Modern-day slavery museum to visit campus March 25
The Florida Modern-Day Slavery Museum in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy of www.ciw-online.org)
A group of migrant farm workers from some of the most exploitative working conditions in the country are fighting an abusive food system – and winning.
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is bringing its struggle, vision and the powerful Florida Modern-Day Slavery Museum to Vanderbilt on March 25.
Modern-Day Slavery Museum and Coalition members at Vanderbilt Campus
Friday, March 25
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
"The Politics of the Lunch Counter" with the Rev. James Lawson and The Coalition of Immokalee Workers
Friday, March 25th
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers comes out of a community of low-wage tomato pickers of Haitian, Mayan and Mexican descent. Many speak different languages and are highly mobile, moving throughout the country during the agricultural season.
They work in a region of Florida that supplies 90 percent of the nation's tomatoes and has been called "ground zero for modern-day slavery” by the U.S. Department of Labor. Yet the CIW has not only helped prosecute slavery cases in the region, they also have pressured food giants to help end exploitative conditions in the fields.
McDonalds, Burger King, Sodexo and six other global corporations have signed with the CIW to pass a penny per pound of tomatoes directly on to farm workers and ensure that their tomatoes are sourced responsibly. With these successes already in place, the CIW is currently targeting Publix grocery stores.
The museum, which has been visited by former president Jimmy Carter and the U.S. Secretary of Labor, shows the region's long heritage of exploiting farm laborers, from slavery to convict labor to current cases of slavery in Florida's fields. It also shows the unprecedented agreements being reached among farm workers, farm owners and food corporations to end those abusive conditions.