Over 80 students and youth convene in Immokalee for #2019Encuentro, roll out plans for escalated action in the Wendy’s Boycott this fall!

Young people from across the U.S. strategize around Wendy’s Boycott with two key mobilizations in focus for the fall semester: a National Day of Action on Oct. 28 and major march in NYC on Nov. 18

PLUS: Over 150 farmworkers, Encuentro participants and Southwest Florida allies turn out for a spirited rally at local Wendy’s off bustling U.S. 41 in Naples, FL…

In the final days of September, Immokalee welcomed over 80 young leaders to Immokalee for the Student/Farmworker Alliance’s (SFA) annual Encuentro convening!  The 2019 Encuentro brought together a powerful union of young allies representing 41 campuses and communities across the country. This year’s gathering highlighted the success of the CIW’s Worker-driven Social Responsibility model – established by the award-winning Fair Food Program right here in Florida – and fortified participants’ commitment to advance the national Wendy’s Boycott in the year ahead.

Participants spent the weekend developing concrete plans for mobilization around the CIW’s major action in New York City on Nov. 18, and honing their organizing skills to ramp up campaigns back in their home communities. On Saturday, the Encuentro joined forces with farmworkers from Immokalee and longtime Southwest Florida allies for a high-energy protest at a local Wendy’s in Naples, FL, where SFA leaders declared a National Day of Action on Oct. 28!

Today, we bring you a few of the highlights from the 2019 Encuentro straight from the Student/Farmworker Alliance (though you should make sure to check out the full photo report over at the SFA website!):

CIW staff members wrap up a theater piece for Encuentro participants, with a farmworker and student ally ready to take away Wendy’s Code of Conduct “comfort blanket”, sporting t-shirts emblazoned with the CIW’s longstanding ingredients for creating change: consciousness and commitment.

[…] Rising bright and early, participants gathered to start [Friday, September 27] enjoying a theater skit (above) by leaders of the CIW, which highlighted the important role students and young allies play in holding corporations accountable for human rights abuses and introduced CIW’s organizing philosophy of “Consciousness + Commitment = Change”.  The packed day continued with presentations from members of the 2019 SFA Steering Committee and a series of skill-building workshops on base-building, community organizing and grassroots fundraising. Participants also dove deep into the inner-workings of the Worker-driven Social Responsibility model and the incredible impact of Fair Food Program on farmworkers’ everyday lives. 

The third day of the Encuentro started with a buzz of energy as participants forged strong alliances between regions, cities, and schools, creating concrete plans for the fast-approaching National Day of Action on Oct. 28 and this fall’s major mobilization to New York City on Nov. 18.  By midday on Saturday, participants were beaming with confidence from the day’s sessions and were ready to put their newly-learned skills into action!

The Encuentro crew made its way to a local Wendy’s in Naples, FL, off busy U.S. 41, to meet up with farmworkers from Immokalee, their children, and Southwest Florida allies for a powerful picket with vibrant art, joyous music and chants, and a unified message demanding a Fair Food commitment from Wendy’s! 

The spirit and vigor of the action was carried back to Immokalee, where the CIW and participants shared a warm meal together before celebrating the rich mix of cultures in the room during the longstanding SFA tradition at the Encuentro, Café Cultura.  Performances ranged from spoken word, to stellar musical numbers and folkloric dances — and even a tiny cooking show led by CIW’s Nely Rodriguez and Antonia Martinez demonstrating how to make homemade tortillas! 

It was indeed a night to remember, filled with colorful skirts, traditional marimba music from Guatemala, birthday celebrations and delicious tres leches cake, laughter and a message of solidarity with Migrant Justice’s Milk with Dignity Campaign. […]

[…] Stay tuned for more resources and updates on SFA’s upcoming National Day of Action on Oct. 28 and the major march in NYC set for Nov. 18!  If you’re ready to make moves with us, reach out at organize@sfalliance.org