Limited-edition, handmade posters celebrating CIW’s anti-slavery efforts available now!

CIW farmworker leaders and their children pose with the brand-new, limited edition posters highlighting CIW’s work to end modern slavery in the fields by Bay Area movement artist David Solnit.

Just in time for CIW’s upcoming “March to End Modern Slavery in the Fields” on April 2, Bay Area movement artist and longtime ally David Solnit created and donated these beautiful limited-edition, handmade posters to help raise funds for the march. They are available now from $50-$100 sliding scale — click here to place your order

With just weeks left until Immokalee farmworkers and their families hit the road for the major “March to End Modern Slavery in the Fields” in Palm Beach, CIW leaders have been hard at work making sure the final preparations are in order, from packing action supplies to getting ready for a massive, week-long art-build.  So you can imagine the joy we felt when we received a batch of 90 limited-edition posters, screen printed by hand,  donated by Bay Area movement artist and longtime CIW friend David Solnit. The poster, which measures a whopping 22 x 28 inches, celebrates the CIW’s historic 30-year struggle to eradicate modern slavery from the U.S. agricultural industry, for which the CIW won a Presidential Medal in 2015. 

With worker-to-worker education, independent monitoring, and enforceable zero tolerance policies for forced labor, the Fair Food Program has transformed workplaces once known to federal prosecutors as “ground zero for modern day slavery” into the best work environment in U.S. agriculture. As we get ready to hold Wendy’s Board accountable for failing to commit the fast-food chain to the FFP’s unprecedented protections — especially in light of rising modern slavery cases in North American agriculture — don’t miss the chance to get your hands on these limited-edition posters.  You can order them now at a sliding scale of $50-$100 each to help fund the CIW’s mobilization on April 2. 

Consciousness + Commitment = Change (in English, Spanish and Creole) is a 22×28 inch, 3-color poster, hand screen printed on heavy railroad board in a signed and numbered limited edition of 90

David Solnit is an artist and arts organizer who has made artwork with social movements for the last 30 years, including teachers unions, global justice movements, fast food workers, tenants organizations, and climate justice campaigns. He has made art and theater with the CIW since 2001. He currently coordinates the Climate Justice Arts Project, providing art, organizing and training for the global climate justice movement. 

When I asked CIW members for a poster design to celebrate their work and raise funds to support it, they suggested the Statue of Liberty reimagined as a tomato picker, which was a paper mache statue created by CIW two decades ago and is now on permanent display at the Smithsonian

Because of CIW’s important role in fighting modern day farmworker slavery, I included the broken shackles and chains at the feet of of the Statue, which I had never known about before, but are a reminder that the Statue of Liberty was initiated by French slavery abolitionists at the end of the U.S .Civil War to celebrate the end of slavery. 

I was invited to make art with CIW 20 years ago, and I learned so much from witnessing the way they organized, often using the phrase, “Consciousness plus Commitment equals Change.” After their major victory in getting Taco Bell to sign on to the Fair Food Program in 2005, I interviewed CIW members about their organizing methods. I asked, “Can you explain the CIW slogan “Consciousness plus Commitment equals Change”?

CIW responded: A base of informed and conscious workers is the foundation for all the work we do. As a community we start by reflecting on the situation that we face as workers and then come up with what action is necessary to make the change we seek. As one of our members said, “One who does not analyze continues to be a slave.” By looking at the roots of the agricultural industry’s problem, we were able to come up with a strategy to change the problems that we face in our community. We do this through popular education: flyers, drawings, theater, videos, weekly meetings, and visits to the camps. We draw on the innate leader that exists in every worker.

From this consciousness comes the commitment of individuals to participate in the struggle. Workers commit to taking part in actions, to missing days and weeks of work and pay, to going on hunger strikes, to marching endless miles. It is this consciousness and commitment that has led us to the changes that we’ve been able to create in our community.

But creating consciousness in the worker community is just one part of our work. Through the boycott we were also able to build a base of conscious and responsible consumers who will now make more conscious and responsible choices whenever they go out to eat or to shop. Now they’ll think about the people behind the products they are consuming.