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The School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and Social Impact Lab has kicked off this semester’s Open Classroom series: Power to the People: Community Voices in Urban Decision-Making. This semester’s Open Classroom will explore a variety of community-centered research initiatives grounded in racial and social justice values and a commitment to working with community members as co-equals. This Open Classroom series would be held every Wednesday from 6 pm-7 pm EST during the Spring 2022 Semester.

On March 2nd, the series would be showcasing, “Centering Unheard Voices: Community-Driven Collaboration for Health and Safety with Farmworkers in the U.S. ” There are over 2.5 million people working on farms in the United States, a majority of whom are not U.S. citizens. They face a number of justice-related issues, including occupational injury and illness, lack of access to healthcare, substandard housing, hunger, low wages, issues pertaining to immigration, the inability to organize, and exposure to agricultural chemicals and climate change impacts. Given their often precarious employment status, lack of documentation, cultural practices and beliefs, the migratory nature of their work, and so on, while it is vital to have documented evidence of the impacts of these injustices it can be at best logistically difficult to conduct the research necessary for advocacy, and at worst such research can further exploit these workers and exacerbate these injustices.

In this session, you’ll hear from activists and researchers about their work with one another and with farmworkers, the unseen hands that feed us all.

  • Becca Berkey, Director of Community-Engaged Teaching and Research; Guest Lecturer, Human Service
  • Jeannie Economos, Coordinator for the Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Program, Farmworker Association of Florida

  • Joan D. Flocks, Director of the Social Policy Division Center for Governmental Responsibility, University of Florida

  • Joseph Grzywacz, Norejane Hendrickson Professor, Florida State University