Wednesday, February 7, 2018

UCF Women and Gender Studies Students Learn about Lake Apopka

On Saturday February 3rd, UCF professor, Dr. Santana provided an amazing opportunity for her students to come out to FWAF Apopka and learn about Lake Apopka Farmworkers. As part of their curriculum in her classes, students read the book Fed Up by Dale Finely Slongwhite. This group of students was made up of mainly juniors/seniors, part of Santana's Women, Race and Struggle class, as well as two YAYA members (Youth and Young Adult Network of the National Farmworker Ministry).

During their visit, the students met Linda Lee who was featured in the book Fed Up.  Linda gave her personal testimony of working on the Lake Apopka farms and how this has affected her and generations of her family members. Then the students partook of a "Toxic Tour", which helped to give the students a better overview of why they were there, to see first hand how environmental racism has affected people in their local community.

Professor Santana shared some words on why incorporating this into her curriculum is important:

"It is sometimes wonderful to read Oral Histories but meeting the person who inspired a book is remarkable. My students were able to visit, hear, smell and feel the places and people they read about and study under Environmental Racism and the intersectionalities of gender, race, place of origin, body ability and social class among others. As activists and feminists it is crucial for us to investigate and experience the realities of all members of our community. The farmworkers are part of our community. Without their honest work in the fields we would not have food on our tables."

We are so thankful for conscious professors like Maria Santana, who realizes the importance of an education grounded in social awareness and provides these opportunities for her students. 

If you are interested in a toxic tour or presentation please contact

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