NC FIELD Newsletter Jan 2012


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NC FIELD Newsletter Jan 2012

  1. 1. NC FIELD • leadership • educationQuarterly Newsletter • dignity NC FIELD Wishes everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012! YOUTHSPEAK 2011: Proud Voices Farmworker youth council Poder Ju-venil Campesino (Rural Youth Power) orga-nized and led a forum on problems theyface in the community and proposed collab-orative solutions to the public at an eventtitled YouthSpeak 2011 on November 30that Lenoir Community College in Kinston, NC. Continued on page 2 Remembering the Fallen (by Vashti Kelly) November 1st and 2nd mark the conditions, which has led to maiming Mexican holiday known as Día de los Muer- and, in the worst cases, death. tos, or “Day of the Dead,” when families gather to honor those Representatives who have passed away. from religious, health, On Nov. 1st, in the and non-profit orga- tradition of this Mexi- nizations came to- can holiday, members gether to call upon of the North Carolina regulating agencies Farmworker Advocacy to increase protec- Network (FAN) hosted tions for workers and a press conference and commit to preventing social event to recog- future tragedies by in- nize the fallen farm- creasing enforcement. workers and farmwork- er children, at the restaurant Dos Taquitos “Farmworker deaths generally Centro in downtown Raleigh. The day’s ac- happen because of heat stroke or ma- tivities were centered on raising awareness chinery,” said Emily Drakage, regional about the continued exploitation of farm- coordinator for the Association of Farm- workers who live and work in hazardous worker Opportunity Programs’ Children in Continued on backpage SAVE the DATE Teens and Kids Who Care Recognition on Martin Luther King Jr. Day Jan. 16th, 10 am at St. Augustus AME Zion Church, 318 E. North St., Kinston, NC MEOC Meeting Jan. 25th Kinston for more information please contact Emily at
  2. 2. After their Teen Town Hall experience ditional inside realities of the struggleswith Project Promise Mentoring Alliance in rural youth face in and out of school.early 2011, PJC youth were inspired to con-tinue the theme of addressing community In addition to the symposium there wasmembers. an exhibition of photographs by youth as well as video screen-The YouthSpeak 2011 ings featuring youthevent was planned and council members. Weimplemented by youth. are so proud of ourThey chose the sympo- PJC youth for theirsium model of presenta- dedication and hardtion; organized facilita- work in organizingtors and panelists, and and implementing thisdeveloped questions and event, and especiallyanswers that served to for the courage theyexpress positively their demonstrated as theyopinions, concerns and shared personal ex-experiences. The sympo- periences, ideas andsium remained positive as youth proposed thoughts with the greater community. Wepotential solutions to issues related to child are very grateful to Carlos Cotto withlabor in agriculture, access to education, Lenoir Community College for formalizingand the challenges of at-risk youth. a partnership with NC FIELD and facilitat- ing space and resources for our youthCommunity members were supportive and event and AFOP for their special atten-encouraged youth to continue to tell their dance as well! If you would like to com-stories as a way to foster positive change in municate with Poder Juvenil Campesino,the community. The Q&A session was espe- please email!cially productive as it proved to unearth ad- Photography: Selections from the exhibition at YouthSpeak Own a vision from the fields Media Team photo sale- personally signed by the photographer. All proceeds go to youth projects! For more info: Neftali Cuello José Godínez Elvis Ordóñez Jonathan Méndez
  3. 3. Wake Forest University: Community SpotlightHeat Stress Grant Focus Groups This month NC FIELD would like NC FIELD and PJC are collaborat- to recognize the engaged and activeing with Wake Forest University School of Kinston community members who haveMedicine on the project: “Youth Health joined us this year in turning our goalsEducator Program to Prevent Heat-Related into reality. To everyone who volun-Illness among Child Migrant and Season- teered time, donated resources, attendedal Farmworkers.” Youth council members events, and shared wisdom, we greatlyparticipated in two focus groups during appreciate and value your contributionsthe month of November. and support; without you we could not do all that we have done in 2011! 4-H Leadership retreat: Four youth council members par- Youth Meet-up in Mebane, ticipated in an overnight 4-H Leadership share future visions of healthy food Retreat on December 9th and 10th. They The North Carolina Youth Food attended workshops including themes of Network hosted four PJC members at The Ethics, Roberts Rules, and Leadership. Stone House in Mebane. Participants met Youth felt very welcomed and enjoyed with other youth council members from 5 the retreat so much that they are al- different groups across the state to cre- ready asking when the next event is! ate the NC Food Youth Network, a collec- A special thanks to Tara Taylor, tive of food-focused organizations whose Extension Agent & 4-H Youth Develop- members are between the ages of 14- ment Coordinator with the North Caroli- 24. Together, they explored local action, na State University College of Agriculture collective policy, and collective campaign & Life Sciences at the NC Cooperative possibilities. The youth groups are of di- Extension. verse geographic, cultural, racial groups, with each offering a range of expertise in different food sectors and the atti- tudes they take towards good food work. The groups learned about each others community approaches, skills, and needs. Youth explored the interest and capacity for work from the participating groups in four areas: Act- Local Food projects; Edu- cate- Statewide Public Campaign; Inform- Statewide Youth Council; Lead- Career Re- source Ladder. COMING SOON:A garden project with RAFI intern Sarah Gibson and youth council members. Sarah is aRAFI intern with the AmeriCorps VISTA program and the Come to the Table Project. Weare looking forward to partnering with RAFI to initiate a youth garden to sell vegetables and flowers at the local farmers market!
  4. 4. the Fields Campaign. “There are also a lot of opened the ceremony by recounting his firstserious injuries. People lose arms and legs.” field investigation, which was also the first The group noted that about three fatality he investigated. A worker was try-quarters of North Carolina’s seasonal and ing to clear tobacco clogging a mechanicalmigrant farmworkers are of Mexican descent. harvester on a Columbus County farm whenThe “Day of the Dead” holi- he was pulled into the is widely celebrated in The former investigator turnedMexico and was chosen for farmworker advocate, full of emo-the symbolic importance tion, told the audience he wouldof calling for “No Mas never let go of that experienceMuertes” (No More Deaths) because it was a senseless death,as expressed by a sign next which could have been prevented,to the altar. The evening and the need for greater protec-began with a buffet style tions remains.dinner of traditional Mexi- The evening continued withcan food and dancing. After PJC youth council members Ingriddinner, the upstairs area of and Jose reading the obituariesthe restaurant was opened up to the public of two fallen farmworkers. then culminatedwhere FAN, NC FIELD, and Dos Taquitos Cen- with a personal account from a third youthtro had constructed a traditional altar that council member, Mildre, who shared that shepays tribute to the deceased with candles, began working in the fields at age 12. Shedecorative skulls, marigolds, photos of living recalled having been sprayed with pesticides,and dead farmworkers, and information about and described how her family lost work whenfarmworkers. she spoke up about being sexually harassed Everyone gathered around the altar to in the fields when she was 14.celebrate, mourn, and bring dignity to those “We have dreams of going to college,farmworkers who died while toiling in the of being somebody, and we will. All we wantfields. In general, farmworkers are not seen is to be treated fairly and respected,” Mildredas individuals, nor is much thought given to told the audience, mostly comprised not onlythem aside from the work they do. This event of farmworker advocates, but also the Northgave them a face and a name, acknowledg- Carolina Department of Labor Commissionering they were more than just farmworkers. Cherie Berry. The audience was moved toThey were mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, tears as they bowed their heads in silencesons, and daughters whose deaths should for a prayer for the farmworkers and all thenot be in vain. This was the sentiment of agencies, governmental and non-governmen-the program that followed as a former North tal, involved in the fight.Carolina Department of Labor investigator Vashti Kelly is Manager of the Children in the Fields Campaign, Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs NC FIELD, Inc. 327 N. Queen Street, Suite 110 Kinston, NC 28501 email: www.ncfield.orgOur Mission: Forge relationships between other organizations to fill service gaps in the farmworker community, and toincrease awareness of the plight of the migrant farmworker. Our primary areas of action are access to education, foodsecurity, safe housing, and community building.Our Vision: improve the quality of life for migrant farmworkers by increasing dignity and respect within the community.Our Values: Dignity as a non-negotiable facet of humanity. Education empowers people to overcome social inequali-ties. Leadership is valued not only within the organization, but also in the community we serve. A strong Community isintegral to facing individual challenges. Equality is a fundamental human right. Chair: Peter Eversoll Co-Chair: Melissa Bailey Secretary: Rachel Wright Treasurer: Pedro Sanchez Executive Director: Emily Drakage Legal Counsel: Scott Brown Photos courtesy of: Jose, Elvis, Neftali, Jonathan, Tessa and Peter unless otherwise noted.