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Farm Workers and the COVID-19 Crisis: A Conversation with lauren Ornelas

Register to join us here: http://bit.ly/farmwkrs

Farm workers, meatpacking/slaughterhouse workers, and food processing workers have been some of the hardest hit populations during the COVID-19 pandemic: over 64,000 of these workers have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 267 have died. Despite the inherently dangerous working conditions and the lack of adequate safety measures, in April President Trump issued an executive order designating meat and poultry processing plants as “critical infrastructure”, forcing these workers back to work.

Join us for a conversation with lauren Ornelas, the founder and president of Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.), a vegan food justice nonprofit that works to advance the rights of farmworkers by supporting corporate, legislative and regulatory changes. We’ll hear from lauren about the biggest issues affecting farm workers right now, from COVID-19 to the California wildfires, and the work F.E.P. does to fight on behalf of these often overlooked groups. We’ll also discuss the myriad of injustices that farmworkers face on a daily basis—both here in the U.S. and in countries that provide many of the food products we purchase. what actions we need to take right now to protect our farmworkers, and how we can work towards building a more just food system for the future.
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About the speaker

lauren Ornelas is the founder and president of Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.), a vegan food justice nonprofit that promotes veganism, fights for farm workers, works on lack of access to healthy foods in communities of color, and encourages people not to buy chocolate sourced from the worst forms of child labor. She has been active in the animal rights movement since 1987, having started the first high school animal rights group in San Antonio, Texas, and then Action for Animals, a group she launched in college and that is still active in Austin. In 1999, lauren was asked by Viva!UK to start and run Viva!USA in 1999. As the leader of Viva!USA, lauren investigated factory farms and ran consumer campaigns, working with activists nationwide. In cooperation with other activists, lauren persuaded Trader Joe’s to stop selling duck meat, convinced Pier 1 Imports to stop using feathers, and was the spark that got the CEO of Whole Foods Market to become a vegan. She also helped halt the construction of an industrial dairy operation in California. Watch lauren’s TEDx talk on The Power of Our Food Choices. Learn more about F.E.P.’s work at www.foodispower.org, www.veganmexicanfood.com, and www.veganfilipinofood.com.

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