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Clinton Global Citizen award makes the headlines…

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From Food Chains director Sanjay Rawal, in the Ft. Myers News-Press: “It begs this question of companies like Publix, Ahold, Kroger and Wendy’s: When hundreds of CEOs, heads of state and thought leaders are gathered to [honor the CIW and the Fair Food Program], why are you so stubbornly against progress in America’s fields?”

News of the Clinton Global Initiative’s selection of the CIW to receive the 2014 Global Citizen Award — to be presented this coming Sunday at a gala ceremony in New York City — made the headlines far and wide this past weekend.  Media outlets from the Hollywood Reporter (ok, that might have had something to do with the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio is also being honored by the Clintons for his environmental activism) to DC’s own inside-the-beltway daily Politico (and, yes, that might have had more to do with the people doing the honoring) ran the story.

But nowhere was the story better covered than in our very own hometown press, the journalists who have watched the birth and growth of the Fair Food Program up close for years and have the context to give the news real meaning.  We wanted to be sure you saw the best of those stories today, and we’ll start with the Ft. Myers News-Press (“Coalition of Immokalee Workers to receive Clinton Global Initiative award,” 9/13/14).  Here’s an excerpt:

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The workers clustered around a battered metal desk, reading the news: “The Clinton Global Citizen Awards honor … outstanding individuals who exemplify global citizenship through their vision and leadership.” A rooster crowed outside as Santiago Perez mouthed a silent ‘Wow.”

This sunlit office is 1,200 miles from New York City, where members of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers will travel Sept. 21 to receive the award, which will help bridge the distance between their grassroots group and the rest of the world, members say. 

The nonprofit is being honored for the “groundbreaking impact” of its Fair Food Program, which is modernizing labor conditions in Florida’s fields while improving wages for some 30,000 tomato pickers, among the lowest-paid workers in the nation, who harvest the state’s $650 million crop.

“It’s not just important for us as an organization, but for the rest of the people who’ve supported our campaign over the years,” said member Nely Rodriguez. “And it’s important because it gets our work before the world, where it can open the way for other programs in other places.” read more

Be sure to check out the article in its entirety here, it’s a great read.

The second piece that really did a great job of putting the news of the award in a broader perspective was by our local CBS affiliate, WINK TV.  You can see their video by clicking on the image below.  The interview with the CIW’s Nely Rodriguez is excellent:

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Check back again soon for more on Sunday’s ceremony in NYC, and for more from the front in the battle for Fair Food! 

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BREAKING: CIW to receive 2014 Clinton Global Citizen Award!

Clintons to honor CIW for groundbreaking impact of Fair Food Program at gala award ceremony in New York City on September 21… The news was announced on the Clinton Global Initiative website Thursday afternoon: Clinton Global Citizen Awards Established in 2007, the Clinton Global Citizen Awards embody President Bill Clinton’s call to action by honoring outstanding individuals who exemplify global citizenship through their vision and leadership. These citizens have proven that diverse sectors of society can work together successfully to devise solutions that effect positive, lasting social change. Nominated by Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) members and other global leaders, honorees are […]

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“I believe that we will win!” Youth gather in Immokalee for 2014 Encuentro…

  Boot the Braids, Food Chains documentary make #Encuentro2014 a smashing success… This past weekend, 70 students and youth from across the United States rolled into Immokalee for the Student / Farmworker Alliance’s annual Encuentro.  As always, these young leaders came to learn about the fifteen-year history of students and youth taking action with Florida farmworkers, and to write their own chapter in that extraordinary history by laying the groundwork for the season to come in the Campaign for Fair Food. Throughout the weekend, SFA’s core Fair Food activists dove headfirst into workshops, discussion groups, strategy sessions, and even a CIW theater piece, […]

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Better late than never… A Labor Day action report from the Publix AND Wendy’s fronts!

After a relatively quiet summer — punctuated, of course, by some great protests around the country — the Fair Food Nation marked the end of the season with two gorgeous, creative actions for Labor Day (yes, we know Labor Day was last weekend, but we had a busy week this past week!).  Instead of heading to the beach, farmworkers and allies packed their cars with brightly colored artwork and bullhorns, determined to celebrate the true meaning of Labor Day by recognizing the invaluable contribution of the men and women who work hard every day to put food on our tables.  Here in Florida, they gathered in Tampa for a […]

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Entertainment Weekly gives “Food Chains” a plug, runs exciting new trailer!

  Countdown begins to big Thanksgiving Week release… Entertainment Weekly ran a piece yesterday in its “Inside Movies” column plugging the documentary “Food Chains” — the film featuring the Campaign for Fair Food as a long-sought solution to the exploitation and abuse of this country’s farmworkers — highlighting the stars who contributed to the film, and reminding readers of its fast-approaching Thanksgiving Week release date.   Here’s the report, entitled “Eva Longoria explores ‘Food Chains’ in new documentary from ‘Fast Food Nation’ writer,”: As executive producer Eva Longoria points out in her new documentary Food Chains, the hands that sort much […]

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Gone, but never to be forgotten…

Bishop John Nevins has passed away, but his commitment to social justice and to the struggle of farmworkers in Immokalee will stand as an example for religious leaders for generations to come.   He marched with us. He called on growers to join in dialogue with us. He called on corporations to sign Fair Food agreements with us. And when six CIW members broke their 30-day hunger strike in 1997, he held a mass in Naples to celebrate their courageous stand and broke the fast with us. The first food the hunger strikers ate after 30 days was the host […]

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The spotlight shines on the Fair Food Standards Council in must-read piece in Sarasota Magazine!

photos: Sarasota Magazine Beau McHan, Harvest Manager, Pacific Tomato Growers on the FFSC auditors: “They’re extremely thorough.  Other auditors or inspectors might just poke their heads in, but these guys talk to pretty much every worker. Then they check their records with our office.” In a must-read, well-written, wide-ranging article published in this month’s issue of Sarasota Magazine, entitled “Fairness in the Fields: A Sarasota Organization Brings Hope and Justice to Florida’s Tomato Fields,” freelance journalist Philippe Diederich takes a close look at the Fair Food Standards Council, the third party monitoring body for the Fair Food Program, and comes away impressed. […]

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Boot the Braids!… Student-led Wendy’s campaign set to hit the road running this coming school year!

With the annual Student/Farmworker Alliance “Encuentro” just around the corner, student and youth leaders of the Fair Food Nation train their sights on Wendy’s with an echo of the seminal “Boot the Bell” campus-based movement…  It’s that time of year again, as the first cool breezes of fall break months of summer heat and students across the country prepare for the new school year ahead.  Of course, in Immokalee, preparing for the new school year can only mean one thing: the Student/Farmworker Alliance Encuentro is coming!  Every year at this time, dozens of students and young people from New York […]

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Ohio Freedom School scholars take up the Fair Food banner!

40+ youth march through streets of Columbus to local Wendy’s, are barred from entering store… From the Tour de Fair Food in Denver earlier this month to July’s convergence of young food justice leaders in Albuquerque, young consumers across the country have taken to the streets this summer to send a message to Wendy’s: We care about poverty and exploitation behind the food we eat, and we won’t eat at Wendy’s until the hamburger giant does its part to support the CIW’s Fair Food Program. Not to be outdone, a group of young people in Columbus, Ohio, brought their own creativity and energy to the Campaign for Fair Food last month, and from the […]

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Northern sojourn builds CIW bonds with Maine small farmers, Vermont dairy workers…

Visit carves out paths for expansion of Fair Food principles on two new fronts! Maine has been dubbed “The Vacation State,” and with good reason.  During at least one month of the year, there is probably nowhere in this country more beautiful than Maine, with its abundant fresh water ponds and lakes perfect for swimming, miles and miles of dramatic coastline, sprawling old growth forests, and rolling landscape of wild blueberry-covered hills dotted with ancient boulders. So leave it to the CIW to turn a visit to Maine in August into a work trip…  During a six-day sojourn in Maine and Vermont […]

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“Food Chains” private screenings in San Francisco, LA pack the house with food movement, farmworker organizing luminaries!

San Francisco press calls film an “incredibly moving documentary”; Dolores Huerta pledges to “joyfully promote the film and the Fair Food campaign”!… Last week was a busy one on the “Food Chains” calendar!  With two invitation-only screenings in California, the “Food Chains” road crew continued to marshal support for the first feature film to take a close look at the CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food and the groundbreaking Fair Food Program ahead of its big Nov. 21st theatrical release.  First up, San Francisco.  “Food Chains” director Sanjay Rawal reports from the scene: On Tuesday evening, chef Alice Waters, journalist Davia Nelson and documentary filmmaker James Redford […]

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“Tour de Fair Food” rocks Wendy’s in Denver!

Denver Fair Food does it again with another wildly creative protest, this time demanding that Wendy’s stop stalling and join the Fair Food Program… Last week the streets of Denver were filled with ponytailed, red-haired bikers on a circuit ride for justice, as members of the city’s incredible Denver Fair Food crew toured Wendy’s restaurants in downtown Denver and called for the hamburger giant to stop standing in the way of progress and do its part to end farmworker exploitation by joining the CIW’s Fair Food Program: Creativity has long been a hallmark of the Campaign for Fair Food, from the […]

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100 youth leaders from national food movement march on Wendy’s in Albuquerque, NM!

Rooted in Community (RIC) makes Wendy’s a stop on its annual Youth Summit march! Rooted in Community (RIC) is a national network of young food movement leaders that empowers youth across the country to take up leadership in the struggle to change unjust food systems.  A highlight of RIC’s work is the annual Youth Summit, an eagerly anticipated national gathering which took place in Albuquerque this year and was, as always, a high-energy weekend, filled with field trips to local indigenous reservations, workshops on different gardening methods, and conversations on food accessibility and food supply chains. Also this year, the CIW and the Student/Farmworker Alliance […]

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“Food Chains” private screening in NYC brings out a VIP crowd…

Screening recruits powerful new allies in the fight for Fair Food! These past few weeks, while millions of Americans have been hitting the beaches or heading to the hills to escape the mid-summer heat, the intrepid film crew from the documentary “Food Chains” has been criss-crossing the country as part of the long promotional campaign ahead of the film’s big November release.   Their tour brought them to New York City this past Tuesday for an invitation-only showing of the film at the Bryant Park Hotel screening room in midtown Manhattan attended by a VIP crowd of Oscar-nominated filmmakers, representatives of leading philanthropical foundations, […]

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Fair Food Program featured on Catapult’s front page!

First, as a brief refresher:  Earlier this year, we got connected with Catapult, the World Wide Web’s premier crowdfunding site for women’s rights, curated by the likes of everyone from Beyónce Knowles to John Legend.  Big names aside — at its core, this tool draws on the power of many people coming together to affect change, much like the rest of the movement for Fair Food.  Earlier this summer, we launched the “Ensure dignity and respect for farmworkers” project, an effort to raise $25,000 in 5 months to support a new staff member at the Fair Food Standards Council, the essential third-party […]

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You can run, but you can’t hide from Fair Food! Part II…

Rabbinic delegation visits Wendy’s Chairman Nelson Peltz at his Park Avenue office, demands answers on human rights and the Fair Food Program… Last week we brought you the story of a live TV interview that took a surprising turn when CNBC reporter Jane Wells decided to grill Wendy’s CEO Emil Brolick on why the company continues to thumb its nose at human rights and refuse to join the CIW’s Fair Food Program. Today we bring you a report from a recent visit by a delegation of rabbis and rabbinical students to the Manhattan offices of Trian Partners, the “activist investment firm” run by Mr. […]

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