26 June 2010

Around the Community

Slow Food Portland presents: A discussion on the interconnection between our food, industrial food workers, and immigration issues.

When: Monday, June 28, 2010, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Where: Buchan Reception Hall in the Eliot Center, First Unitarian Church, 1226 SW Salmon Street
Tickets: $5 members/$6 non-members, Tickets available online here.

What do Slow Food members and food-industrial workers have at stake in each other’s challenges and goals? Join a diverse panel of speakers to take a look at our food system and the workers that help put food on our tables. What conditions do many of these workers face? What alternatives do they have, and how do their struggles affect us? How can we help make the food we eat as fair as possible for everyone involved?

This insightful and thought-provoking evening provides an opportunity to learn, listen and speak out about our food system, and the immigration and labor issues that relate to how our nation is fed. Help shape the discussion with your questions and comments.

This event continues our series on the People Who Feed Us.

The evening will include the following speakers:

Paul Apostolidis, Judge and Mrs. Timothy A. Paul Chair of Political Science, Whitman College
Paul is the author of ‘Breaks in the Chain: What Immigrant Workers Can Teach Americans about Democracy.’ The book examines American immigration reform through the stories of immigrant meatpackers. Paul has written extensively on immigrant workers, democracy, the U.S Labor Movement, women’s issues, and other social and cultural topics. He was President and founder of Safe Work/Safe Food, a community nonprofit organization supporting the rights of immigrant workers. He has served on numerous boards relating to human rights issues and won recognition for his leadership in developing social justice programs.

Aaron Bobrow-Strain, Assistant Professor of Politics at Whitman College
Aaron teaches and writes about global food politics. His forthcoming book, ‘Dreamworlds of the Store-Bought Loaf’ (Beacon 2012) is a critical history of food reform movements in the United States told through the lens of battles over America’s most loved and hated food icon–slice white bread. He has written on racial politics and land conflict on coffee plantations in southern Mexico, U.S food politics, and land reform policy in Latin America. He previously worked with BorderLinks, an organization advocating for immigrant and worker rights on the U.S. – Mexico border.

Larry Kleinman, Co-Founder and Secretary-Treasurer, PCUN
Larry co-founded the Willamette Valley Immigration Project in1977 and was co-founding member of Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN) in 1985. He has served as PCUN Secretary-Treasurer since 1988. Since 1977, he has been an accredited representative of Centro de Servicios para Campesinos, authorized to provide legal representation before the Immigration Court, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Customs and Immigration Service. The National Lawyers Guild National Immigration Project selected Larry as its 2005 Carol Weiss King Award recipient, honoring his many years of defending immigrants and their interests. He has served on many boards focusing on social justice and workers rights.

Mary Mendez, Deputy Director, Enlace
Mary started out as a worker in a food processing plant in eastern Washington. She engaged over a thousand of her co-workers in a successful union organizing campaign in the early years of NAFTA. In fighting salary differences between European Americans and Latinos, Mary was the first person to win an international grievance against the United States under NAFTA. Among other accomplishments, this effort compelled Mexico to charge the United States with violating the rights of the workers in Washington. She now works with Enlace, a strategic alliance of low-wage worker centers, as a trainer and a campaign coordinator. Today Mary specializes in helping groups build leadership from the ground up.