80+ students, people of faith, and consumers of conscience gather for the first-ever Wendy’s Boycott Summit;
Weekend of strategic planning highlighted by a boisterous Southwest Florida Wendy’s protest, with over 150 farmworkers and consumers kicking-off a calendar chockfull of action in the months ahead!
This past weekend, nearly 90 allies from across the Alliance for Fair Food’s vibrant national network of people of faith, students, youth, food justice advocates, and grassroots organizations came together in Immokalee for a successful, first-ever Wendy’s Boycott Summit. Hailing from nearly twenty different states and from dozens of high schools, universities, congregations, and community organizations from coast to coast, participants gathered in the heart of the movement for Fair Food to develop skills, build relationships and, most importantly, forge a strategy for victory in the Wendy’s Boycott.
The Summit weekend began on Friday with a warm welcome by the CIW’s women’s group, who then led an inspiring reflection on the importance of planting seeds of consciousness, so that we may harvest the fruits of justice.
Over the next couple of days, participants dove into skill-building workshops about community organizing, press, art, and more; campaign history sessions drew insightful connections between the seminal Taco Bell boycott and the current boycott of Wendy’s; and group discussions reflected on the importance of standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the fight for farmworker justice.
Strategy development sessions made up the heart of the weekend, during which participants split into breakout discussions based on geographical region and constituency.
As students made plans for strengthening and growing the Boot the Braids campaign to cut university contracts with on-campus Wendy’s – including at The Ohio State University in Wendy’s hometown of Columbus, OH – people from the nine Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith traditions present strategized to mobilize their congregations and institutions to take action and provide support for the Wendy’s Boycott. Fair Food Groups based in cities across the country also put their heads together to map out a vision for even stronger local organizing at the regional level.
On Saturday, the group loaded onto buses and headed into Naples, where they were met by dozens more Southwest Florida-area allies and an energetic contingent of farmworkers and their families from Immokalee to picket outside a prominent Wendy’s location — swelling to a crowd of over 150 protesters along the highly-trafficked Highway 41! We, of course, couldn’t possibly pick just one or two photos from the action, so here is a short gallery from the lively Saturday protest:
The Summit weekend concluded with participants conscious, committed, and ready to hit the ground running with a long, concrete list of action plans to take back to their home groups and turn up the heat on Wendy’s!
And this is just the beginning: The upcoming Behind the Braids fall regional tours and national weekend of action, which will bring the boycott to thousands of consumers in over 20 cities, is launching this very weekend. In the face of a powerful season ahead in the Wendy’s Boycott, with action after action springing from congregations and classrooms alike across the nation, it’s only a matter of time before Wendy’s sees the light and joins the Fair Food Program!