Upcoming Events

 

March 21, 2017

"California Institute for Rural Studies - 40 Years of Stories"

Merced Multicultural Arts Center,645 West Main Street, Merced

 

Come to Merced for an evening of storytelling and celebration, marking the 40 year anniversary of California Institute for Rural Studies!

 

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An evening of storytelling and celebration, marking 40 years of CIRS, with many of the researchers and community members who have driven our work, while also looking forward to the future of CIRS - with the next generation of farmers, researchers, and rural advocates. Let's create new collaborations and build the resilience of our rural communities!

 

The Event runs from 7-10pm - A brief overview of the program:

Wine and Cheese Reception 7-7:30

Program 7:30-9:30 pm: 

 

Gail Wadsworth, CIRS Executive Director, Welcome!

 

CIRS’s founder & Director Emeritus Dr. Don Villarejo will be center stage, telling the rare personal story of his work at CIRS, "Seeking an Agriculture That Is Ecologically Sound, Economically Viable and Socially Just - A Personal History."

 

We are also excited to premiere the newest Cal Ag Roots story, “Founding Farmers: Japanese Growers in California,” performed live with

Nikiko Masumoto and Dr. Isao Fujimoto.

Nikiko is a fourth generation farmer at Masumoto Family Farm in Fresno, an artist and performer. Isao is a former Board President of CIRS, UC Davis Professor Emeritus of Human Development, founder of the UCD Asian American Studies program, and as a child, his farming family was imprisoned in the Heart Mountain, Wyoming and Tule, California concentration camps.

 

We will then have a conversation with Isao and Nikiko, about their experiences as farmers, from two very different generations. 

 

Panel of former CIRS/CAAP staff, sharing key moments from their time at CIRS that have resonance today. They will talk about their work since leaving CIRS, and pressing issues they think we should focus on in our next 40 years. Carol ZabinUC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, Dave Runsten,Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), and Hector Martinez, of Mallison & Martinez Attorneys at Law, with moderator Sarah Cain

 

Conversation with all Participants

 

9:30-10pm Open Socializing

 

Tickets are available here, at several levels of support:

$20 'Next Generation Researcher'  - $35 'Community Collaborator'

$50 'Seeker of the Soil'

$75 'Champion of Cartography' - $100 'Defender of Data' and FREE Student level ticket

 

 

*If you attend, please bring any photos or paraphernalia you might have from CIRS/CAAP reporting, workshops or of staff, as we will be scanning them there, to add to our archives!*

We thank the Merced Multicultural Arts Center for their support and partnership on this event 

 


 

 

March 22, 2017

"Rural Justice Summit: Building Power"

 

is a Rural California Summit for Action, which will be hosted by California Institute for Rural Studies (CIRS) and UC Merced, in collaboration with the Community Alliance for Agroecology and the UC Davis Center for Regional Change. 

 

 

*NOTICE* We have SOLD OUT of all currently available tickets!

We do anticipate some more tickets being available, so please, if it says we are SOLD OUT, please email Sarah at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be put on the WAIT LIST. 

We will confirm with you that you are on the list, and as soon as space becomes available, we will let you know. Thank you for your interest and patience!!

Worker with Lettuce Boxes

 

Building on the momentum of last year's Summit, the event will create dialogue between researchers and rural community members about historic and current struggles and access to resources in the San Joaquin Valley. Bridging theory and action, we will discuss the tools needed for conducting community-based research and navigating the politics of social change.

We are honored to have CIRS founder and independent researcher Dr. Don Villarejo open the day, offering his deeply experienced insight on the importance of researcher and advocate partnerships. The day will include two panel discussions featuring academic researchers and organizers discussing the democratization of knowledge and shifting power in the fields as well as break-out sessions on policy, media, research methods and data tools. Well then end the day with Dr. Mario Sifuentez, a next generation researcher, with his closing thoughts, "Building on History to Power San Joaquin Valley Movements."

 

This event is free and open to the public, but you need to register at www.ruraljusticesummit.bpt.me 

 

If you are not able to attend, we will be live-streaming the event & it will also be archived. LINK 

 

Here is a brief overview of the day:

 

8-9am Check-in & Breakfast

9:15-9:30 Welcome & Orientation
Janaki Jagannath, Coordinator, Community Alliance for Agroecology

9:30-10am Don Villarejo, CIRS Founder & Independent Researcher
"How Evidenced-Based Research Strengthens Organizing for Social Justice" 

10-11:30 Panel "Agroecology and the Democratization of Knowledge"
Connecting traditional and academic knowledge to build power and address rural inequity.

-Antonio Roman-AlcaláResearcher & Organizer, Urban Permaculture Institute

-Carmen Cortez-Recendez, Agroecologist & Community Organizer, Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities 

-Eric Holt-Giménez, Executive Director, Food First

-Gail Myers, Filmmaker, Organizer & Executive Director, Farms to Grow

-Isabel Arrollo, Executive Director, El Quinto Sol de America

-Liz Carlisle, Author, "Lentil Underground," Lecturer, Stanford University


11:45-12:45pm Provided Lunch & Guided Break-Out Sessions #1 (concurrent)

4 Topics, to be repeated in afternoon:

"Research Methods in Community" Rick Mines & Megan Beaman-Jacinto, Discussion Guides

"Creating Tools from Data"  Jonathan London & Nayamin Martinez, Discussion Guides

"Regional Policy Change"  Janaki JagannathJenny Rempel & Allison Davenport, Discussion Guides

"Creative Use of Media for Organizing" Ezra David Romero & Ome Quetzal LópezDiscussion Guides


1-2:30pm Panel "Shifting Power: Reality in the Fields"
How can research assist & impact farm labor organizing, both historically and today?

-Guadalupe Martinez, Assistant Director, Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment

-Luis Magaña, Organizer, Project Voice, American Friends Service Committee

-Miriam Pawel, Author, "The Crusades of Cesar Chavez"

-Sandy Brown, Independent Researcher & City Councilperson, Santa Cruz

-Sarah Horton, Author, "They Leave Their Kidneys in the Field," & Associate Professor, University of Colorado

-Veronica Diaz, Organizer, Teamsters 856


2:40-3:30pm Guided Break Out Session #2 

4 Topics, repeated topics from the morning:

"Research Methods in Community" Rick Mines & Megan Beaman-Jacinto, Discussion Guides

"Creating Tools from Data"  Jonathan London & Nayamin Martinez, Discussion Guides

"Regional Policy Change"  Janaki JagannathJenny Rempel & Allison Davenport, Discussion Guides

"Creative Use of Media for Organizing" Ezra David Romero & Ome Quetzal LópezDiscussion Guides


3:45-4:15pm Mario Sifuentez, Assistant Professor, School of Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts, UC Merced 
"Building on History to Power San Joaquin Valley Movements"

 

4:15-6pm Social Hour

 

Looking to carpool? Check Here!

 

 

 

Many thanks to our Organizing Partners

 

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Past Events 

 

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Reedley Peace Center Fall Speaker Series  

 

Fall Speaker's Series: 'In the Struggle' is a history of academic scholarship and community engagement in the San Joaquin Valley. This series examines the democratic purposes and civic values of scholars who conducted research and advocated for change as the region's rural agricultural economy consolidated and industrialized. The Valley's highly politicized and intensely adversarial setting offers a backdrop for this unique story. 'In the Struggle' describes the activism of these scholars as they lobbied to enforce existing federal laws, organized underserved communities, led labor strikes, founded community development programs, created non-profit institutions in addition to working as traditional social scientists. This series hosts these scholars (some of them now emeritus professors) to revisit their experiences and tell their stories - a narrative that spans eighty years and work that continues to this day. The Reedley Peace Center is located in the Fellowship Hall of the First Mennonite Church, on 'L' street between 12th and 13th streets in Reedley, California. For more information on each of the talks, visit their website, or contact them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

The speakers series schedule is as follows:

 

Friday, September 23, 6:30-8:30
Speaker: Scott Peters, Professor of Development Sociology at Cornell University specializing in Community Development and Public Engagement.
Topic: What is the Role of Scholars in a Democracy?

 

Friday, September 30, 6:30-8:30
Speaker: Daniel O'Connell, San Joaquin Valley scholar and community advocate.
Topic: The History of Scholarship Defending Democracy in the San Joaquin Valley.

 

Friday, October 7, 6:30-8:30
Speaker: Don Villarejo, Agricultural Policies Researcher and founder of CIRS (California Institute for Rural Studies).
Topic: Can We Achieve an Ecologically Sound, Economically Viable and Socially Just Agriculture?

 

Friday, October 14, 6:30-8:30
Speaker: Dean MacCannell, Professor Emeritus, UC Davis and author of the classic, 'The Tourist, A New Theory of the Leisure Class'.
Topic: The Goldschmidt Re-test: The Struggle to Preserve Acreage Limitations under Reclamation Law.

 

Friday, October 21, 6:30-8:30
Speaker: Isao Fujimoto, Senior Lecturer and founder of Asian American Studies and the graduate program in Community Development at UC Davis.
Topic: Dynamic Mosaic: Building on the Potential of the Central Valley's Ethnic Diversity.

 

Friday, October 28, 6:30-8:30
Speaker: Trudy Wischemann, rural advocate and scholar who worked with several of the academics featured in this series (Paul Taylor, Walter Goldschmidt, Dean MacCannell, and Don Villarejo).
Topic: Paul Taylor's Baton: Carrying On in the San Joaquin Valley.

 

Friday, November 11, 6:30-8:30
Speaker: Sara Ramirez, Community Engaged Scholar & Executive Director of Foodlink for Tulare County.
Topic: Good Food Changes Lives: Transforming our food system from charity to solidarity.

Friday, November 18, 6:30-8:30


Speaker: Tom Willey, T & D Willey Farms, host of 'Down on the Farm' on KFCF, 'veritable grandfather of organic vegetable production in the Central Valley'.
Topic: Reflections on a forty-year farming career in California's San Joaquin Valley.

 

Friday, December 9, 6:30-8:30
Speaker: Janaki Jagannath, Coordinator, Community Alliance for Agroecology.
Topic: Dust to Dust

 

Friday, December 16, 6:30-8:30
Speaker: Jonathan London, Associate Professor of Human Ecology, UC Davis and Director for the Center of Regional Change.

 

 

Resources

In The Struggle by Daniel O'Connell

 

 

Other Recommended Resources: 


 

 

"Working for Justice in the Valley:

People, Food, Land & Water"

is a Rural California Summit for Action, which will be hosted on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, by California Institute for Rural Studies (CIRS) at UC Merced in collaboration with the San Joaquin Valley Sustainable Agriculture Collaborative and the Berkeley Food Institute (BFI). 

 

The one-day summit is designed to create dialogue between researchers and community members about historic and current struggles for access to resources in the Valley. Moving from theory to action, we will discuss the tools needed for community based research and the politics of social change.

 

**Please note: We have reached the maximum number of tickets available for this event, and now have a waitlist. We do anticipate a small amount of tickets will become available. Please contact Sarah Cain at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be added to this list. Thank you for your understanding!**

 

This event is free and open to the public, but you need to register at http://ruralcaliforniasummit.bpt.me/ by March 1, 2016

 

If you are not able to attend, we will be live-streaming the event! Connect here!

 

FINAL FLYER Working for Justice in the Valley

 

Speakers will cover a range of topics related to our theme of Working for Justice in the Valley, including access to farm land, cooperative farming and marketing structures, rights to clean drinking water, food access, public health (including pesticide drift and pesticide use around schools), access to basic built infrastructure by farm-worker communities, and community engagement.

 

The morning session will focus on struggles for access to resources related to the food system in the Valley (historically and currently) and the afternoon session will focus on tools for action including research and political advocacy.  

 

Schedule:

8-9am Registration & Breakfast

9-9:45am Opening Thoughts

Intro to Topic & Welcome - Mario Sifuentez, Assistant Professor, School of Social Science, Humanities, and the Arts, UC Merced


Goal of Day - Michael Courville, Co-Executive Director, California Institute for Rural Studies

9:45am-12pm Morning Theme: Struggles for Access to Resources in the Valley


9:45-10:45am

Cal Ag Roots Story Listening Session: National Land for the People Story & Conversation with NLP Members

This live performance of the Cal Ag Roots podcast will tell the story of the Fresno-based organization National Land for People (NLP), and their battle to enforce water laws that would have limited the size of farms in the Valley and made prime farmland available to farmworkers and small farmers. This will be followed by a discussion with people featured in the story about NLPs relevance to current work in the Valley.

- Ildi Carlisle-Cummins, Project Director, Cal Ag Roots (CIRS)

- Mary Louise Frampton, Professor, UC Berkeley School of Law/NLP Member

- Marc Lasher, NLP Member

- John Heywood, Executive Director, People Food and Land Foundation

- Tom Willey, Organic Farmer, T&D Willey Farms, Madera


11-12pm

Thriving Food Justice Work in the Valley and Current Organizing Efforts

This panel will describe some of the current food justice work underway in the San Joaquin Valley, including a new sustainable agriculture collaborative, and community food systems work.

- Janaki Jagannath, Coordinator, San Joaquin Valley Sustainable Ag Collaborative

- Kevin Hall, Consultant, San Joaquin Valley Sustainable Ag Collaborative

- Sarah Aird, Co-Director, Californians for Pesticide Reform

- Margaret Reeves, Senior Scientist, Pesticide Action Network

- Paul Towers, Organizing & Media Director, Pesticide Action Network

- Kiel Schmidt, Business Development Manager, Fresno Food Commons


12-1pm Lunch (Provided)

1:10-4pm Afternoon Theme: Tools for Action

1:00-1:10pm

Framing for the Afternoon—Michael Courville, CIRS

1:10-2pm

Political Advocacy and Exercising Community Power

Political empowerment is both a means and an end to increasing equity in the Valley. In this session, we'll hear from local and state policy experts on how solid research results and community needs can be translated into long-lasting policy change and political empowerment. This session will be interactive and you'll leave with tangible tools to apply immediately.

- Nina F. Ichikawa, Policy Director, Berkeley Food Institute

- Erica Lomeli Corcoran, Civic Participation and Policy Director, UFW Foundation

- Sarah Ramirez, Executive Director, Foodlink Tulare County 


2:00-2:20pm

Land Grant System and UC Merced - Make it Work for the Community

As part of the land grant system, the University of California has a mission to serve the public good. This session will briefly describe this mandate and the UCs historic and current role as a tool for community action.

- Daniel O'Connell, Co-Director, Fresno Food Commons


2:20-4pm

Research-Engaged Activism: Why Good Research is Vital to Powerful Organizing and How Communities Can Engage with Researchers

We'll ask researchers and organizers to talk to each other about two complementary questions: How can research support organizing around food systems change? What do organizers need from researchers? What can researchers learn from organizers? Conversation facilitated by Ildi Carlisle-Cummins and Janaki Jagannath.    

- Don Villarejo, Independent Researcher & Founder, California Institute for Rural Studies

- Mario Sifuentez, Assistant Professor, School of Social Sciences, UC Merced

- Dvera Saxton, Assistant Professor, Anthropology Department, California State University, Fresno

- Isabel Arrollo, Executive Director, El Quinto Sol de America

- Leticia Corona, Community Advocacy Director, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability

- Genoveva Islas, Director, Cultiva La Salud                                    

 -Chukou Thao, Executive Director, National Hmong American Farmers, Inc


4-5pm

Rural California Open Roundtable

In breakout-session style, participants suggest topics that they'd like to discuss and host small roundtable discussions on them.

5-5:30

Closing Thoughts & Call to Action - Gail Wadsworth, Co-Executive Director, California Institute for Rural Studies

 

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Many thanks to our Organizing Partners

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Many thanks for the support of our Sponsors!

 

EVENT SPONSOR

Global Food Initiative logo

 

PLENARY SPONSOR

 

Center for the HUmanities logo

 

 

ROUNDTABLE SPONSOR

 

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Community Sponsors

healthy house logo  Food Commons Fresno logo Veritable Vegetable logo

 

 


 

 

 Tickets are sold out for 

Tickets are sold out for "Docks to Delta:

Listening to the Landscape Along the Capitol Corridor"

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

D2Devent Save the date

Docks to Delta: Listening to the Landscape Along the Capitol Corridor, will reveal the agricultural history evoked by a landscape travelled by thousands of commuters each day—the one seen through the windows of the Capitol Corridor train. Important agricultural sites with compelling stories are visible all along this route, which travels from San Jose to Auburn, and yet most people riding the train have probably never considered them. Docks to Delta will be part live performance event and part permanent, easily accessible, free audio tour. Guests on the Capitol Corridor train for the launch event will hear stories in a lively, thought-provoking, two-hour program on the way to Sacramento and will have the opportunity to talk to one another and the storytellers on the return trip to Oakland. This event will amplify the voices of people who lived through and participated in 3 key moments in California agriculture, highlighting stories that push listeners’ thinking beyond the usual historical narratives and policy debates. After the event, all Docks to Delta stories will be made available as podcasts that can be accessed via smart phone app or computer by anyone riding the Capitol Corridor or members of the general public, at any time.

 

Huge, heartfelt thanks to the amazing community of 106 supporters that have made this project possible! Docks to Delta supporters include: 

Alix Blair-- Abby-- A,J,M--Anna Goldberg and Clark Richter--Anna Jensen--Aubrey's Mom--Betsy Hume--Bill & Laura Lacy--Bob Scowcroft--Carol Hillhouse--Carolyn Anderson--Cate Batson Baril--Charity Kenyon--Christine L--Connie--Corey Block--Damian Parr--Dan Tran--Dave Campbell--David Visher--Don Burgett--Doron Comerchero--Ed & Jake Clemens--Elise Ehrheart & Zachary Black--Emily Green--Eric Cummins--Genoveva Islas--Glenda Drew--Grace & Adam--Greg B.--Guadalupe Sandoval--Hank--Hector Fernandez--Hop A Long--Irene Reti--Jed Riffe: Ripe for Change--Jennifer Sedell--Jennifer Sowerwine--Jesse and Sally--Jetty--Jim Cochran--Jo Ann and Sam--Joann Lo--Jocelyn Fabello--Jonathan London and Nancy Erbstein--Kase--Kathryn Spencer--Katie Fitzmahan--Katy and Evan Vigil-McClanahan--Kirsten Melton--Kitty--Knoll Farms--Kristen & Evan--Lake & Alex--Libby and Brad Christensen--Lisa--Lisa Feldstein--Lisa Kresge--Maria Elena Rodriguez--Marian Parsons--Marisa Way-Rogainis--Mark n Scarlet--Meagan and Evan--Megan and Matt--Michael O'Gorman--Molly--Mutual Housing--Pamela Marvel & Stuart Littell--Pancha--Pathaleen Herbguister--Patrick Archie--Peggy--Poppy Davis--Renata Strychaz--Richard Walker--Ruth Holbrook & Laurel Eckhouse--Sally Thompson--Sandy Brown--Sara Rubin--Sarah and Kyle--Sarah Brewer--Sarah Schwartz-Sax & Meg Coward--Sheila Golden--Sibella Kraus--Stephanie Yee--Susan--Teresa & Jerry--Teresa Saucedo--Tracey Brieger--Tracy--Trish

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Thanks also to the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, a major Docks to Delta partner! 

 

Curious what stories you'll hear?

 

 Docks to Delta will focus on three defining stories in California agricultural history with connections to places along the Capitol Corridor route:

 

· Break-Down of the Bracero Program. The Docks to Delta ride will begin in Oakland, which was home to a large Bracero camp of over 5000 workers, making it the perfect setting to explore the organizing efforts that led to the demise of the Bracero Program in 1964.

·  Fierce Water Subsidy Fights. North of Oakland along the route, Suisun Bay is at the mouth of the Sacramento River, which is one of the major arteries of the California agricultural water system. Surrounded by water, listeners will learn about widespread debates that raged in the late 1970’s, centering on lawsuits contesting the size of irrigation allotments for farmers—and call government subsidy of large-scale farming into question.

·  The Tomato Harvester, Unleashed. This incredible feat of engineering, achieved at UC Davis, which the Capitol Corridor passes right through, had tremendous impacts on the tomato industry and put thousands of farmworkers out of work in one fell swoop. CIRS and other community organizations created such a backlash to the harvester’s release that the UC system was eventually forced to create the Small Farm Center and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.

 

Each story will be framed and narrated by someone who lived through the event and who can connect their story to the landscape. Storytellers will be paired with historians and musicians to paint a richly complex portrait of these three moments in California agricultural history.

 

 


Merced LFPP January 28th Final FlierMid 

 


 

 

 

California Institute for Rural Studies

presents:

 

"FOOD CHAINS"

 

UPDATE!!

Sanjay Rawal

 

the Director of "FOOD CHAINS" will be with us at this SCREENING!

Mr. Rawal will be there with us to help introduce the film, and then be there for our short, 20 minute panel after the film that also includes:

Margaret Reeves of Pesticide Action Network, Seth Holmes, author of Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies, Doug Bloch of Teamsters Joint Council 7, working with Justice at Taylor Farms, and Damara Luce, representing the Coalition of Immokalee Workers

 

The Bay Area DEBUT of Eva Longoria's New Documentary 

 

“There are still so many labor laws that are broken daily, and there are so many labor laws that exclude agriculture that we have not changed or updated.” Executive Producer Eva Longoria

 

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Monday, November 24th, 7:30pm 

at the AMC Bay Street 16 

5614 Bay Street, Emeryville, CA 

 

California Institute for Rural Studies has been selected as a host for this film and a % of the door will be donated to us.  But more importantly, this film will inform people about the experiences faced by some farmworkers in the US.

We have CONFIRMED this event! We are NOW SOLD OUT, as of 11/20/2014 Thank you!!

 

 

"Food Chains reveals the human cost in our food supply   and the complicity of large buyers of produce like fast food and supermarkets. Fast food is big, but supermarkets are bigger – earning $4 trillion globally. They have tremendous power over the agricultural system. Over the past 3 decades they have drained revenue from their supply chain leaving farmworkers in poverty and forced to work under subhuman conditions. Yet many take no responsibility for this."

 

The narrative of the film focuses on an intrepid and highly lauded group of tomato pickers from Southern Florida – the Coalition of Immokalee Workers or CIW – who are revolutionizing farm labor. Their story is one of hope and promise for the triumph of morality over corporate greed – to ensure a dignified life for farm workers and a more humane, transparent food chain. This is a great way to learn more during International Food Workers Week!

 

Food Chains premiered a the 2014 Berlin Film Festival and screened subsequently at the Tribeca Film Festival and Guadalajara Film Festival. The film’s Executive Producers include Eva Longoria and Eric Schlosser.

 

How this works: "Food Chains" has partnered with the event service Tugg, who help give hundreds of independent films wider distribution by bringing them together with organizations and individuals who are passionate about the subject matter, to host screenings. We have met our minimum tickets sold to confirm this showing, and been upgraded to a bigger screening room due to the great response!

 

We now have:

 

0 tickets available - SOLD OUT! THANK YOU!

These tickets are ONLY available online, none will be available at the door.

Some photos from the event:

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More Information:

http://www.tugg.com/events/11781

 

Co-sponsored by Food Chain Workers Alliance & Real Food Media Project

 

Questions?

Email Sarah at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 530.756.6555 xt 19 

#StoriesBehindthePlate

bringing films & advocates together, keeping the discussion going

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USEMerced LFPP Nov 17th Flier

For questions regarding this event, please contact

Gail Wadsworth, Executive Director, CIRS, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For RSVPS contact Cindy Lashbrook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


 

"Fair Food: Field to Table"

Screening & Discussion

 The promise of improved farm labor practices in American agriculture

 

Sunday, October 19th, from 4-7pm

 

With Special Guests

Kristie Knoll, Knoll Organics

Eriberto Fernandez, United Farm Workers

Andrew Monbouquette, West Coast Fellow, Bon Appétit Management Company

AND

One-Day-Only Healthy Food Drive with Slow Food Solano for the Contra Costa-Solano Food Bank, to highlight farmworker food insecurity

 

Free & Open to the Public! 

Eventbrite - "Fair Food: Field to Table" A Food Day Film Screening & Discussion

at the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve 

1595 Railroad Avenue, on Mare Island, Vallejo, CA 94592

 

 

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With the theme of Food Justice for this year’s FOOD DAY, we will be showing “Fair Food: Field to Table” a multimedia presentation promoting a more socially just food system in the U.S. It was created by us at California Institute for Rural Studies and Rick Nahmias Photography, and for years it has been a recommended film for FOOD DAY events!

 

Through the stories and voices of farmworkers, growers, businesses and fair food advocates, viewers learn about the harsh realities of farmworker conditions and, more importantly, the promise of improved farm labor practices in American agriculture. The growing movement for “fair food” is tapping into rising consumer demand for food produced in accordance with their values.

 

The presentation consists of three parts:

Part 1: The Farmworkers

Part 2: The Farmers

Part 3: The Advocates

 

After the screening, we will have a question & answer session with special guests, who all have deep experience in these areas, and will provide expert insight.

The event is free and open to the public – donations gratefully accepted!

Check back as we add more details!

 

#FoodDay2014    #RealFoodJustFood

"Justice throughout the food chain—from farm workers to child consumers—will be a special focus for the fourth annual Food Day, as will increasing Americans’ access to healthful food.  Culminating on October 24, Food Day is an event that organizers hope will inspire many Americans to improve their own diets and work toward solving food-related problems at the local, state, and national level.  Started by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest and other food leaders in 2011, Food Day quickly grew to 5,000 events from coast to coast last year alone."

 

After the film we'll have a lively Q&A session with the guests and you! 

 

Knoll Organics is a 10 acre Biodynamic farm Brentwood, CA, in operation since 1979. This is an area where the weather allows a 12-month growing season, so they keep their farm in production year-round, and employ an average of 8 to 10 full-time field hands year round, as well as a driver to deliver their products. Most of what they grow is sold to wholesalers & restaurants and can be found in the Bay Area's natural food stores. Their diverse product line includes varietal artichokes, green garlic and bulb garlic, herbs, figs, apricots, plums, nectarines, flowers, salad greens, and firewood.

The United Farm Workers of America is the nation's first successful and largest farm workers union currently active in 10 states. The UFW continues to organize in major agricultural industries across the nation. Recent years have witnessed dozens of key UFW union contract victories, among them the largest strawberry, rose, winery and mushroom firms in California and the nation. 75 percent of California's mushroom industry is now under union contract. Many recent UFW-sponsored laws and regulations aide farm workers; in California, the first state regulation in the U.S. prevents further heat deaths of farm workers. The UFW is also pushing its historic bipartisan and broadly backed AgJobs immigration reform bill. The UFW is also one of the founding members of the Equitable Food Initiative.

 

Bon Appétit Management Company is an on-site restaurant company offering full food-service management to corporations, universities, museums, and other specialty venues. Based in Palo Alto, CA, they operate more than 500 cafés in 32 states. Widely recognized as a pioneer in environmentally sound sourcing policies, they are the first food service company to: cook 100% from scratch, directly support small, local farms, serve only sustainable seafood, address antibiotics overuse in our meat supply, tackle food’s role in climate change, advocate for farmworkers’ rights, commit to pork raised without gestation crates and serve only third-party verified humanely raised ground beef. They are also one of the founding members of the Equitable Food Initiative.

 

The Contra Costa-Solano County Food Bank is a centralized warehouse that stores and distributes donated and purchased perishable and nonperishable food items. We distribute food directly to low-income people at community sites and make food available for other nonprofit organizations serving the ill, needy and infants. The Food Bank works to reduce food waste, feed hungry people and raise public awareness of issues related to food and hunger.

 

Farmworkers are ironically shown to have very high rates of food insecurity. This Healthy Food Drive is to highlight that fact in a tangible way and give our attendees a small way they can help, right away.

 

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Come early or stay late and enjoy the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve, on the Southern side of the Island, with sweeping views of the Bay, hiking trails, picnic areas and the oldest Naval Cemetery west of the Mississippi, with graves dating back to the 1860's. We'll be watching the movie in their Visitors Center - formerly a 1934 Ammunitions Bunker! The event is free & open to the public, though donations are gratefully accepted!

 

Questions?

Email Sarah at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 530.756.6555 xt 19

Visit our website www.cirsinc.org

#StoriesBehindthePlate

bringing films & advocates together, keeping the discussion going

 

 

Eventbrite - "Fair Food: Field to Table" A Food Day Film Screening & Discussion

 

See you there! 

 

 

 


 

 

"The Real Dirt on Farmer John"

 

Screening & Discussion

 

“In the end, it’s really an optimistic story about the resurrection of the American soul, and it starts with the soil."

 

Sunday, September 21st, from 4-7pm

 

Special Guests

 

Nigel & Lorraine Walker, Eatwell Farm, Dixon, CA

 

Dr. Gail Myers, Moses Omolade & Janell Lee, Farms to Grow, Oakland, CA

 

And Jeff & Annie Main, Good Humus Farm, Orland, CA - subjects of the film "The Last Crop." We'll be showing the brand new extended trailer for this years-in-the-making film!

 

Free & Open to the Public!

 

at the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve

 

1595 Railroad Avenue, on Mare Island, Vallejo, CA 94592

 

Eventbrite - "The Real Dirt on Farmer John" A Fair Food - Field to Table Film Screening & Discussion

 

Scroll down for directions

 

The Real Dirt on Farmer John 400px

 

Join us for another film event exploring "Just what is Fair Food?" Taking a nudge from our own multi-media production, "Fair Food - From Field to Table," we are hosting these events to bring films & advocates together, keeping the discussion going.

 

Next up is "The Real Dirt on Farmer John." Documenting 70 years — the Petersons were prolific filmers of their own lives — The Real Dirt on Farmer John paints a picture of a man whose enigmatic passions went against the grain of life in tiny Caledonia, Ill., a town about 75 miles west of Chicago.

 

But Peterson's idiosyncrasies, which once brought death threats and rumors, eventually led him to go the organic route, adopting the Community Supported Agriculture model of farming. His company, Angelic Organics, is thriving. It now sends herbs and vegetables to over 1,600 CSA subscribers in the Chicago area.

 

We are so lucky to have many wonderful CSAs in our area. Come and learn about how CSA models are as different as the farmers and community groups that use them, and how they create an even stronger community. Our guests are wonderful local examples, they are innovative and feed thousands of people.

 

Our Special Guests Are

 

Nigel and Lorraine Walker, owners and operators at Eatwell Farm. Nigel has been farming for 30+ years. He and Eatwell Farm are widely known across the greater San Francisco Bay Area as a skilled farmer & producer of top-quality eggs and veggies, one of the foremost CSA’s in the area, as well as one of the founding farmers of the famous San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers Market. Nigel is also enlarging the farms poultry program, with a Barnraiser project. By breeding their own cruelty-free, dual-purpose, heritage flock, they will increase the resilience, productivity and happiness of their birds while eliminating the need to buy from hatcheries where hatchling destruction is practiced. They aim to set the example to the community for how to transition to this more humane and sustainable system. Lorraine, along with being a partner on the farm is also the developer of the delicious fermented beverage, Drinkwell Softers. They’ll be binging treats to share and CSA boxes plus a discount code for anyone who wants to sign up to be a member of the farm!

 

Dr. Gail Myers, Moses Omolade and Janell Lee, of Farms to Grow, Inc. Farms to Grow is working with California’s Black farmers, urban gardeners, food preservers, and a worker owned food cooperative of the Freedom Farmers Market Cooperative, to build a new CSA program. Their 'Harvest Box' CSA share membership program will serve low wealth families, daycare centers, elders, and other CSA supporters.

 

And Annie and Jeff Main, of Good Humus Produce, in the Capay Valley. Now in their early 60s, the Mains, like many farmers, are being confronted with the future of their working family farm. It is a story being echoed across the nation. The Mains, true to their pioneering spirit, are now creating an alternative for their farm’s succession that ensures its productive future. We'll be showing the New Extended Trailer for "The Last Crop" which tells their story. The film captures the intractable nature of sustaining a small local farm, and the stakes we all have in making certain they can survive and thrive. This film has been six years in the making.

 

 

"Harvest of Shame"

 

The Groundbreaking 1960 Documentary by Edward R. Murrow

Screening & Discussion

with Anthropologist Dr. Seth Holmes &

Department of Labor Investigator Mr. Paul Ramirez

Organizer Mr. Luis Magaña

 

Free & Open to the Public!

Sunday, August 17th, from 4-7pm

at the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve

1595 Railroad Avenue, on Mare Island, Vallejo, CA 94592

Scroll down for directions


 HoShameUse

 

Well, our first event was a success, and so it's official, this is a series! Join us for another film event exploring "Just what is Fair Food?" Taking a nudge from our own multi-media production, "Fair Food - From Field to Table," we are hosting these events to bring films & advocates together, keeping the discussion going.

 

 

Next up is "Harvest of Shame,"  the groundbreaking 1960 documentary that shed light on real conditions for migrant farmworkers in the US on CBS television. "Presented by Dan Rather, Murrow's 'Harvest of Shame' is among the most famous television documentaries of all time. Richly photographed and arrestingly poignant, this long-acclaimed 1960 exposé on the plight of migrant farmworkers resonated deeply for a nation unfamiliar with such brutally honest depictions of living conditions that, as Murrow remarks, 'wrong the dignity of man.' Smartly televised to millions of Americans the day after Thanksgiving to better tap into their emotions, Murrow's indispensable classic led to permanent changes in the laws protecting workers' rights."

 

 

With the film setting the historical context, we'll then hear from two experts on current conditions, and find out what, really, has changed. We think all together it will make for a very dynamic event!

 

 

Our Special Guests Are

 

Dr. Seth Holmes is a cultural and medical anthropologist, a physician, and the author of "Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies." A wonderful book, It "is an ethnographic witness to the everyday lives and suffering of Mexican migrants. Based on five years of research in the field, traveling with and working with migrants, his book uncovers how market forces, anti-immigrant sentiment, and racism undermine health and health care." Seth will read from his book and take part in the question and answer session.

 

 

Mr. Paul Ramirez is a U.S. Department of Labor Investigator for the Wage & Hour Division. Paul grew up as a child farmworker in Brentwood, living with his family in farm labor camps. He really gives you an insiders perspective on how agricultural field investigations work, what hampers them, and a reality check on how investigators work very hard, with limited staff & resources. Since he has a deep personal connection to the farmworker community,  his job as an investigtor makes his story more stirring. Paul has a slide presentation, and will take part in the question and answer session. 

 

Mr. Luis Magaña is a long time organizer, including for one of the most successful worker strikes supported by Cesar Chavez. He currently works in the San Joaquin valley town of Stockton, an area rich in ethnic diversity, as the organizer for the American Friends Service Committee ‘Project Voice,’ utilizing emerging community issues and neighborhood campaigns to highlight underlying structural injustices.

 

 

After the film we'll have a lively Q&A session with the guests and you! 

 

Eventbrite - "Harvest of Shame" A Fair Food - Field to Table Film Screening & Discussion

 

 

Our two local Slow Food chapters, will again be partnering with us. Slow Food Delta Diablo will be bringing fresh fruit agua fresca Slow Food Solano homemade cookies, both to benefit their school garden programs. We'll also again have delicious popcorn from POP Mama POP! Come early or stay late to enjoy the hidden gem of the Bay Area, historic Mare Island. The Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve is on the Southern side of the Island, with sweeping views of the Bay, hiking trails, picnic areas and the oldest Naval Cemetery west of the Mississippi, with graves dating back to the 1860's. We'll be watching the movie in their Visitors Center - formerly a 1934 Ammunitions Bunker! The event is free & open to the public, though donations are gratefully accepted!

 

Questions?

 

Email Sarah at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 530.756.6555 xt 17

 

 

#TheStoriesBehindthePlate

 

 

 


 

 

"Ripe for Change"

Film Screening & Discussion

with Filmmaker Jed Riffe

& Sneak Peak at "Rhythms of the Land"

by Dr. Gail Myers

 

Free & Open to the Public!

Sunday, July 13th, from 4-7pm

at the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve

1595 Railroad Avenue, on Mare Island, Vallejo, CA 94592

Scroll down for directions

 

 

 

 

Join California Institute for Rural Studies for what we hope will be the first in a series of engaging events on "Just what is Fair Food?" Taking a nudge from our own multi-media production, "Fair Food - From Field to Table," we wanted to host an event bringing films & advocates together, keeping the discussion going.

 

 

For our first film we'll be featuring "Ripe for Change," by Bay Area filmmaker Jed Riffe, who will be with us to talk and take questions after the film. Part of the California and the American Dream series, it spawned it's own community engagement training program, sponsored by the California Council for the Humanities.

 

 

"This fascinating documentary explores the intersection of food and politics in California over the last 30 years. It illuminates the complex forces struggling for control of the future of California's agriculture, and provides provocative commentary by a wide array of eloquent farmers, prominent chefs, and noted authors and scientists. The film examines a host of thorny questions: What are the trade-offs between the ability to produce large quantities of food versus the health of workers, consumers, and the planet?"

 

 

We're also excited to show a sneak peak trailer for a new film in the works, 'Rhythms of the Land," by filmmaker, anthropologist & activist Dr. Gail Myers, and she will also be with us to introduce her film and take part in the questions and discussions after the film.

"Rhythms of the Land" is a documentary film project, a valentine to generations of black farmers from the enslavement period to the present, whose intense love of the land and dedication to community enabled them to survive against overwhelming odds.  They struggled without either reward or recognition, and have been written out of the dominant narratives of American agriculture."

 

 

After the films we'll have a lively Q&A session with the filmmakers and you! 

 

 

Our partners from Slow Food Delta Diablo & Slow Food Solano will be there with us, keeping everything convivial, and come early or stay late to enjoy the hidden gem of the Bay Area, historic Mare Island. The Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve is on the Southern side of the Island, with sweeping views of the Bay, hiking trails, picnic areas and the oldest Naval Cemetery west of the Mississippi, with graves dating back to the 1860's. We'll be watching the movie in their Visitors Center - formerly a 1934 Ammunitions Bunker! The event is free & open to the public, though donations are gratefully accepted!

 

 

 

 

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