The Children in the Fields Campaign is hosting our first child labor mini-conference entitled, “Youth Voices in Action: Conversations from America’s Fields” (YVIA) on April 26-27. Our staff are continuously searching for the best ways to share the stories of the young farmworkers for whom we advocate, while keeping the spotlight on the best advocates — our youth. Last November, our North Carolina farmworker youth council Poder Juvenil Campesino hosted YouthSpeak 2011: A Forum of Young Minds and the response was amazing! Their success got us to thinking that we should replicate their efforts, only this time, on the national level.
At the end of this month, youth from North Carolina and Texas will be joining us in the nation’s capital to not only share their stories, but to start the discussion on how we can initiate real change in the advocacy community and beyond. YVIA is being organized and led by the youth. They have developed the topics and will be shaping the conversation with ideas and methods they have implemented in their own communities. As the title states, this is your opportunity to hear first-hand the struggles these farmworker children have had to face every day: the trials of growing up faster than their peers, the stress of having to bear the burden of contributing to the financial security of their family, and much more.
The youth selected their best spokespersons to act as the facilitators and panelists. They will answer questions from the audience on their experiences growing up as farmworkers in America. YVIA will address the subject areas of: work in the fields, health, housing, education, discrimination, and immigration — issues that affect the youth in their daily lives.
In order to truly make this a successful event, we need you to join us in this important conversation. YVIA is meant to be an interactive forum where the learning is reciprocal. Along with your questions, we want to hear your ideas for change or improvement. Let’s come together to share, learn, and ultimately leave ready to change our own communities. For more information on “Youth Voices in Action: Conversations from America’s Fields” and to register, check out our YVIA page.