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DONATE: Hurricane Irma Relief Fund for Immokalee and Southwest Florida Farmworker Communities

A caravan of CIW members and allies delivers desperately needed relief items — including food, water, and diapers — to Immokalee area labor camps following Hurricane Irma’s destructive rampage through the already impoverished farmworker community.

Donate today to new local fund for relief and recovery efforts in Southwest Florida’s farmworker communities in the wake of Hurricane Irma…

When Hurricane Irma ripped through Florida, farmworker families throughout the state moved into survival mode.  Those who could hurriedly packed suitcases with their most precious belongings and headed north, most with no particular destination, in search of a safe place out of the storm’s path.  Most, however, had no choice but to stay home, seeking the safest place to ride out the hurricane, be it their bathroom, a nearby church, or one of the many shelters opened by each Florida county.  Over one long night this past Sunday, Irma darkened millions of homes and businesses (affecting over half of the state’s population of 20 million people), caused billions of dollars in property damage, and took 26 lives in Florida as of this posting

Over the past several days, the Immokalee community – which, along with other already impoverished farmworker communities in Southwest Florida, took Irma’s hardest punch, delivered by the fierce winds and torrential rains of the hurricane eye wall’s northeast quadrant – has slowly emerged from survival mode and has begun to look ahead to a recovery and rebuilding process that will take months, if not years, to complete. 

A CIW relief caravan makes its rounds through the town’s dozens of labor camps and trailer parks earlier this week.

Fortunately, Southwest Florida farmworkers are not facing that daunting task alone.  The Hurricane Irma Relief Fund for Immokalee and Southwest Florida Farmworker Communities, organized by a local family foundation, has been established to support “Immokalee and other farmworker communities in Southwest Florida who are working to rebuild their livelihoods and communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.”  Funds collected will go to everything from addressing the immediate material needs of newly-homeless families to tackling the long-term needs of rebuilding devastated neighborhoods.

Here below is a brief message from the family foundation, and once again, the link to donate:

This fund is by and for Immokalee and other farmworker communities in Southwest Florida who are working to rebuild their livelihoods and communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

The damage done by the hurricane has caused great hardship for farmworker families.  Many of the homes workers rent have been destroyed and their clothing and other possessions ruined. Days after, there is still no power, no gas, no safe water and a severe shortage of food, clothing, and medicine. Most farmworkers have not been able to work since evacuation was ordered in their areas, and many businesses that owe paychecks are still closed. Many crops have been ruined, and work is scarce.

Needless to say, most farmworker families that live hand to mouth even in good times are now without the necessary resources to lead dignified lives.

Every dollar donated to this trusted channel will provide basic necessities for the people who harvest the food we eat.

Please share the fundraising effort widely with your networks!

Hurricane Irma downs trees, homes, and power lines in Immokalee, LaBelle, and surrounding farmworker communities, but spares lives and leaves spirits strong…

Massive hurricane shifts course after making landfall in SW Florida, heads straight for Immokalee and other farmworker communities in interior of state…The most powerful hurricane in the history of the Atlantic made its way onto the mainland of Florida this past Sunday afternoon and evening, with winds up to 130 mph and soaking, pounding rains.  Though Hurricane Irma had been downgraded to a Category 2 storm by the time it reached Immokalee, the already impoverished farmworker community — and several others north of Immokalee, including Florida’s citrus capital, LaBelle — saw some of the worst of the storm, as the […]

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Breaking: New Worker-driven Social Responsibility Network launches website!

Big news from the Worker-driven Social Responsibility front: New network of worker organizations and human rights groups dedicated to spreading WSR model launches communication work with beautiful new website…The nascent Worker-driven Social Responsibility Network announced this morning the launch of its new website dedicated to serving “as a resource clearinghouse for the expanding field” of worker-centered, enforcement-focused social responsibility that is generating unprecedented results protecting workers’ fundamental human rights both here in this country’s fields and in the apparel factories of Bangladesh. We will have more on this exciting development in the days to come (at the moment, it’s all hands on deck in […]

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THIS WEEK: 60+ student and youth leaders converge on Immokalee for annual Encuentro!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret MeadWith Labor Day weekend in the rearview mirror, the summer of 2017 is officially over and fall is in the air.  On college campuses across the country, that can only mean one thing: The students are back into town!  But while the start of the school year has traditionally meant catching up with friends, buying books, and moving into housing for the next nine months, today’s generation of dedicated, politically awake student leaders is not content with the daily grind of classes, dining halls, and dorm rooms.Between […]

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Breaking news from the WSR front: Students’ anti-sweatshop campaign victory ensures real human rights protections for apparel factory workers!

USAS activists at Georgetown U. and other campuses compel Nike to sign contract opening factories to independent watchdog;Georgetown President DeGioia: Agreement with Nike “represents… important new framework for collaboration to protect workers’ rights around the world”;Landmark victory provides Worker Rights Consortium access to factories supplying Nike to ensure compliance with GU’s binding code of conduct, marks another great step forward for Worker-driven Social Responsibility in ongoing battle to replace failed corporate-led model…Here are the details of this breaking news out of Georgetown University, straight from the pages of The Hoya, GU’s student newspaper:AUGUST 30, 2017BY IAN SCOVILLEHOYA STAFF WRITERUniversity, Nike Reach Agreement Ensuring Factory AccessJEANINE […]

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Dean of Pardee RAND Graduate School, Susan Marquis: “The Fair Food Program is distinctly effective at bringing about fundamental change”…

 Marquis: “After extensively researching the Fair Food Program I’ve concluded it is uniquely comprehensive and, therefore, distinctly effective at bringing about fundamental change.”Hot on the heels of a remarkable new article published in the Sept/Oct issue of the Harvard Business Review (which cited the Fair Food Program as one of “the most important social impact success stories of the past century”) comes a new article this week from the Dean of Pardee RAND Graduate School, Susan Marquis, calling the FFP “uniquely comprehensive, and therefore, distinctly effective at bringing about fundamental change.”The article, entitled “Campaign for Fair Food makes a real difference,” was […]

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Harvard Business Review counts Fair Food Program among “most important social-impact success stories of the past century” in new article on “Audacious Philanthropy”…

HBR: “We studied 15 social movements that defied the odds and achieved life-changing results to uncover lessons for today’s ambitious donors.”In a remarkable article on strategic philanthropy in its Sept./Oct. 2017 issue, the Harvard Business Review identified the CIW’s Fair Food Program as one “of the most important social-impact stories of the past century” and a prime example of the kind of successful social change that is possible with the support of what they term “Audacious Philanthropy,” an approach to philanthropy that demands “disruptive, catalytic, systemic change.”  The article — which places the Fair Food Program in the company of 14 other extraordinary […]

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CIW joins with Southwest Florida allies in march, vigil for unity…

100+ faith leaders, farmworkers, community members in Naples call for end to division, hate…Over the weekend, the CIW was proud to stand with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples, the SWFL Justice for All Coalition, Collier Freedom, and many other local organizations and individuals in an emotional vigil against hatred and bigotry, joining tens of thousands of people in cities and towns across the country who took to the streets in support of unity and human rights.  Today, we bring you a brief photo report from the beautiful vigil and mile-long march through downtown Naples to the Gulf of Mexico.Over a hundred community members […]

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Central Labor Council of Nashville, TN, endorses Wendy’s Boycott! Also, a must-see video from Charlottesville…

Labor leaders join their voices to student, faith, and community support for growing boycott;Must-see video: A remarkable documentary short from the events in Charlottesville casts a stark light on a disturbing reality some seem intent to obscure…The Fair Food Nation received some very heartening news earlier this month when the AFL-CIO Central Labor Council of Nashville, Tennessee, voted to endorse the Wendy’s Boycott until Wendy’s joins the Fair Food Program!  Among the resolutions passed today at @tnaflcio Convention was one to #BoycottWendys til they sign Fair Food Agreement! @ciw @sfalliance— Central Labor Counci (@NashvilleCLC) August 7, 2017Resolutions like this one were a key plank in […]

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The arc of the moral universe isn’t supposed to bend like this…

Two presidents, two responses to acts of domestic terrorism by white supremacists…It is worth remembering this: … when considering this: This is not who we are.  We are the nation of Frederick Douglass and the abolitionist movement; of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the movement for women’s suffrage; of over 1 million men and women who gave their lives in the fight against fascism and genocide in World War II; of James Baldwin, Dr. King, and Fannie Lou Hamer, Adam Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner of the civil rights movement.  That is the nation we are and will remain long after we have […]

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Wendy’s Boycott heats up as 120+ farmworkers, allies take to the streets in Orlando for a spirited summer protest!

CIW’s Cruz Salucio:  Wendy’s “cannot run away from farmworkers’ human rights…”This past Sunday, even the sweltering, 100-degree heat of a late summer day in Orlando could not suppress the contagious energy of over 120 protesters who packed the sidewalk outside a Wendy’s restaurant for a festive afternoon picket.  Seventy farmworkers and their families, many just starting to return to Immokalee after a summer season up north, rolled up in a nine-car caravan from Immokalee to the highly-trafficked Wendy’s to find a massive coalition of local organizations supporting the Wendy’s Boycott locally, including members of the Youth and Young Adult (YAYA) Network of the National Farmworker Ministry, the […]

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Faith leaders reflect on the meaning of fasting for farmworker justice…

Author and pastor Brian McLaren: “My fast is a small act. But it strengthens my resolve to keep working and speaking out every day for the just, generous, and joyful world God desires for all of us – including my neighbors who are working hard in the fields even now. I hope you’ll join me.”Just last weekend, dozens of faith leaders across Florida ended their monthlong rolling fast for farmworker justice.  In addition to the beautiful sermons shared at last Sunday’s closing service — and the spirited Wendy’s picket that followed the service — faith leaders composed powerful reflections on their […]

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“Make us hungry for justice!”

150 Farmworkers and people of faith gather in Naples to celebrate the breaking of a month-long rolling fast by Florida faith leaders, follow service with action at nearby Wendy’s…This past Sunday — nearly twenty years after the late Bishop John Nevins of the Diocese of Venice administered the host to six farmworkers from the CIW as they broke their historic month-long fast in an unforgettable service in Naples — 150 farmworkers and people of faith from around Southwest Florida gathered to break a thirty-day rolling fast undertaken by nearly 40 Florida religious leaders throughout the month of July.  The Interfaith […]

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CIW speaks at OSCE conference in Moscow on stopping human trafficking…

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) holds first-ever international conference on public private partnerships fighting human trafficking in collaboration with Russian Federation, identifies Worker-driven Social Responsibility as promising new prevention method in fight against human trafficking…Last September, CIW representatives were asked to speak on the Fair Food Program and the CIW’s anti-slavery efforts at the OSCE’s Conference on Prevention of Trafficking in Human Beings for Labour Exploitation in Supply Chains in Berlin.  The conference was described as a “high-level event… part of the OSCE’s ongoing effort to raise awareness about the problem of labour exploitation in supply chains and to advocate for increased actions at the […]

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NEW VIDEO: CNN posts bonus video on CIW’s Modern-day Slavery Museum…

Just last month, the CNN Freedom Project — an award-winning, cutting edge investigative team of journalists who produce remarkable stories on modern-day slavery worldwide, run by CNN International — published three excellent videos on the CIW.  The first was a powerful report on the Fair Food Program and its deep, daily impact on workers’ lives, with a particular focus on its record of ending violence against women in the fields; the second, an essay on the Campaign for Fair Food and the Wendy’s Boycott; and the third, a video on the CIW’s award-winning Anti-Slavery Program.  Then, just over a week ago, the CNN team released a fourth excellent short film […]

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U.S. soccer legend Abby Wambach, NY Times best-selling author & activist Glennon Doyle Melton, visit Immokalee to talk Fair Food Program, ending violence against women!

Glennon Doyle Melton: “We will only buy food for our family from companies who respect the humanity of ALL families. This is one way to love our neighbors…”Yesterday, as millions of American families flooded beaches and parks across the nation in celebration of the birth of our country, two particularly well-known Americans chose to spend the 4th of July in Immokalee, immersing themselves in the history of what a Washington Post op/ed called “one of the great human rights success stories of our day,” the Fair Food Program.  Abby Wambach, a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion and […]

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