The Coalition of Immokalee Workers gears up for the first-ever Concert for Fair Food with Grammy-winner headliners Ozomatli and La Santa Cecilia.
In 1995, an unknown farmworker organization by the inelegant name of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers exploded onto the scene with a community-wide general strike in Immokalee, Florida. Taking over the central parking lot in town where workers would gather before dawn in search of day labor, thousands of farmworkers came together to disrupt decades of farmworker poverty and abuse and to launch a call for ‘Dignity, Dialogue, and a Fair Wage.’ The struggle born that day would eventually give rise to the Campaign for Fair Food in 2001, and later to the Fair Food Program, an award-winning, worker-driven human rights initiative that has won unprecedented gains for tens of thousands of farmworkers since its implementation in 2010.
Also in 1995, across the country in Los Angeles, young people working for the Los Angeles Conservation Corps organized to form a union, a campaign that led to the take-over of the building in downtown LA where the Corps was housed. During the course of what would ultimately become a year-long occupation, the workers converted the building into a thriving community center and, as the weeks turned into months, some of the workers began to organize impromptu concerts to animate their friends and fellow workers. Among the musicians were the original members of the musical group Ozomatli, and the band they launched in that community center would go on to win two Grammy Awards and one Latin Grammy, becoming legends of the live music scene in LA and a powerful voice for social justice in the process.
Fast forward to the present. Twenty years after their respective beginnings in anonymous struggle — on March 21, 2015, to be exact — the long and unlikely trajectories of those two community movements will finally intersect, as the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Ozomatli join forces in St. Petersburg, Florida, for the first ever Concert for Fair Food, calling on Publix and Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program and help advance farmworkers’ human rights!
After nearly a year of planning, the star-studded lineup for the much-anticipated concert has come together, and we are thrilled to announce that not only will Ozomatli be there, but they will be joined by fellow Grammy winners La Santa Cecilia and Atlanta’s own Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics!
— Coalition of Immokalee Workers
The event will be held on Saturday, March 21, 2015 in St. Petersburg, FL. There will also be a parade. Want to attend? Get more information about the Concert for Fair Food.