on large-scale farms, providing millions of pounds of produce every year to retail food giants across the […]

KPFA radio show “Against The Grain” highlights power of Fair Food!

January 11, 2019

Syracuse U Professor Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern on the Campaign for Fair Food:  “It empowers people getting involved whether it’s a student organizing or the workers themselves, people are now aware of how these shifts can happen.” Earlier this week, we featured a wonderful article from longtime ally Noelle Damico, exploring the tremendous impact and promise of the Worker-driven Social Responsibility model in the battle to end gender-based violence.  But, that wasn’t the only excellent story about the Fair Food movement from the past few weeks!  Last month, Professor Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern from Syracuse University joined KFPA’s radio show Against the Grain for an […]