Students, youth set to gather this weekend for a virtual gathering of strategy building for the Wendy’s Campaign…

Apply today to join the Student/Farmworker Alliance 2020 Encuentro: “Piecing Together Justice,” Oct. 17-18…

Despite all of the unforeseen challenges 2020 has thrown our way, the young leaders of the Student/Farmworker Alliance have once again banded together to push forward a critical marker of the Campaign for Fair Food’s yearly calendar: the annual SFA Encuentro gathering.  This weekend, Oct. 17-18, young people from across the country will gather virtually for a weekend of learning new organizing skills, strategizing with farmworker leaders of the CIW, and deepening their commitment to the movement for Fair Food. 

There’s still time to submit your application if you’d like to join dozens of young organizers this weekend at the Encuentro!  Apply now

As profoundly trying as this year has been, there remains the opportunity for us — as a community, from the very local level to the national — to emerge stronger from these months of immeasurable tragedy and loss.  With a cruel indifference, the pandemic has exposed, for all who would see, the vast systems of racial and economic injustice built into the very structure of our world today.  What we do now with that insight is up to us.  

One of the unmistakable lessons of the past several months is the fact that we, all too often, treat our “essential” workers as expendable people.  Nowhere is that more true than ever in the food industry, where the workers at the base of the industry, from meatpackers to farmworkers, endure crowded, unsafe working and living conditions, extreme, generational poverty, and little or no access to essential health care.  That is why, after nearly eight months of soaring infection rates and countless unnecessary deaths among food workers, we must demand that the multi-billion dollar corporations at the top of the food industry use their purchasing power to enforce compliance with verifiable worker health and safety standards, both during the ongoing pandemic and beyond.  And the Fair Food Program offers the opportunity for companies that buy millions of pounds of produce every year, companies like Wendy’s, to do just that, with the implementation of critical new, mandatory, enforceable standards designed to prevent and mitigate COVID-19 outbreaks on participating farms. 

And so, energized as never before by this unprecedented moment of opportunity and solidarity, the next generation of leaders on the student and youth front of the Campaign for Fair Food are escalating their efforts to bring Wendy’s into the Fair Food Program.  If you are interested in bringing that energy and hope for real, enforceable social change for essential food workers to your campus or community, here below is the invitation to this weekend’s Encuentro, directly from the Student/Farmworker Alliance:

The multi-layered crises of 2020 have sent a shockwave through our society, ravaging through entire communities and turning a spotlight on the horrific inequities that existed long before life during a global pandemic. Beyond the failure of elected officials to stop the spread of COVID-19, Black, Indigenous, and immigrant communities everywhere have been on the frontlines to end violent policing in our communities and white supremacy in the institutions that control our healthcare, our economy and our environment. Farmworkers in Immokalee sit at the crossroads of these overlapping crises, and it’s with more urgency than ever before that we must continue to follow their leadership to transform this reality as they fight for their survival and human rights on a daily basis.  

Corporations are doing everything they can to escape accountability to protect the health and safety of low-wage workers who ensure their skyrocketing profits. We cannot return to a business as usual scenario. However, if there is one lesson we are learning as young people organizing during this momentous time, it is the need for emboldened global solidarity and community care.  

Today, we must respond to the immediate needs of communities like Immokalee, but we must also go further than the demands of the moment. As we begin to collectively heal from such a devastating year, the work for justice carries on. This October, students and youth from across the country will be convening online to organize alongside farmworkers at this critical moment in the fight for Fair Food and beyond.  

The Student/Farmworker Alliance Encuentro is a decades-long grassroots organizing tradition that brings together students and young people from across the country for a weekend of creativity, strategizing, skill-building and reflection to strengthen our farmworker solidarity network. Normally, participants converge in Immokalee, FL — the birthplace of the CIW’s historic farmworkers’ rights movement — to learn from one other and envision together the path forward to transform our food system for the better. 

This year, we’re creating a virtual space where we can all still come together and build SFA’s power. The 2020 SFA Encuentro: Piecing Together Justice will be held online October 17-18.

While this year’s Encuentro will surely be different than others, it will be as beautiful, colorful and powerful as ever before. The 2020 Steering Committee has chosen Piecing Together Justice as the Encuentro’s theme, and throughout the weekend we will be piecing together a puzzle! Each one of us, a piece to the puzzle that makes up the vibrant Student/Farmworker Alliance network, will learn about the organizing tools available to us as we construct the world we want to live in. We will be using this weekend to become skilled organizers in our communities and practice allyship in the movement for farmworker justice.

Whether you haven’t missed a Wendy’s Boycott protest in the last few years or are brand new to the Campaign for Fair Food, we want you to join us at the 2020 Encuentro! Please share widely with your networks and apply today:

English application and Spanish application.

¡La lucha sigue!