The campaign is over, the votes are all counted, and the results are in!…

FGCU Student/Farmworker Alliance leaders organize a picket outside of a local Wendy’s in Estero, FL, with farmworker leaders of the CIW, local clergy and community allies on October 28, 2019.

And we won!

No, not that vote… The Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) Student Government votes unanimously to adopt resolution in support of the national Wendy’s Boycott!

FGCU Resolution: “Therefore let it be enacted that the FGCU Student Body Senate… calls upon administration to not allow Wendy’s to be a food provider on campus unless the company signs onto the Fair Food Program…”

Whew!  What a week…

We have the results of an exciting vote to report from the Campaign for Fair Food, a portent of things to come as the Wendy’s Boycott picks up steam with the semester well underway at campuses across the country and the new harvest season here in Immokalee just around the corner.  But, of course, there was another vote that took place this past week, and we would be remiss if we did not pause to reflect briefly on the momentous inflection point in U.S. history that we are all living through as we write this post.

The 2020 election brought with it a number of historic firsts – from the record-breaking turnout of 160 million Americans who mailed in their ballots or braved a raging global pandemic to cast their votes in person, to the groundbreaking new administration that the tumultuous election will usher in: President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, the first Black and Asian-American woman elected by the American people to help lead the nation.  We applaud our neighbors from coast to coast for making their voices heard in this election and exercising the right to vote.

This year, people across the country – young and old, of all races, genders, and political creeds – exercised that power to express themselves on many of the existential questions facing our country today, ranging from basic dignity and respect, to the importance of science, to the government’s responsibility to respect all people’s health, safety, and fundamental human rights. Farmworkers in Immokalee know, as well as anyone, that the arc of the moral universe does, indeed, bend toward justice, but only through the tireless efforts of countless people laboring collectively, bending the arc together toward a more fair and equitable future, even (or perhaps especially) in the face of violence, hatred, and antipathy. 

As we mark this new chapter in our country’s history, we realize that there is still much to be done to bring about the renewal of our democracy that so many hoped for when they filled out their ballots this election year.  This election is only the beginning of that transformation, not the end.  The good news is, with our collective awareness and commitment, there is no force that we cannot overcome, no future we cannot build when we build it together.  The Fair Food Movement is nothing if not testament to that fact.

So with our eyes firmly fixed on the future, here in Immokalee we are getting right back down to the business of fighting for the basic human rights of farmworkers – starting with some very good news this past week in the Wendy’s Boycott.

Last Monday, as the nation prepared to head to the polls, students at Florida Gulf Coast University right here in neighboring Fort Myers were awaiting the results of an important vote of their own… And the votes are in!

After hearing directly from Nely Rodriguez of the CIW on the Fair Food Program’s transformative impact on the lives of thousands of farmworkers – including the FFP’s crucial role in protecting workers on participating farms during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – FGCU’s Student Senate unanimously passed a resolution in support of the ongoing Wendy’s Boycott!  The resolution not only calls on Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program, but also urges the university administration to ban Wendy’s from doing business on campus until the fast-food chain joins its competitors in protecting the health, safety, and human rights of farmworkers in its supply chain through the FFP.

We extend our congratulations to the local Student/Farmworker Alliance chapter and supportive faculty who championed this resolution at FGCU, which has been a longtime community partner and a vibrant student leadership hub in the Campaign for Fair Food.  FGCU now joins a growing list of private and public universities – from the University of Michigan to the Methodist Theological School in Ohio — that have voted to reject Wendy’s for its failure to join the FFP (recently dubbed the “new gold standard” in social responsibility).

With this exciting news out of FGCU, the fight for Fair Food marches on!  Stay tuned in the weeks ahead for exciting new updates on the Wendy’s Boycott. Until then, we close today’s post with excerpts from the FGCU Student Government resolution (which can be viewed in its entirety here):