Spreading the Word to the Denominations

A history in print

“Most denominations in the 1960s and 1970s were not known as hotbeds for union support,” wrote Pat Hoffman, author of the Ministry of the Dispossessed and early staff member for NFWM, in a piece for the Farmworker Movement Documentation Project at the University of California San Diego. However, as she recently said in an interview, “the farm worker movement became big news in the denominations, largely because Chris Hartmire and the National Farm Worker Ministry made it news.”

For NFWM to support the workers means garnering support, investment, and solidarity from the faith community. Julie Taylor, NFWM Executive Director, explains it this way: “The farm workers know what they need. They have a strategy and we amplify it. Our primary audience is not just the world or the farm worker community, but specifically the faith community. Our work is educating and mobilizing the community of faith.”

One of the many ways NFWM has been successful in educating and mobilizing the faith community has been through frequent and compelling coverage in denominational magazines. 

“[It was remarkable that] news articles by me and others were published in these denominational magazines between 1971-1989. [We] kept cranking out articles and they were always published,” said Pat Hoffman.While the medium of choice is now mostly in digital formats, NFWM has continued that tradition of educating and mobilising through the written word, most recently with an article written by Julie Taylor and published by member organization Methodist Federation for Social Action in December 2020.

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