“Consider what your faith calls upon you to do…”


Quaker youth stand for justice in the fields, make preparations for March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food!

From the early days of the Taco Bell Boycott more than a decade ago to the present, two of the greatest sources of strength for the Campaign for Fair Food have been youth and communities of faith. Last fall, the CIW was visited by a cross-section of these two groups when the Quaker youth came to town. Since then, these remarkable young people have been on the front lines of the Campaign, and we wanted to take a moment to celebrate their commitment!


Following their visit to Immokalee, the Florida Quaker Youth — comprised of elementary, middle, and high school students — channeled their inspiration from the CIW into action through Quaker process. Over the course of the last several months, they have taken a letter to Publix to Monthly Quaker Meetings, all the way from Miami to Tallahassee, and to their statewide Interim Business Meeting in St. Petersburg. All of these Quaker communities proudly expressed their support for the young group’s involvement in the Campaign, and added their voices to the call for Publix to join the historic partnership transforming the Florida tomato industry (the group actually documented this caravan in a map of Meeting notes!).

The Quaker Youth also invited CIW and Interfaith Action to their youth retreat to lead a workshop on creative tools to organize within their community — namely, through the CIW’s popular education-style theater. They learned about the hierarchies within the food industry as they climbed into the pyramid structure that represents it; the audience played the part of customers by handing a dollar to the company — at the top of the pyramid — who proceeded to hand less money to the suppliers, who handed still less to the workers at the bottom of the pyramid.

After a quick tutorial, the vibrant Florida Quaker Youth group then performed this theater piece at the statewide gathering of the Historic Peace Churches. They closed with a call to action to their fellow youth in the Historic Peace Churches of Florida:

…We plan to use everything we have learned so far to continue bringing this issue to our wider Quaker Community. We’ll look for support at our Southeastern Yearly Business Meeting this spring and then will share this issue at Friends General Conference, a national gathering of Quakers, in Colorado in July. There is still far more work to do on this issue.

We urge you to start to consider what your faith calls upon you to do.

You could start with a visit to Immokalee to learn more, followed by a letter to Publix. We stress the importance of getting as many fellow members of your faith involved in this process. By following the proper procedures in your church it becomes more likely to gain the full backing of your local community of faith. We thank you for your time and consideration regarding the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of farmworkers.

With your support, we all should be able to make a more significant difference in this movement.


The Quaker Youth

Read the full letter here >>

In a little less than a month, the Florida Quaker Youth will be convening from around the state to join the March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food, and by the looks of their map of support and their remarkable commitment to the Campaign, they will be bringing scores of others along with them!