Sembrando consciencia : the student/farmworker alliance and the growth of critical consciousness
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The Student/Farmworker Alliance (SFA) is a national network of students and youth that is based in Immokalee, Florida, formed to support the work of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (SFA), a migrant farmworker-led human rights organization that seeks an end to the poverty wages and human rights abuses that are faced by workers in the US agricultural industry. Since the 2001 inception of the Campaign for Fair Food (CFF), an ongoing partnership between the two organizations that seeks to bring major corporations to the table to ensure better wages and basic rights while on the job, the joint network has been able to secure agreements with ten major corporations, in addition to aiding the US Department of Justice in prosecuting eight cases of modern day slavery in the agricultural industry. Throughout the course of the CFF, thousands of young people across the US have participated in the political actions and educational spaced organized by these organizations, and hundreds has visited Immokalee as part of annual strategy retreats and conferences put on by the SFA, and it is a commonly-shared belief amongst members of both organizations that these monumental gains would not have been possible without the participation of the student allies that form part of SFA. The questions guiding this research include: How do people become politicized? How do student allies in the Student/Farmworker Alliance develop a politicized, critical consciousness, and how is this related to their sense of their own identities? It is these questions, for me, which will help to understand better the ways in which educators in both political and traditional educational spaces can educate for critical consciousness, which I will argue is a crucial piece of the educational work which must happen in order to live in a robust, participatory democratic society.