Words are Powerful: Language Justice and Literature

Build community with farmworkers with dialogue through use of interpretation equipment and through literature.

Episcopal Farmworker Ministry

Migrant Communities

Our story

The Episcopal Farmworker Ministry (EFwM) is in Dunn, a rural community of Eastern NC, where agriculture is one of the main economic activities. Farmworkers are usually Latin American immigrants or guest workers, who harvest tobacco, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, watermelons, tomatoes, and other crops. Farmworkers have one of the lowest incomes in the United States and face many social and economic challenges.

Since 1982, EFwM has worked to respond to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of farmworkers and their families, while actively supporting opportunities for them to become self-directive.

EFwM offers direct services, and leadership, advocacy, and educational programs that work towards the empowerment of farmworkers, and which are aimed toward a systemic change of agricultural policy at local and state levels.

Today, we request your support with interpretation equipment along with books for our mobile library.

Campaign summary:

  1. Interpretation equipment for 30 people – EFwM strives to have events and programs where all languages are valued equally and where speakers of different languages benefit from listening to and sharing with one other. This is the only way to effectively build bridges between different communities that are inextricably linked, but too often separated by a language barrier.
    Your donations will purchase 30 receivers and transmitters that will enable seamless communication between English and Spanish speakers during our events and programs.
  2. Mobile Library – Thousands of guest workers from other countries travel to North Carolina every year to work in the fields. They can stay in the country for up to 11 months at a time. During this period, they do not have their own transportation and are very isolated.

EFwM seeks to provide guest workers with access to a mobile library of 100 books to provide entertainment and comfort during their stay in the United States. The books can be checked out during EFwM’s outreach visits to farmworker camps. We hope to ameliorate feelings of isolation, depression, and loneliness that can occur when far away from home. Your donations will help purchase the books for our mobile library.

Why it matters:

In our current political climate, immigrants feel isolated, fearful, and rejected by the greater population. They are afraid to speak their own language in public places for fear of discrimination. EFwM believes that everyone should have the right to communicate in their preferred language- without fear. EFwM values language diversity and hopes to create a welcoming atmosphere for all.

In order to create social justice together, and break down stereotypes, different groups must be able to communicate, get to know each other, and identify their similarities. We hope that offering interpretation services will help us towards this goal.

Our measurements of success will be written evaluations from participants that will be collected after events. Mental health issues have been studied in the farmworker community, and research conducted in North Carolina has found that farmworkers experience substantial anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Having access to reading material that interrupts the loneliness and monotony of isolated living can be a therapeutic way to lessen the depressive symptoms that farmworkers experience.

Our measurement of success will be recording the frequency of library loans, as well as our conversations with workers about the project, their favorite books, etc.

Potential Challenges:

  1. A challenge for the language-justice component of our work is that we may need more than 30 receivers during some of our events.
  2. A challenge for the Mobile Library would be getting books back in a timely manner since workers’ schedules and locations are often unpredictable.

We are hoping to raise $5000 to

  1. Purchase interpretation receivers and transmitters (30)
  2. Purchase books.

Other ways people can help:

  • Help get the word out about this campaign
  • Visit our website: efwm.org
  • Sign up for our newsletter
  • Volunteer with us
  • Like us on Facebook!



Givers

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Julia Burns

Julia Burns looking forward to using this equipment!

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Becky Showalter

Good luck on this worthy endeavor!

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Donna Bickford

I'm glad to be supporting this project in honor of my sister, Susan Bickford, for her birthday.

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Susan Bickford and Greg McAvoy

Thank you for all you do to support our farmworker neighbors, and for the inspiration of your commitment to social justice.

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Jean and John Willard

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Anonymous

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Elizabeth DAmico

M

Marlene Weigert

J

Judy Klinck

R

Rev. Jody Greenwood

A

Anonymous

K

Karla

L

Lucia W Robinson

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Anonymous





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