On October 17, Orlando YAYA membership chair, Brian Luft, and I tabled at Stetson University’s Afternoon of Opportunities event. The event was held for Stetson students so that may become aware of community organizations throughout Florida as well as, job opportunities within the state. Stetson’s event gave YAYA the opportunity to extend its outreach to university students in Deland and Volusia County. We spoke to students about farm worker organizations such as, Alizanes de Mujeres Activas (AMA), which is a group of farm worker women in Seville who work to empower their communities by hosting pesticide workshops and health fairs, and how farm worker communities are within DeLand’s backyard, so to speak. Most students were astonished to find out that Seville is the fern capital in the world. They were also shocked to hear about pesticide exposure, and other squalid conditions farm workers face in the United States.
We also spoke about YAYA’s involvement with the Farm Labor Organizing Committee and their campaign with RJ Reynolds to ensure collective bargaining and freedom of association for North Carolina tobacco workers.
Tabling and outreach is a pertinent part of organizing for guaranteeing a sustainable base for any organization. For YAYA specifically, tabling helps spread the word about the divergent issues farm workers face, whether they are economic, political, or health-related. Tabling at events also embodies YAYA’s mission of educating youth and young adults on farm workers issues, giving them the resources to go back and educate their own communities, and mobilizing youth and young adults in support of farm worker communities and campaigns.
I’d like to thank Stetson University for inviting YAYA to be a part of the Afternoon of Opportunities event!
Florida YAYA Organizer