Florida students visit Immokalee to celebrate booting Wendy’s from campus, mobilize for the Build A New World March!


University of Florida students visited the CIW’s office after securing a crucial victory at their university

UF Student/Farmworker Alliance on booting Wendy’s from campus: “While it’s important we celebrate our victories, the fight for fair food is never over! We continue to keep our end goal in mind: an end to exploitation and abuse in our food system.”

We are just one week away from the Build a New World March, and the CIW Community Center is bustling with art, march supplies, and people, too, from across the state and around the country, as visitors and volunteers begin arriving in Immokalee to help with preparations for next week’s big action! Among the new faces filling the office with pre-march energy are a delegation of young leaders from the Student/Farmworker Alliance at the University of Florida. The vibrant delegation visited this past weekend to celebrate their momentous victory in booting Wendy’s from their campus this school year and to strategize plans for keeping the momentum building in the fight for Fair Food on the UF campus and beyond. 

This critical win in the national student-led Boot the Braids Campaign was the result of years of painstaking organizing that began in 2014 and spanned multiple classes of student leaders. With their recent victory, UF becomes the latest flagship university, following University of MichiganFlorida Atlantic University, and UNC-Chapel Hill, to cut business ties with Wendy’s due to the fast-food company’s refusal to join the Fair Food Program.  CIW members were overjoyed to hear the news out of UF last semester, and are happy to share the students’ statement on the campaign, and their plans for the future, in its entirety below:

After years of student organizing, Wendy’s has finally been booted from the Reitz at the University of Florida!

The #BoottheBraids campaign has had a long history at the University of Florida as students and faculty have joined farmworkers in their call to uproot exploitation in the fields. In 2019, UF saw one of its largest protests with over 300 farmworkers, student organizers, and allies marching down Museum Road to protest the Wendy’s on campus.

These demonstrations were wildly successful and on March 7th, 2019 the Gainesville City Commission passed a resolution in support of the Wendy’s boycott and several days later, University of Florida Student Government passed a unanimous resolution to remove Wendy’s from campus until it joined the Fair Food Program. Although UF has been resistant to fulfilling these resolutions, these actions set the precedent for Wendy’s being booted from campus in 2022.

While it’s important we celebrate our victories, the fight for fair food is never over! We continue to keep our end goal in mind: an end to exploitation and abuse in our food system.

UF students tour the CIW’s Modern Slavery Museum during their visit to Immokalee on Saturday, March 4, 2023.

Some of the very students who helped organize and win this impressive victory participated in the delegation this past weekend, where they learned more about the history of modern-day slavery in Florida and hatched plans for mobilizing UF students for the upcoming Build A New World March.

Students are doing their part… now it’s time to do yours! 

Join farmworkers, students, religious leaders and other consumer allies on March 18 in Palm Beach for the grand finale of our March for Farmworker Freedom! Together, let’s celebrate the unprecedented success of the Fair Food Program in ending longstanding human rights abuses, from sexual assault to forced labor, in U.S. agriculture.  Join us as, with one voice, we call on Fair Food Program holdouts Publix, Kroger, and Wendy’s to do their part and join the Presidential Medal-winning program and its gold standard human rights protections for the farmworkers who make their profits possible! 

Ready to march with farmworkers on March 18 in Palm Beach? Click here to register now!