When United Farm Workers founder C
National Farm Worker Ministry
2007 Winner, Harry Chapin Self Reliance Award
438 N. Skinner Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63130
Email: [email protected]
National Farm Worker Ministry (NFWM) began in 1920 as a ministry of charity and service, providing food, clothing and day care to the farmworkers. When United Farm Workers founder César Chávez began organizing in the 1960s, he called on the religious community to change its emphasis from charity to justice. NFWM became the vehicle for people of faith to respond to that call. NFWM brings together national denominations, state councils of churches, religious orders and congregations, and concerned individuals to act with the farmworkers to achieve fundamental change in their living and working conditions.
NFWM’s Project Solidarity links volunteers with farmworkers who are organizing with the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC). FLOC represents over 5000 farmworkers in North Carolina, increasing job security for the workers, putting an end to blacklisting, and establishing a grievance procedure allowing workers to address problems without fear of retaliation. In its first few months, FLOC received 500 grievances about living and working conditions, proving that workers were feeling empowered enough to speak out. Through Project Solidarity, hundreds of volunteers have spent time working in solidarity with farmworkers to further increase their rights.
NFWM created the Youth and Young Adult Network to support a nationwide network of young people of faith actively working to change the oppressive social, political and economic conditions of farmworkers. Through letter writing campaigns, picketing, and other activities, the Network provides meaningful ways for youth to join the movement.
National Farm Workers Ministry has also created a number of resources designed for adult and high school groups. NFWM has both educational and worship resources, including prayers, fact sheets, scripture, and suggested activities and actions. Through these and other programs, and in offices across the country, NFWM is leading the fight for justice for farmworkers.