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“JUSTICE FOR IMMIGRANTS”

CARAVAN  & MARCH from ORLANDO to Washington, DC

Letter of Endorsement

Dear Community Organizations, Labor Unions, Religious Leaders, Business Leaders, Activists, and Concerned Citizens:

The Farmworker Association of Florida and the Florida Coordinating Committee are calling on you to join together in a Caravan and March from Orlando, FL to Washington, DC beginning January 3, 2013 and arriving in Washington, DC on January 20, 2013.  With farmworkers and immigrants from Orlando to Washington, DC, the caravan will stop in key cities along the way, culminating with a march on the capitol and a religious ceremony to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and linking the cause of justice for immigrants to the historic civil rights movement.  Download Letter of Endorsement.

A Community Feast in the Garden!

A Community Feast in the Garden!
View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://floridafarmworkers.org/?start=160#sigProGalleria71925e071f
Friday, Dec 14th at Apopka’s Billie Dean Community Garden, the Farmworker Association of Florida, the East Central Florida Regional Policy Council, and the Big Potato Foundation hosted the Apopka Fall Harvest Luncheon.  The purpose of the gathering was to bring together community members and other diverse stakeholders to get a firsthand look at local food initiatives in Apopka.  Surrounded by the beautiful and lush crops in the garden beds, nearly 40 participants enjoyed a salad of fresh vegetables harvested from the garden, fruit salad, tacos, ginger tea, and fresh lemonade.  The participants included low-income community members, garden members, and representatives from local government, health care facilities, faith-based groups, community groups, and an ethnic food retailer.  Also joining the event was a local hydroponic lettuce grower who explained how their operation works to grow and supply lettuce to local restaurants in Orlando.

A Great Day in the Garden!

 

Getting our hands dirty for La Causa!

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://floridafarmworkers.org/?start=160#sigProGalleria3485be07a1
On Saturday, Dec 8th at Apopka’s Billie Dean Community Garden, a group of volunteers spent the morning cleaning up the garden and the area around it. 
The Farmworker Association of Florida has been recruiting community members in the South Apopka area to get involved in producing their own fresh, healthy, organic food for themselves and their families.  With our partner group, East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, along with a diverse group of stakeholders in Apopka, FWAF has been working over the last two years to implement the Apopka Community Food Assessment Project.  The assessment’s objective is to identify the barriers that low-income families, including farmworkers that live in the area, face in accessing fresh produce and to develop a plan to increase their fresh food intake, as well as to provide the opportunities to improve low-income families' access to healthy, fresh, and locally-grown produce.   Farmworker families deserve to have healthy food to raise healthy families.

The ambitious volunteers on Saturday included Sabrina Collins of FAMU Law School and her family; Claudine Martinez of Rollins Grad School and her family; and National Farm Worker Ministry Youth and Young Adult (YAYA) Network members: Megan Murphy, Brian Luft, Emily Helm, Nicole Godreau, Nico Gumbs, and Heather Graves and her mom, Valerie.  They were joined by FWAF staff members and organizers for the day, Holly Baker and Ana Trevino; garden member, Blanca Moreno; and several other garden members.

On Friday, December 14th, the partner groups will host an Apopka Fall Harvest luncheon to continue their work on improving Apopka's food system.  For more information on this project, please contact Holly Baker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (321)474-8413.
Where you Grow Your own Vegetables, organically!
The garden is located at 100 E. 9th Street in Apopka, with room for 80 raised beds which can be individually rented for $20 per year, which includes compost, water and professional advice and education.  And, no chemical pesticides or fertilizers are allowed! The Integrated Pest Management program is used throughout the garden.   

A good time was had by all!

On INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

Stand Up for Human Rights for Farmworkers!


On this day - International Human Rights Day – we are calling on all our friends, colleagues, supporters and all those who love and believe in justice and respect human dignity to take a stand for the human rights of farmworkers – in this country and across the globe.  We take this stand in solidarity with not just farmworkers, but with human communities around the world whose lives and livelihoods have been impacted by exposure to harmful pesticides.  Men, women and children must have the human right to health, to a safe environment, to their livelihood, and to life itself – as basic and inherent human rights.  In affirmation of this, one year ago in December 2011, on the anniversary of the Bhopal incident in India, the Permanent Peoples Tribunal issued a verdict against the six largest chemical companies for violating these human rights through their practices of the manufacture, distribution, and promotion of toxic chemical pesticides that are harmful to people and to the very environment that they live in.

Today, a coalition of groups is sending a letter to the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor – Michael Posner – and presenting him with the verdict of the PPT against the Big Six pesticide companies – BASF, Bayer, Dow, Dupont, Monsanto and Syngenta.  The letter says,

“We look now to your office as the bearer of an immense responsibility - protecting and promoting democracy, human rights, and the rights of labor - and urge you to take decisive action based on your mandate and the global human rights crises that are clearly being perpetrated daily by the pesticide industry, to signal that the US will play a leadership role in addressing these egregious violations.”

Join us in taking this call to Mr. Posner.  You can help right now by joining with others in sending a message that there must be action to protect human and natural communities from illness, disease, and even death from pesticide exposure.  Across the country, allies will be sending tweets to Mr. Posner.  Join us today and take a stand for International Human Rights.

Tweet your support for human rights!  Sample Tweets:  

  • Worldwide 355,000 people die from #pesticide exposure every year. Almost 1,000 a day! #humanrights @UNrightswire @State_DRL bit.ly/TwkkBX
  • Farmworkers risk their health every day in order to feed us.  We must protect their human right to health.#humanrights @UNrightswire @State_DRL bit.ly/TwkkBX
  • #Big6pesticide #chemical corporations violate #humanrights - It’s time to hold them accountable @UNrightswire @State_DRL bit.ly/TwkkBX
  • @State_DRL Please show a leadership role addressing #Big6pesticide #chemical corporations #humanrights violations bit.ly/TwkkBX
  • @UNrightswire #humanrights violated by #Big6pesticide #chemical corps worldwide from Arctic Yupik to Florida Farmworkers bit.ly/TwkkBX
  • Protect #humanrights and #health from #chemical #Big6pesticide drift @UNrightswire @State_DRL bit.ly/TwkkBX
  • Yupik witness statement on #Big6pesticide #chemical corps violation of #humanrights @UNrightswire @State_DRL – video bit.ly/YT76HF

County’s first Certified Organic farm

By Carrie A. Mizell at gilchristcountyjournal

The Family Garden, a certified organic farm owned by Jordan Brown of Bell is now marketing sweet potato, bell pepper, eggplant, greens, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, radish, hot peppers, sweet peppers, kale and collards.
Brown uses no synthetic fertilizers on the 25 acres of land he plants each year. Instead, the South Florida native builds the soil with manure, cover crops and fertilizer from animal waste.

Pests and diseases are managed with crop rotation and diversity, timing plantings correctly and microbial applications formulated to fight targets pests and promote health.
Every fruit and vegetable that is grown at The Family Garden is Certified Organic and something that Jordan and Diwa Brown feel good about feeding their four children.

Campaigns field thousands to get out the vote

The political campaigns are not alone. Hispanic organizations, including La Raza, Mi Familia Vota and The LIBRE Initiative; Muslim-American groups such as EMERGE USA; and other groups such as the Apopka-based Farmworker Association of Florida and Orlando-based Federation of Congregations United To Serve are running get-out-the-vote campaigns, and many are providing rides.
By Scott Powers and Jim Stratton, Orlando Sentinel

Immokalee protesters against renewal of 287 g

Story Created: Oct 21, 2012 at 10:58 PM America/New_York

IMMOKALEE, Fla. - About 150 people holding signs, marching and chanting gathered at the Collier Sheriff's Office in Immokalee to protest a controversial immigration partnership known as 287 g.

1,700 signed petitions were delivered to Sheriff Kevin Rambosk.

Pesticides Harm Kids' Health and Intelligence, Study Finds

SAN FRANCISCO – Exposure to pesticides is one key reason why children today are more likely to have a wide range of such diseases and disorders as cancer, autism, birth defects and asthma than children of a generation ago, according a study released yesterday.

Collier among most active in U.S. in 287(g) deportation program; will it be renewed?

By VICTORIA MACCHI, Naples News

Sunday, October 7, 2012

NAPLES — Since a much-debated immigration enforcement program started in Collier County five years ago, the Sheriff's Office has detained enough unauthorized immigrants to fill every other seat at a Germain Arena concert.

Apopka farmworkers upset at Arizona immigration law

By Susan Jacobson, Orlando Sentinel
May 3, 2010

 

The woman was walking to work when a police officer asked her for identification and arrested her on an illegal-immigration charge.

Today, however, the "jail" was made of tinfoil and duct tape, and the arrest was part of a skit designed to raise awareness of the new Arizona immigration law opponents contend is racist and will lead to harassment of Hispanics.

Environmental Youth Summit

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun
September 16, 2012

Tahmia Welch, 14, from left, and her cousins, who are triplets, Brittney, Ashley and Caitlin Bright, 16, meet with Antonio Tova, at left, with the Farmworker Association of Florida during the Environmental Youth Summit at the GRU Eastside Operations Center Saturday, September 15, 2012. (Photo by Doug Finger/ Staff Photographer)

FWAF joins Allies at Action at Darden Shareholders Meeting in Orlando

As a new member of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, FWAF supported an action that was organized by an ally group which is taking a stand for workers in the restaurant industry.

On Tuesday, September 18th ROC, the Restaurant Opportunity Centers United, protested at the Darden company shareholders meeting in Lake Buena Vista, Florida by asking those with a stake in the company, “what is sustainable about a minimum wage that is the same as it was in 1991 and how do you justify a refusal to grant employees sick leave?” The Darden family of restaurants includes Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse,

You rock, Rollins!

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://floridafarmworkers.org/?start=160#sigProGalleria57463ab779

On Saturday August 25th a group of incoming freshmen students from Rollins College visited the FWAF office in Apopka to participate in a Be A Part from the Start day event.  This program encourages students to do service for different organizations around the Central Florida area.  In Apopka they planted fruit trees and pepper plants that FWAF will share with the community.  This was a great experience for these young college freshmen and a tremendous opportunity to learn more about the farmworker experiences coming to this country and the dangers and challenges they faced.  You rock, Rollins!

Rollins College students for SPARC Day

On Saturday, August 18, the Farmworker Association of Florida hosted 17 Rollins College students for SPARC Day.  SPARC (Service, Philanthropy, Activism, Rollins College) is an annual event coordinated by Rollins' Office of Community Engagement, which involves entering college students in a day of service learning with several nonprofit organizations throughout Central Florida.  FWAF provided an educational program, followed by all of us working together in the Apopka Community Garden, alongside garden members.  The event provided students with information on farmworkers' essential role in the food system and efforts to increase local food production by community members in Apopka.  SPARC was an opportunity to "ignite a spark of passion to lead a life of service"!

Vote for the RURAL FLORIDA COMMUNICATIONS PROJECT


CLICK HERE TO VOTE


We need your help! The Farmworker Association of Florida a finalist for a grant from the Rural Digital Advocacy Grant program. Our project, the Rural Florida Communications Project, will train rural community-based organizations that work with farmworkers, immigrants, and low-income persons to utilize Skype for video conferencing to advance advocacy and policy change activities. But we need your support! Please vote for us and share with your friends! With your support, we will be able to receive this important grant money, and help facilitate positive social change!

"Food Chain" Takes a Hard Look at Farmworkers' Lives

by Joanne Camas

July 10, 2012 at Epicurious

Film producer Sanjay Rawal has turned his camera on farmworkers and their hardscrabble working and living conditions in his new documentary, Food Chain.

Rawal has had 15 years of experience working for governments and nonprofits, and started making films three years ago. His first two films, Ocean Monk and Challenging Impossibility, have won several film festival awards.

So why look at farm workers now? "My academic background is in biology, and I'm also involved in my dad's tomato-breeding business," Rawal told Epicurious. "That's what gave me access and insight into the world of farm labor."

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