ORGANIZING REPORT: Miami, West Palm Beach region allies make plans for major Wendy’s march next month!

CIW’s Lupe Gonzalo and Lucas Benitez meet with Archbishop Thomas Wenski of the Archdiocese of Miami on March 10, 2022, to share updates on the impact of the Fair Food Program and upcoming “March to End Modern Slavery in the Fields” in Palm Beach.

Farmworker leaders meet with Archbishop Thomas Wenski of the Archdiocese of Miami — representing over half a million Catholics in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe Counties — and receive his blessing and full support for the upcoming major action in Palm Beach! 

PLUS: Kerry Kennedy pledges to march alongside CIW for the “March to End Modern Slavery in the Fields” on April 2! Ready to march with us, too? Register now! 

With less than three weeks to go before farmworkers and hundreds of Floridians come together for the “March to End Modern Slavery in the Fields” on April 2, word of the CIW’s return to Palm Beach is spreading swiftly across the Sunshine State!  And after last week’s major show of support from significant investors for CIW’s call for board accountability at Wendy’s, it’s clear that buzz around Wendy’s failure to address the modern slavery crisis in North American agriculture is growing exponentially, too, and we’re only getting started. 

Two teams of CIW farmworker leaders and Alliance for Fair Food organizers have already hit the ground with presentations, events and solidarity-building in the South Florida region: one team has settled into the Miami area and the other is stationed in smaller cities nearby the march location in Palm Beach. It has been a joy to reconnect with longtime partners in the struggle for workers’ rights in South Florida, particularly organizations such as WeCount! and the Miami Workers Center, who are committed to mobilize their members to march with us in Palm Beach.  The team has been educating and mobilizing students from colleges and universities in the area, including University of Miami and Barry University, solidifying their commitment to the ever-growing Wendy’s Boycott. During these last two weeks, the crew has also engaged with several area congregations, including Miami Shores Presbyterian and First United Methodist Church of Miami. 

Quite the hype has begun building up around the major action across the Magic City that there will be at least two buses leaving from Miami to transport participants to the march in Palm Beach on April 2. If you’re interested in securing your seat on the Miami bus, make sure to email Uriel Zelaya Perez at 

And last week, CIW’s Lupe Gonzalo and Lucas Benitez met with Archbishop Thomas Wenski of the Archdiocese of Miami, which is home to over half a million Catholics in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe Counties. Archbishop Wenski, who has dedicated his career to uplifting the voices of migrant workers in Florida and has been supporting CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food for over a decade, applauded the incredible progress for farmworkers made possible by the groundbreaking protections of the Fair Food Program and gave his blessing on behalf of the Catholic community in Miami for a successful event on April 2. 

We’ve also spent time helping student leaders at Florida Atlantic University in neighboring Boca Raton fortify their newly formed Student/Farmworker Alliance chapter and continue the campaign to “Boot the Braids”, after the Student Government passed an unanimous resolution to remove Wendy’s from campus a few years ago. The team in West Palm Beach area is stretching across cities, making connections with worker centers, students, congregations and organizations ahead of the big march.

But Floridians aren’t the only ones gearing up for the action next month!  The list of national public figures — from human rights activists to faith leaders from various denominations — has grown significantly over the last week to include the following: longtime CIW ally, author and human rights champion Kerry Kennedy; Rev. Mary Katherine Morn, President and CEO of  the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee; Ann Toback, CEO of the Workers Circle; Julie Taylor, Executive Director of the National Farmworker Ministry; Clayton Sinyai of the Catholic Labor Network; and Andrew Kang Barlett of the Presbyterian Church (USA). 

We’re also excited to announce that we will be hosting a delegation of nearly two dozen workers who are taking up the Worker-driven Social Responsibility model to enforce human rights standards in their workplaces and are traveling to Immokalee to learn about CIW’s campaign efforts and stand in solidarity with farmworkers on April 2!  The WSR contingent includes workers from the poultry industry in Arkansas with Venceremos, construction workers in Minnesota with CTUL and dairy farmworkers in Vermont with Migrant Justice. 

Make sure to check back later this week for more news on the major action!