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Rural Issues and Farmworker Rights in the Central Valley

The Unsung Heroes Harvesting Your Tomorrow: Exploitation, Migration and Resilience

Led by Julissa Espinoza & Grisella Dircio

Trip Bio

For decades, farmworkers have been feeding America, and its addition to the labor workforce has led the Central Valley to become known as one of the most agriculturally productive regions in California and the world. However, despite this, its community members are being continually discounted and continue to work under inhospitable living and working conditions. Many of which are a result of climate crises, natural disasters, and changes in policy or laws. Moreover, the existing circumstances related to the pandemic have exposed both violence and exploitation against farmworkers with threats related to instability, access to medical services, and all while having the applied exclusion of farmworker labor protections. Therefore, it is important to think about questions that apply to the conditions of farmworks – what rights and protections do they have and who do these protections apply to, to what extent are they protected, and for how long. To what extent do these refinements push for the furtherance of a safe, fair, and just society. The decal will examine the environmental factors: how climate change impacts farmworkers, the regulation and policies for farm workers, and living conditions during Covid-19. We will learn about the farmworkers and their existing circumstances related to work substandard conditions and the myriad of health and other concerns regarding their living and employment conditions during the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Participants will connect with community organizers, and learn about the history of resistance to injustice. Throughout the course, students will learn strategies for organizing and discussing the process of change in the Central Valley.


Spring 2022 with Mayor of Huron, Rey Leon