Day 9: “With responsibility has to come accountability”


Courtney Wicks, who spoke on behalf of Investor Advocates for Social Justice at our rally in New York City last month

I’m a 13th-generation African American in this country, but I am only two generations removed from slavery. Both my grandfathers grew up on plantations. The mere fact that in 1865, on June 19, slavery was supposed to be abolished in this country – and the fact that we’re in 2022 and it still continues –  is egregious.

So, we are not only standing here in solidarity, shoulder to shoulder with farmworkers today, we are also calling all investors to vote no against the [Wendy’s] board. With responsibility has to come accountability.”

– Courtney Wicks, the Executive Director of Investor Advocates for Social Justice (IASJ)

Courtney’s powerful call to action came on May 12th as we rallied in Manhattan alongside students, faith leaders, consumers, policymakers, and investor allies for accountability from the Wendy’s board of directors – a board that failed to adequately respond to a shareholder resolution on worker protections that passed with 95% of votes last year. 

There are just two days left in our Sustainer Drive. Can you chip in $5 or $10 per month to help us meet our goal?

Over its twenty-year history of demanding — and winning — respect for fundamental human rights in the fields, the Campaign for Fair Food has never stopped evolving to press its call for justice in new ways and in new venues: From the first vibrant CIW street theater performance outside Taco Bell headquarters (who can forget “The Marriage of Taco Bell and Queen Cheap Tomato”?) in Irvine, CA, to stirring teach-ins led by students on campuses and rousing sermons from pulpits across the country, our campaign has never been just one thing. And in recent years we have discovered an intriguing new arena for our work. The world of shareholder activism, and of “ESG,” has the potential to open up new means for leveraging corporate decision-making.  And even in that new arena, our message is consistent: modern-day slavery and widespread exploitation and abuse in the agriculture sector harm everyone it touches, including the companies themselves.    

Over the course of the past two decades of untiring activism and unprecedented advances in human rights, we have affirmed that our movement – the movement you have joined – is powerful because it’s interconnected, and those connections continue to spread. That morning in New York was a beautiful example: farmworker leaders spoke about the world they wanted to see, student allies called for justice and solidarity, allies in the shareholder world shed light on powerful new tactics, policy leaders promised their support for systemic change, and in the end, we were all bolstered by our faith allies who illuminated our collective moral path. 

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