Phenomenal line-up of artists, activists and actors celebrate essential farmworkers in Immokalee and demand Wendy's protect workers in its supply chain by joining the Fair Food Program! 

Amy Schumer: "We all know the best way to guarantee rights and dignity is by listening to the workers and centering their needs. That’s why the Fair Food Program is so important!” 

Last Saturday, the vast and vibrant network of allies in the movement for Fair Food came together to celebrate International Workers' Day with an epic May Day Virtual Concert, packed with an extraordinary line-up of artists, activists and actors sharing their music and solidarity in honor of essential farmworkers in Immokalee. After an exhausting year of hardship and (necessary) distance, the stellar musical performances by Tom Morello, Olmeca, Mare Advertencia Lirika and Son Jaorcho collective Lxs Altepee — as well as a special appearance by none other than comedian and actor Amy Schumer — offered ánimo and hope to continue fighting for a safer world for all, together.  The evening was more than just a joyful celebration of international solidarity and farmworker justice, it felt like a long-overdue reunion of our big Fair Food family.  And, in true Fair Food fashion, the chorus of artists sent an unequivocal message to Wendy's: Protect essential farmworkers, join the Fair Food Program! 

In case you missed the riveting concert last week, below are video snapshots of some of our favorite moments of the night (but you can also watch the full event here): 

The concert kicked off with a message and performance from fellow organizers across the Gulf from Veracruz, Mexico: Lxs Altepee.  The Son Jarocho collective connected their own struggle to the work happening in Immokalee, as they celebrated 10 years of protecting indigenous rights in South Veracruz through the Bety Cariño Human Rights Center.  In their own words: “We’re happy to be here not only supporting the boycott of Wendy's and the Campaign for Fair Food, but also to share the work we do to protect our own communities here in Veracruz… because it’s we know it’s all of our responsibility to take care of those who put food on our table.”

Following Lxs Altepee's moving performance, CIW's Nely Rodriguez shared important updates about our ongoing battle against COVID in Immokalee, working in collaboration with Partners In Health and Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida to educate, test, and vaccinate the farmworker community as the harvesting season wraps up here and workers begin migrating north for the summer

Up next, we introduced a new addition to the Fair Food Nation!  Mare Advertencia Lirika is one of the first female Zapoteca rappers out of Oaxaca, Mexico. Reflecting on the need for global solidarity during moments of crises, Mare expressed: "We know that struggle in all communities is necessary where inequities have been exposed due to the pandemic, with many workers simultaneously confronting exploitative capitalism and this lethal virus."  These interlocking themes are pulled together powerfully in her opener “Escribiendo La Historia” where she raps of the power of working people rising up, against all odds, to write their own story. 

Mid-way through the May Day Concert, we heard a special message of solidarity in the Wendy's Boycott from comedian, actor and stalwart Fair Food ally Amy Schumer, who has stood alongside farmworker women for many years in the struggle to end sexual violence in the fields:

Continuing to hear from powerful women, the next performer to hit the virtual stage was Nancy Sanchez, an East LA-based, singer/songwriter originally from Teluca, Mexico.  She joined us for the second consecutive year, sharing her powerful voice and bilingual lyrics to amplify the CIW's fight for dignity and respect in the fields: “Farmworkers are essential to all of us. They have put their lives at risk to put food on our tables. From the bottom of my heart, muchas gracias.” Check out her beautiful song “Hasta Que Todos Estemos a Salvo” dedicated to those who are struggling for justice across the world. 

We also got to hear an important update from the Student/Farmworker Alliance, as Steering Committee member Amber Pirson shared background on the evening’s Call to Action. For over two decades, students and young people have been a driving force of creativity and energy behind the CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food — and the Deliver with Dignity Campaign is the newest installment of that proud history. Launched last fall when reliance on food delivery services surged, the campaign demands that delivery companies Uber Eats, GrubHub, Postmates and DoorDash reject farmworker exploitation and cut ties with Wendy’s! 

Our final two guests of the evening are old friends to the Fair Food movement. Brilliant hip hop scholar and activist Olmeca, as always, rocked the house, and his sweet reunion with CIW leaders reminded us of the power of trust built through decades of shared struggle and community organizing, even over Zoom. His irresistible beats spurred an impromptu dance party at the CIW Community Center, as no one in the office could stay seated during his call: “ ¡A bailar, a bailar!” 

To close us out, we had the honor of hearing from longtime ally and activist Tom Morello, of Rage Against the Machine fame, who has been lending his voice to the Campaign for Fair Food for over 20 years, headlining the very first Concert for Fair Food in Irvine, CA, in the early days of the Taco Bell Boycott and performing with us ever since at actions from LA to Chicago to Florida.  “The world’s not going to change itself,” Tom reminded us. “On this MayDay, we salute those who have struggled for dignity and respect in the workplace.

We send our most heart-felt thank you to all the artists and speakers who made the 2021 May Day Virtual Concert a success, and to all the allies around the world who came together to celebrate the victories of the workers in Immokalee, and stand with us as we call on Wendy's to do what is right and just and join the gold standard for social responsibility.

Stay tuned for more campaign updates as we get closer to the Wendy’s annual shareholder meeting and the chorus of investors and consumers calling on Wendy's to join the Fair Food Program becomes louder and louder!




CIW’s Lupe Gonzalo: “The bodies of farmworkers are not so different from the Earth, which has endured years of contamination…”

May 6, 2021

Gonzalo: “… For years, those with greater economic and political power have taken on a great debt from Nature. The moment has arrived to pay the price, but the least powerful and poorest in society are those that are having to pay…  For vulnerable communities like ours, we have to find solutions together to protect ourselves against the effects of climate change. Poverty and powerlessness have put us at risk for too many decades and, here in Immokalee, we are changing that story.”   This past week, The Marjorie — the thought-provoking website that describes itself as “a woman-owned reporting nonprofit […]

Shocker: Wendy’s Board recommends shareholders vote FOR social responsibility transparency resolution!…

May 3, 2021

Is hamburger giant’s move a genuine step toward real social responsibility, or just a ploy to relieve growing investor, consumer pressure to join the “gold standard” for human rights protections today, Fair Food Program? Shareholders who filed the resolution seem skeptical, writing: “While this Board Recommendation to vote in favor of the proposal is welcome, investor support for the proposal… is warranted for the following three reasons: Wendy’s has failed to demonstrate effective implementation of a meaningful commitment to respect the human rights of workers in its food supply chain and lacks transparency regarding its food supplier monitoring practices. Wendy’s […]

New report out of Yale, Stanford, and University of Sheffield (UK) recommends corporations adopt “binding worker-driven social responsibility agreements” to fight forced labor in supply chains!

April 27, 2021

Yet another independent academic study confirms what workers already know: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has failed, Worker-driven Social Responsibility (WSR) must be part of the answer. Sweeping report by three leading academic institutions details shortcomings of current social responsibility models: “Forced labour and human rights abuses of workers are endemic across several sectors of the global economy…” “Transparency legislation, a dominant mode of regulation, is not working…” Recommends solutions:  “End prevailing social auditing ‘rubber stamping’ practices which lead to dangerous and exploitative worksites being certified…” “Explore possibilities for binding worker-driven social responsibility agreements and meaningful worker empowerment…” The mountain of academic support for mandatory, worker-driven, enforceable standards grew one […]

BIG NEWS: Actor, Comedian and Fair Food champion Amy Schumer joins May 1st Concert line up!

April 23, 2021

PLUS: Zapoteca hip hop star Mare Advertencia Lirika and Los Altepee also join all-star line-up for May Day Concert! Just in case you were not yet sure how to spend May Day this year, here are three more reasons to join farmworkers and the Fair Food Nation for the 2021 May 1st concert:  Amy Schumer.  Mare Advertencia Lirika.  Los Altepee.   Earlier this month, we were thrilled to announce that singer, songwriter, and political activist Tom Morello (of Rage Against the Machine fame) and hip-hop artist and social justice scholar Olmeca would be joining the CIW live on Facebook from 6pm-8pm […]

Fair Food Program expands to hundreds more farmworkers in the Volunteer State!

April 20, 2021

Newest Fair Food Program participating grower, Smoky Mountain Family Farms, expands operations in Tennessee, expanding the groundbreaking protections of the Fair Food Program to hundreds of new workers in the process… PLUS: CIW holds inaugural education session with Bloomia workers in Virginia!    Bloomia Health and Safety Manager, Soraya Buckner, introducing the FFP Education Team: “This is a special group of people, who are here willing to share their experience and knowledge about how to increase human dignity and respect in the work environment, to help us understand our rights as human beings and as workers.” Despite all the travails […]

Investors rise up: Responsible investors “representing $1 trillion dollars in assets under management urge Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program”!

April 16, 2021

Over 100 responsible investors sign letter to Wendy’s Board Chair Nelson Peltz: “In closing, given the FFP’s unparalleled success, its adoption by Wendy’s main competitors, and the seriousness of the human rights risks in U.S. agriculture – especially in light of COVID-19, and at a time of global reckoning over racial justice – we believe it is incumbent upon the company to join the FFP.” PLUS: Six State Treasurers send their own letter to Wendy’s Peltz: “With the dire consequences of COVID-19 and of systemic racism on our minds, we the undersigned State Treasurers urge Wendy’s to join the Fair Food […]

“Wendy’s ignores essential farmworkers” Week of Action reverberates throughout the Fair Food Nation!

April 14, 2021

Fair Food allies in over two dozen cities — from San Francisco, California to Essex, Vermont — bring the fight for farmworker justice directly to Wendy’s restaurants and top business partners!    What a whirlwind week for the Fair Food movement!  As thousands of farmworkers received their COVID-19 vaccine last week in Immokalee — after months of advocacy for an equitable vaccine rollout for essential agricultural workers by the CIW, Alliance for Fair Food, Partners In Health and the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida — hundreds of Fair Food allies took to the streets in cities across the country to make […]

This is what vaccine equity looks like!…

April 12, 2021

CIW’s Nely Rodriguez: “After months of calling for vaccine access for farmworkers… thousands of workers and other Immokalee neighbors lined up hundreds at a time to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, a major victory in the battle against the pandemic and in our ongoing efforts to protect the lives of essential workers.” Late last month, the CIW — joined by the Health Care Network and Partners in Health, our partners in the fight against COVID-19 in Florida’s essential farmworker communities — took to the opinion pages of the Naples Daily News and Ft. Myers News-Press to call attention to the urgent need […]

Wendy’s Shareholder Resolution News, Part One: Resolution calling for documentation of Wendy’s claims of social responsibility gaining real momentum ahead annual meeting…

March 31, 2021

2021 shareholder resolution seeks facts on whether, and how, Wendy’s enforces its Supplier Code of Conduct… Financial Times: Responsible investment organization ShareAction calls Wendy’s shareholder resolution a “high quality, high impact” proposal, one of “13 most important ESG resolutions” of 2021… Acting Chair of SEC: “This last year has helped to clarify why the perceived barrier between social value and market value is breaking down… Human capital, human rights, climate change – these issues are fundamental to our markets, and investors want to and can help drive sustainable solutions on these issues.” This spring, Wendy’s annual shareholder meeting will not be […]

“The contract at the heart of our community is founded on trust”…

March 18, 2021

Sheriff Rambosk’s words, actions erode the trust essential to effective policing in Immokalee; The time to rebuild public trust, and reform policing in Immokalee’s farmworker community, is now. In 1987, police officers in Memphis, Tennessee, responding to a call of a man threatening people with a knife, shot a young Black man to death.  The victim had a history of mental illness, and his tragic and preventable killing shocked the community and threatened to fracture the city in protest.  But instead of provoking the familiar spiral of conflict and division, the young man’s death prompted the Mayor of Memphis to […]