About "50 for 50"
This exhibit celebrates the 50th anniversary of the National Farm Worker Ministry. It is not a chronological history of the Ministry, nor of the farm worker movement. Instead, it is a collection of some of the stories and memories of the people of faith who have committed their lives to the movement, to farm workers, and to the Ministry. There may be historical inaccuracies or misconstrued details as memories often morph and change over time, but those quirks and details are also what make each story personal and beautiful. This is history told through the eyes of those who experienced it.
The Ministry was founded 50 years ago in 1971, but that is not truly when it began. That year represents the moment in time when people of faith who were already supporting the farm worker movement came together to establish a national organization to educate and inspire the faith community to join the cause. These are their stories.
Guest curator, Alicia Curran
A note from Alicia:
"For the past six months, I have had the opportunity to work with the National Farm Worker Ministry to help them tell the story of their impact and involvement in the farm worker movement. I have interviewed over 25 people from all different walks of life and geographies. I have scoured old documents, perused old photos, listened with exhilaration and in complete enthralment to the memories of these history makers, and I have received what feels like a doctoral level education in a movement I now realize I knew far too little about. This project has changed how I view the food I put on my table and the people whose struggles feed my family.
I have always believed in the power of stories. Stories can change the world, from a child disappearing into a book and discovering a place they never knew existed to a powerful policymaker looking into the eyes of the oppressed and finally understanding the impact of their decisions. I am humbled to share the stories of these wonderful people and am grateful to Julie Taylor and Emily Miller for giving me this opportunity. Like many of the people I interviewed, I was raised to believe that church was not just a place, but the way you treated others. Faith isn’t always viewed that way and it has been refreshing to meet people who epitomize the definition of practicing faith.
I found myself emphatically engaged in the memories of their lives and the impact they have had on this world, often even beyond their work with the Ministry. I have never met a more devoted, humble, and interesting group of people. This project has left me inspired and grateful that people like this exist. I hope this exhibit brings you the same experience."
Alicia Curran's biography can be found at: https://www.aliciacurrancommunications.com/team
NFWM is grateful to the NFWM board, our farm worker partners, our member organizations and their representatives, and our staff past and present for their participation in this project.
Our special thanks go to the following for their time: Gene Boutillier, Ed Brandy, Tess Browne, Bridget Cabrera, Sylvia Campbell, Lindsey Comstock, Richard Cook, Carol Cook, David Crump, Suzanne Darwish, Susan Drake, Mary Jean Friel, Felix Garza, Lariza Garzon, Marc Grossman, Margie Hallowell, Mary Ann Haren, Chris Hartmire, Irv Hershenbaum, Pat Hoffman, Carolyn Jaramillo, Alexandra Jones, Giev Kashkoolim, Kathy Murguia, Lupe Murguia, Virginia Nesmith, Bert Perry, Gabi Rios, Hector Rodriguez, Teresa Romero, Fred Ross, Jr., Olgha Searson, Sharon Stanley Rea, Julie Taylor, Sam Trickey, Baldemar Velasquez, Joy Warren, David Wildman, Steve Witte.
About National Farm Worker Ministry
National Farm Worker Ministry is a faith-based organization which supports farm workers as they organize for justice and empowerment.
Grounded in faith, NFWM works side by side with farm workers and their organizing groups throughout the country, to organize vigils, picket, coordinate boycotts and educate constituents. NFWM brings together national denominations, religious orders and congregations, regional groups and concerned individuals to act with the farm workers to achieve fundamental change in their living and working conditions.
Visit our full site online at www.nfwm.org