Statement from our New Co-Directors Suzanne Adely & Sonia Singh November 01, 2019
After a decade of growing our Alliance from the ground up, it’s bittersweet to say goodbye to Co-Directors Joann Lo and Jose Oliva, who have created an incredible foundation over years of building worker power across the food chain. Check out our recent 10 year report celebrating that work.
We are excited to step into our new roles as co-directors. We both come into this work with a deep commitment to worker-led movements that are grounded in economic, racial, gender and global justice. Suzanne joined FCWA in 2017 with a background in organizing, public interest law, and global labor and human rights advocacy. Sonia also joined FCWA in 2017, after 15 years of supporting worker organizing and leadership development with worker centers and unions.
This is a critical moment for our collective work. As food workers face increasing exploitation and repression, our members organizing and our work as FCWA is even more important. Over the last few months, we have been working with our members to advance our vision and build our collective strategies with a renewed focus on the Right to Organize. As an Alliance, we believe we must transform the food system by supporting local and global food worker organizing and organizing together along the food chain.
For the past year our members have been developing a Food Worker Organizing Platform and campaign that will launch this November. Simultaneously, the alliances and coalitions we have built are advancing our food policy innovations to the state level.
We are grateful to build towards this vision along with our colleagues ---Christina Spach, Jose Lopez, Elizabeth Walle, Itzhel Gibson, our board members, and the powerful FCWA member organizations and worker leaders who guide and center this work. Now is the perfect time for friends and supporters like you to make a gift to our Annual Fund, and ensure that FCWA maintains our momentum and builds upon the legacy Joann and Jose have built.
Thank you for being part of the movement for food workers!
Suzanne Adely and Sonia Singh
Grant from the Panta Rhea Fund! October 30, 2019
We are thrilled to announce that we have received a $30,000 grant from the Panta Rhea Fund in support of our transition, to stabilize our Alliance well into the future! Thank you to the Panta Rhea Fund for helping secure the next decade of the FCWA.
Our New Co-Directors! A Message from Board Chair Rose Bookbinder: September 06, 2019
It is an honor to serve as the chair of the board of directors at such a pivotal moment of our Alliance’s evolution. 2019 marks 10 years of deepening our relationships in the Alliance and expanding it from 9 original founding members to now 31 organizations and unions, representing over 375,000 food system workers in the U.S. and Canada.
Food system workers are under attack, as we witnessed in Mississippi where 700 poultry processing plant workers experienced the largest workplace immigration raid in history. The FCWA responded, and we have been able to help raise over $50,000 to support food system workers affected by immigration agencies’ acts of terror. The need to organize and build power in our sector is immense, and the Alliance has positioned itself as the clear place to do that.
I want to thank Jose and Joann for their 10 years of incredible service to the Alliance. They both played such formative roles. Jose was on staff at the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United and helped bring together the food worker organizations that would eventually become the FCWA in 2009. As the first Executive Director, Joann built the Alliance from the ground up. They have helped us accomplish so much in our first decade (look out for our 10-year anniversary report coming out next week!) and I admire their commitment to the Alliance and to sharing leadership in making this decision.
I am very pleased to announce our new Co-Directors: FCWA’s own Regional Organizer for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Region Suzanne Adely and Leadership Development Coordinator Sonia Singh. After consultation with peer Executive Directors and staff and a vetting process and vote by our Board of Directors, Suzanne and Sonia were the best choice to lead FCWA into the future and will start as co-directors on November 1, 2019. Please stay tuned—we will have more to share in the coming weeks!
Co-Director and Lead Organizer, Pioneer Valley Workers Center
Board Chair, Food Chain Workers Alliance
Leadership Transition Announcement September 05, 2019
STATEMENT FROM JOANN LO AND JOSE OLIVA:
We are immensely proud to have served as Co-Directors of the Food Chain Workers Alliance and have dedicated much of our lives to the organization over the course of the last decade. We know that the FCWA is a critical part of the food workers movement today in the U.S. and Canada. So it is bittersweet to announce that we are stepping down from our posts and will be fully transitioned out of the organization by the end of this year and then continue to support as members of the Alliance’s Advisory Council. We both know that it’s important to create space for new leaders with new ideas and energy and so this transition is in the best interest of the Alliance's long-term health. We are very proud of what the Alliance has accomplished in the past 10 years, including: co-organizing one of the largest mass mobilizations of food workers in recent history on May Day of 2017; helping our members win campaigns like ROC United’s One Fair Wage in multiple states, and an historic contract for the independent farmworkers union Familias Unidas por la Justicia; starting a regional leadership training program for food workers called Justice in the Food Chain; and co-leading and supporting local coalitions around the country to win adoption of the Good Food Purchasing Program.
We are confident that the years to come will see more and greater victories for workers and all people in our food system. And it wouldn't be possible without the support of allies and friends. Transitions require careful planning, time, and above all financial security. Your continued support now, in this exciting and pivotal stage, means the world. Every gift helps us reach our goal. Thank you!
Kab'awil is a Mesoamerican theological concept that has been described as:
"two visions at the same time, to see in the darkness and in lightness, to see close and far, a doble mirada." (Adrián Inés Chávez, 1979)
In that spirit, we embrace this moment of transition for our Alliance as we look to the past, the future, and beyond.