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Worker Justice in the Food System

Updated: Mar 31


Photo: A worker catches and empties harvest buckets into a flatbed truck that can hold 80,000 pounds of tomatoes. Photo by Vera L. Chang.


Dates 4/1/21, 4/15/21, 4/29/21 3-4:30 PM EST


Registration: Link to register Description In this three-part workshop, participants will critically reflect on questions of worker justice in the food system. Collectively, we will examine the true cost of our food and how we, as educators and consumers, can be more effective allies to food workers while engaging with our students in the classroom or on the farm.


In workshop one, we will learn more about the histories and the stories of resistance that have been transformational in bringing greater justice to workers in the food system, from farmworkers to restaurant workers. Workshop two will focus more specifically on the use of popular education in several case studies of farmworker led-organizing and provide an overview of different instructional resources that can be used with students. In the final workshop, participants will share and receive feedback from facilitators and peers on a lesson plan they design to teach students about worker justice.


This workshop is for farmers, educators, and farm-based educators.

Class Resources

Farmworker Justice Reading Materials

- The Slave Next Door (book)

- Life on the Border (book)

- Farmworker Inventory (report)

- El viaje más caro (collection of stories)

- "Hardships on Mexico's Farms, a Bounty for U.S. Tables" (article)


Solidarity Building with Farmworker Groups

- Food Chains documentary

- Farmworker Justice (report)

- Rethinking the Role of Multi-stakeholder Initiatives (report)

- "After #MeToo, This Group Has Nearly Erased Sexual Harassment in Farm Fields" (article)

About the Facilitators Teresa M. Mares (she/her) is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Vermont and the Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Food Systems. Her research examines issues of food access amongst immigrant communities in the United States. She is the author of Life on the Other Border: Farmworkers and Food Justice in Vermont (UC Press: 2019) and numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Her research examines the intersections of food systems and migration scholarship, and she is currently developing a research project examining the labor dimensions of the hemp industry. Since 2017, Dr. Mares has been a member of the board of directors for Migrant Justice, a farmworker-led organization working for economic justice and human rights. Prior to moving to Vermont, she was involved with food justice work in the Seattle area through her involvement with the Community Alliance for Global Justice.

Vera L. Chang (she/her) is a UC Berkeley Environmental Science, Policy, and Management Doctoral Student; National Science Foundation Fellow; and Berkeley Food Institute Researcher. Her research focuses on human rights and social change in United States agri-food systems. Prior to starting her PhD, Vera was Shelburne Farms’ Public Relations and Marketing Director and Bon Appétit Management Company’s West Coast Fellow. At Bon Appétit, Vera managed, researched, and co-authored the most comprehensive report on the state of farm labor, the Inventory of Farmworker Issues and Protections in the United States (Bon Appétit, UFW, and Oxfam, 2011). Vera recently completed a Solutions Journalism Network Fellowship and Clif Bar Family Foundation Fellowship and received a Rachel Tanur Memorial Prize for Visual Sociology award. Her work has been highlighted in LA Weekly, Grist, and the Aspen Institute. Fee We encourage you to pay the fee that feels right for your budget. The speakers’ compensation is not dependent on revenue generated by the workshop.

Other In an effort to build a space where all participants feel safety, dignity and belonging, participants are asked to answer a few questions during registration. We reserve the right to cancel (and refund) any registrants whose answers we feel will compromise this effort.

Date And Time Thu, Apr 1, 2021, 3:00 PM – 4:30 pm EST

Thursday April 15, 3:00 PM – 4:30 pm EST Thu, Apr 29, 3:00 PM – 4:30 pm EST


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