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Bringing Farmworker Awareness to the Sustainable Food Table at Portland State University By Rob Duren The Food Action Collective.

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Presentation on theme: "Bringing Farmworker Awareness to the Sustainable Food Table at Portland State University By Rob Duren The Food Action Collective."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bringing Farmworker Awareness to the Sustainable Food Table at Portland State University By Rob Duren The Food Action Collective

2 The National Farmworker Awareness Week National Farmworker Awareness Week is a week of action for students and community members to raise awareness about farmworker issues on our campuses and in our communities MISSION : to bring students and farmworkers together to learn about each other’s lives, share resources and skills, improve conditions for farmworkers, and build diverse coalitions working for social change. Student Action with Farmworker:

3 The Institute for Sustainable Solutions (ISS) at PSU provides opportunities for students from any discipline or major to form interdisciplinary teams and collaborate with faculty, staff, and community members to carry out projects. The solutions generator grant provides an opportunity to contribute to a lasting legacy of sustainability innovation, leadership, service, and action at Portland State.

4 Farmworker Awareness Week at PSU Created by Bertha Marin, Patricia Velasquez, Rob Duren

5 Why Should You Care? Agricultural workers are indispensible to the states economy Do you like eating food? Traditionally afforded the lowest degree of protection against occupational illness and injury When injured- chemical induced illnesses often not recognized by state workers’ compensation system Estimates show that there are 30,000-100,000 migrant workers in Oregon Despite contributions and population size, still suffer from low wages, degraded living conditions, and other abuses Currently many families still lack quality housing, job security, and fair wages- despite Oregon legislation passed in 2004 guaranteeing them minimum wage and paid breaks.

6 Community Partnerships in The Willamette Valley Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN) Farmworker Housing Development Corporation (FHDC) Food Action Collective (FAC)

7 P.C.U.N. Oregon’s only migrant farmworker union Fundamental goal is to empower farmworkers to understand and take action against systematic exploitation and all of its effects Founded in 1985 by 80 farmworkers and has since registers more than 5,000 members Works closley with 8 “sister organizations” FHDC, runs farmworker housing units in Woodburn, Salem, and Independence Oregon Voz Hispana Causa Chavista, organizes Latino voters and educates community members of the legacy of Cesar Chavez Mujeres Luchadores Progresistas, promotes economic and leadership development for farmworker women CAUSA, statewide immigrant rights coalition Latinos Unidos Siempre, develops Latino youth leadership Mano a Mano Family Center, offers basic social services Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality, works to empower Latino families to take an active role in their children’s education and in advocating for equity in the public education system

8 F.H.D.C. Community-based non-profit dedicated to serving farmworkers and their families Also provide an array of educational programs and leadership trainings at community centers Started first development in 1992 amid fierce opposition from neighbors who preferred segregation Gov. Barabera Roberts instrumental in overcoming opposition and in 1994, the doors opened to 50 families 18 years later now provide housing to nearly 1,300 individuals in five cities

9 MISSION : to facilitate educational workshops and events that promote, establish and advocate for healthy, equitable, and sustainable relationships with food. We aim to collaborate with stakeholders to create and implement projects that will progress food literacy both on campus and in the community.

10 A glimpse into the FAC world..


12 Final Thoughts… Social sustainability as a core component rather than awkward- good for PR- after thought What does sustainability mean? Start a FAC at your school! “There is no food freedom without seed freedom.” -Vandana Shiva “Its ironic that those who till our soil, cultivate and harvest the fruits, vegetables and other foods that fill our tables with abundance are left with nothing.” -Cesar Chavez

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