Thursday, April 9, 2020

Quotes from Law Students After Visiting Apopka Farmworkers

At the beginning of March, before the pandemic of the coronavirus shut down people's lives across the globe, the Florida State University Law School held an alternative spring break where law students could visit Apopka, Florida, and learn about farmworker rights, history, culture, and struggles. You can read more about the visit here.

After their visit, the students did a write-up describing their experiences and take-aways from the alternative spring break. They were kind enough to send us excerpts from their write-ups, and said we were welcome to share on our blog! Below are the quotes.

“Our weekend experience was full of in-depth exploration surrounding many of the issues I have attempted to address above – and much of that exploration led to dark truths. However, more consequentially, working with Jeannie and Yesica and Linda and Paola and Squirt and the rest of our wonderful team inspired hope and passion in me. The work that these people have done and the work that they carry on doing every day provides me with energy for the future. Many of the realities facing the farmworker community are harsh ones – and unjust ones. These realities will not change absent persistent effort: effort exemplified by the Farmworker Association of Florida in Apopka.” - Barclay, 1L

“Many environmental justice groups ignore communities harmed by the industrial policies they seek to change. I’m grateful to the Farm Worker Association for teaching us that we cannot achieve a safer, greener earth without acknowledging and fighting for the invisible, skilled people who are very clearly the backbone of America.” - Lauren, 1L

“I am very thankful I was able to attend this program; it is a great way for law students to get a taste of a variety of farmworker issues, while still getting a very immersive experience. I would highly recommend this program.” - Margeling, 3L

“The invisible people. Alternative Spring Break 2020 was an eye-opening experience for me. My heart broke for a community of people that is treated unjustly everyday and yet we look the other way. Farmworkers feel invisible, their cries feel unheard. This is unacceptable. The narrative around farmworkers must change. Their stories must be heard in order to begin change.” - Peyton, 1L

“...fighting injustice is always the right thing to do. Creating a more just world, through the smallest of actions to the largest of societal change, is always worth it. Small actions change people, people change communities, communities change the world.” - Yazel, 1L

Reading quotes like these makes all the work we put into these trips worthwhile! In order to help farmworkers fight for their rights, we must spread awareness and education on the issues. We hope that through this technique, we are helping build a brighter future for farmworker communities. Thank you again to the FSU law students that have become a part of that future!

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