National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Friday, January 22, 2021 | 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Online Via Zoom
Panel Discussion, Online
The agricultural industry has many historical ties to slave economies of the past including the demand for cheap labor and commodities. In fact, migrant farm work continues to be one of the most exploited labor sectors in the United States. Migrant labor has been essential for the agricultural industry in western states such as California and Oregon as well as the Mid-West and across the nation. This discussion will focus on the experiences of migrant farm workers to better understand how their working conditions and rights are central to combating human trafficking and ensuring a just food system. Experts will discuss the legacies of slave economies and immigration law on contemporary migrant farm workers’ rights as well as the ongoing farmworker civil rights movement to ensure their fair treatment. The discussion will also highlight the ongoing work of the Coalition for Immokalee Workers, an internationally recognized farmworker organization, and feature two anti-trafficking scholar-activists. Participants will learn about how the struggle for fair wages, work safety, and the human rights of farm workers is central to combating unfreedom today.
The Coalition for Immokalee Workers is a worker-based human rights organization internationally recognized for its achievements in fighting human trafficking and gender-based violence at work. The CIW is also recognized for pioneering the design and development of the Worker-driven Social Responsibility paradigm, a worker-led, market-enforced approach to the protection of human rights in corporate supply chains. Two CIW speakers will join the webinar, Uriel Zelaya-Perez and Silvia Perez.
Dr. Jennifer Suchland is a scholar-activist and associate professor at Ohio State University with over a decade of research and advocacy experience in human trafficking and critical human rights. Her expertise in legal and feminist studies focuses on the intersections between economic, gender, and racial justice. She currently is an ACLS/Mellon Foundation Scholars & Society fellow (2020-2021) at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center collaborating on a project entitled Abolition Today.
Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima is a KoreXicana scholar-activist and assistant professor at the University of Utah with expertise is in labor, migration, and human trafficking. She has published widely on these topics including her recent award-winning book, Migrant Crossings: Witnessing Human Trafficking in the U.S. In addition to her extensive scholarship, she is a frequent community consultant on issues relating to human trafficking and migrant rights and is a member of the Freedom Network.