Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Traveling Quilts on Display! 
On October 31, the red quilt was displayed in Gainesville at the Green Halloween event which draws around 5000 spectators.  Our booth created a lot of attention and the quilt, in particular, drew positive comments, and at times, tearful emotions. Through this event many people learned more about the Farmworker’s situation and the FWAF and its mission.

Then, the quilts went to Tallahassee, 11/2-11/3, for the Florida A&M University Environmental

Law & Justice symposium.  There they were both displayed as Jeannie Economos spoke on “Moving from Food Security to Food Sovereignty: How Injustice in Agriculture Impacts Climate Change”, and Alex Saunders, an AmeriCorps volunteer, paneled Yolanda Gomez’s presentation on “Accessing Fresh Foods in Rural Communities: The Fellsmere Community Farm”.

On November 8th at Rollins College, in Winter Park, an evening panel discussion, supporting Food Worker Awareness Week, was arranged by Rollins student, Heather Miksa, who works as an intern for the Farmworker Association.  The agenda included the film, Los Naranjeros (The Orange Pickers), presentations by both Geraldean Mathew and Linda Lee, and a panel discussion including Jeannie Economos and Emily Helm, President of Orlando YAYA. At this event the blue quilt was displayed.  Thanks to the YAYA group for their attendance at this event!

The next night, 11/9/2012, at the conference, “Hidden Stories of Rights Denied”, held at the DoubleTree  SeaWorld  Hotel in Orlando,  Geraldean Matthew and Linda Lee spoke movingly of their childhoods and pervasive, chronic health conditions from their years as farmworkers . The conference agenda covered the Jim Crow era in Florida and the violence and cruelty perpetrated,  especially, towards African-Americans during that period.

The red quilt was displayed in front of the audience as Linda Lee described how the idea of a quilt arose and how the making of the quilt pieces was a healing process for her and, later for  others.

 Winter Park Harvest Festival was the next stop, 11/17/12, where both quilts and their stories attracted much attention and in many cases memories and stories of Lake Apopka as it was many years ago. Thanks to Farmworkers was our theme at this event.

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