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PBS airs documentary 'Refugee Kids' June 16, a film supported by The Puffin Foundation
Refugee kids have been in the news a lot recently. Tune... more
Activst NY...The Book!
New York City's activists have led the way in enacting meaningful change... more
Puffin is proud to have commissioned this new work on the history of social activism in New York City
New York, the Global Capital of Protest Suffragists in New York City promoting... more
Clara Lemlich Awards at the Puffin Gallery for Social Activism
The Puffin Foundation is proud to sponsor this year's Clara Lemlich... more
Foundation News & Blog
PBS airs documentary 'Refugee Kids' June 16, a film supported by The Puffin Foundation
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Refugee kids have been in the news a lot recently. Tune in to PBS to check out this short documentary supported by The Puffin Foundation that follows students at a New York City summer program for children seeking asylum from the world’s most volatile conflicts.

Mark your calendars! Refugee Kids will be broadcast on WNET Channel Thirteen at Saturday, June 16th at 1pm, repeating on June 17th at 4:50am and again on June 22nd at 4:30am

http://refugeekidsfilm.com/index.html

 
Activst NY...The Book!
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New York City's activists have led the way in enacting meaningful change at the city, state, national and even international level. The Puffin Foundation is proud to have commissioned an extraordinary new book chronicling the city's activist history. Written by noted scholar Steve Jaffe with a forward by acclaimed historian Eric Foner, the book is richly illustrated and looks at more than 350 years of fights for religious freedom, women's rights, civil rights, labor rights and causes on all sides of the political spectrum.

https://www.laphamsquarterly.org/roundtable/david-ruggles-committee-vigilance

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/16/nyregion/new-york-the-global-capital-of-protest.html

You can order the book here:
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=activist+ny+jaffe

 
Puffin is proud to have commissioned this new work on the history of social activism in New York City
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New York, the Global Capital of Protest


Suffragists in New York City promoting a voting rights conference.CreditBettmann, via Getty Images By Sam Roberts

May 16, 2018
The aphorism “You can’t fight City Hall” was refuted in New York as far back as the mid-17th century after William Kieft, the new director general of New Netherland, banned smoking.

Kieft, who was later lampooned by Washington Irving in his satirical history as “William the Testy,” considered the tobacco habit a waste of time and money and a bane to the morals of his constituents.

But the pipe, as Irving wrote, “was the great organ of reflection and deliberation of the New Netherlander,” and Kieft’s antismoking edict sparked a popular commotion.

“A vast multitude, armed with pipes and tobacco-boxes, and an immense supply of ammunition,” as Irving described it, “sat themselves down before the governor’s house, and fell to smoking with tremendous violence.”

Kieft relented, setting a precedent that would inspire nearly four centuries of dissent, which Steven H. Jaffe, a curator and historian, reconstructs in “Activist New York: A History of People, Protest and Politics” (New York University Press), an illustrated companion to an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York.

Mr. Jaffe incontrovertibly establishes New York as “the capital city of social activism” by recounting a litany of provocative flash points, including the Flushing Remonstrance, the Zenger trial, the Stamp Act, slavery, immigration, slums, pay and safety standards for factory workers, women’s suffrage, the Red Scare, Prohibition, the Cold War, school integration, civil rights, nuclear disarmament, feminism, gay rights, Occupy Wall Street and racial profiling by law enforcement. “Activism is what happens when ordinary people mobilize in hopes of shaping their society’s future through collective public action,” Mr. Jaffe writes — action that evolved from the handwritten appeal for religious tolerance on behalf of the Quakers in Flushing, Queens, to which a ship from Amsterdam would take months to deliver a response, to the instantaneous, galvanic impact of social media.

Professor Eric Foner of Columbia University reminds readers in his foreword that while most people either romanticize or don’t remember where the nation’s roots germinated, “many ideas assumed to be timeless features of American culture originated with radical movements.”

. Philip Ashforth Coppola’s four decades of pen-and-ink drawings that fill six self-published volumes have been condensed by two filmmakers, Ezra Bookstein and Jeremy Workman, into a nightstand-size book. Despite its two dimensions, Mr. Coppola’s vibrant and evocative underground art, accompanied by brief explication, leaps off the pages.

Philip Ashforth Coppola’s four decades of pen-and-ink drawings that fill six self-published volumes have been condensed by two filmmakers, Ezra Bookstein and Jeremy Workman, into a nightstand-size book. Despite its two dimensions, Mr. Coppola’s vibrant and evocative underground art, accompanied by brief explication, leaps off the pages.

“One-Track Mind: Drawing the New York Subway” (Princeton Architectural Press) is the perfect companion for preoccupied New Yorkers who overlook the faiences, terra-cotta mosaics and other gewgaws originally inspired by the City Beautiful movement, and nowadays a productive diversion for riders impatiently awaiting overdue trains.

Mr. Coppola, a printing pressman from New Jersey, set out in 1978 to document the artistry of the New York City subway system in line drawings; he still has a long way to go.

In his foreword, the novelist Jonathan Lethem describes Mr. Coppola as the polar opposite of a graffiti vandal. Instead, Mr. Lethem explains, as the subway speaks in its mythic voice, Mr. Coppola “is the voice’s greatest listener.”

Mr. Lethem marvels at “New York’s capacity to persistently disgorge secrets hidden in plain sight, lost histories in ruins and still a part of the (barely) functioning infrastructure,” and which, he writes, “most people only complain about of silently endure.”

The book’s editors have also filmed a documentary of the same name, which, with the author’s drawings, will be exhibited at the New York Transit Museum annex at Grand Central Terminal through June 24.

Mr. Coppola, who is 70, has reproduced about 110 stations on paper since he started. He’s still working nights and weekends to preserve the other 362.

 
Clara Lemlich Awards at the Puffin Gallery for Social Activism
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The Puffin Foundation is proud to sponsor this year's Clara Lemlich Awards at the Puffin Gallery for Social Activism at the Museum of the City of New York.


“I’ve Got Something to Say” – The Lemlich Awards – will celebrate five amazing women (bios below) who qualify as unsung heroines for their lifelong commitment to social activism. An award for giving, with a poem and a rose for the swag, the recipients are sometimes surprised there is such an honor. The event will begin with a reception at 6:30 pm and the program will begin at 7:15 pm.

The Lemlich Awards honor women who have been working for the larger good their entire lives, in the tradition of those who sparked so many reforms in the aftermath of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire over one hundred years ago.

We honor—in the words of the poet Marge Piercy—people who:

jump into work head first
without dallying in the shadows…
who do what has to be done, again and again.

Hosted by the Puffin Gallery for Social Activism at the Museum, created by LaborArts and the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, the Lemlich Awards have celebrated women who have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of others. Watch video of past honorees.
The program will include rousing performances from the New York City Labor Chorus.
RSVP by emailing info@LaborArts.org.

2018 Clara Lemlich Awards Honorees

Doreen Wohl
Born into a Quaker family in England, she came to the United States with American Friends Service Committee to work with migratory farmworkers. Wohl worked with settlement houses in NYC, and then for 20+ years with West Side Coalition Against Hunger, transforming it into a participatory cooperative with customer volunteers, supermarket style food selection, and a chef-training program. She will introduced by Sasha Matthews.

Alix Kate Shulman
Writer and activist in the civil-rights, anti-war, and radical feminist movements, she was active in CORE’s 7-Arts Chapter in the 1960s, and continues to organize, recently helping to form Great Ape-Snake War’s four Feminist General Assemblies. A prolific author, her books include To the Barricades: The Anarchist Life of Emma Goldman and the feminist classic novel Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, and she is currently co-editing an anthology of writing about the women’s movement 1963-1991. She will be introduced by Tanya Beltram.

Evelyn Jones Rich
Advocate and activist around a range of issues including civil rights, education, school funding, health care and aging; former NYC teacher, principal, (associate) Dean (Hunter, CUNY); mentor and role model for women – young and older! She will be introduced by Natasha Griffith.

Mirene Ghossein
Writer, advocate, and translator, she was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1935, and earned an MA degree in Philosophy from The Lebanese Academy and a PhD in Comparative Literature from Columbia University. At age 17, she started working with a Lebanese group whose goal was "to do something for those who can't do anything for themselves." She continues that effort today with organizations like the WESPAC Foundation, a Peace and Justice Organization, and Alwan for the Arts (Arab-American Cultural organization). She will introduced by Kayhan Irani.

Anne Cunningham
Activist on women’s, civil rights, housing and aging issues, she helped found one of the first battered women's shelter in Brooklyn, and was president of the first chapter of NOW on Staten Island. More recently a housing activist on the Upper West Side, she continues to give housing rights workshops and advocate for low-income tenants every week. She will be introduced by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

 
Puffin/Nation 2017 Awardee Colin Kaepernick Honored by Amnesty International
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Colin Kaepernick, the former N.F.L. quarterback whose kneeling protest of racial injustice spurred a sports movement but may have cost him his job, was awarded Amnesty International's Ambassador for Conscience Award on Saturday.

"Radicalized oppression and dehumanization is woven into the very fabric of our nation-- the effects of which can be seen in the lawful lynching of black and brown people by the police, and the mass incarceration of black and brown lives in the prison industrial complex," Kaepernick said at a ceremony in Amsterdam, where the award was presented by the organization's secretary general, Shalil Shetty.

"How can you stand for the national anthem of a nation that preaches and propagates 'freedom and justice for all' that is so unjust to so many of the people living there?" Kaeperick said.

New York Times, April 22, 2018 more here

 
Pete Seeger Statue Unveiling Weekend 5/4-5/6
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The public is invited to a weekend of festivities honoring Pete Seeger and the unveiling of the Puffin Foundation's statue honoring his life and work by renowned sculptor Gary Sussman.

Photos and Video of the opening by NorthJersey.com here: https://www.northjersey.com/videos/news/bergen/teaneck/2018/05/05/pete-seeger-gets-his-own-statue-teaneck-puffin-center/583940002/


Friday, May 4
7:00pm
Film: Pete Seeger: The Power of Song
The Power of Song, was directed by Jim Brown and tells the story of Seeger’s life and music. The film won an Emmy award and was Executive Produced by Seeger’s wife Toshi Seeger. An audio story recording station will be available from 5-7pm if you would like to contribute your story of how Pete touched your life.
$5 Suggested Donation, Reservations Recommended


Film: “If I Had a Hammer” by Christopher Lukas
The creative process of sculptor Gary Sussman in creating the first sculpture of Pete Seeger is documented in this insightful documentary by filmmaker Christopher Lukas. Early sketches and models used by Gary Sussman will be on view along with the film. Film and display will be on view from May 4th to 31st in the Puffin Gallery foyer.


Saturday, May 5
12:00pm
Community: Pete Seeger Statue Opening
Join in the unveiling and opening of the finalized statue of Pete Seeger in the Puffin Sculpture Garden. Remarks will be given by the Puffin Foundation, sculptor Gary Sussman who will be in attendance to present the sculpture. Opening also features music from folk artists Jacob and David Bernz from Beacon, NY.
Free, Reservations Recommended

1:00pm
Workshop: Sculptor Gary Sussman
Artist and sculptor Gary Sussman will lead an educational presentation and workshop about the three-year process of creating the Pete Seeger statute. Participants will learn about the artistic process and have an opportunity to get hands on experience with real marble.
Families and children are welcome!
Free, Reservations Recommended

2:00-4:00 pm
Community: Outdoor Open Stage - Session 1
The Puffin Outdoor Stage will be open and available to performers from all genres. If you are interested in signing up for stage time, please submit your performance proposal to perform@puffinculturalforum.org, or call 201-836-3499. We’relooking for performances that relate with Pete Seeger and his legacy of activism! Submissions of spoken word, poetry, dance, music, theater, etc., are all welcome!
Free, Reservations Recommended

8:00 pm
Folk: Tom Chapin
The Puffin Cultural Forum is proud to present Grammy winning singer/songwriter, Hudson Valley Troubadour, and activist Tom Chapin. Described by NYT as “one of the great personalities in contemporary folk music.” His prolific career brims with achievements from performing, writing songs on celebrated stages to being a vocal advocate for social causes. Tom last performed with Pete Seeger in 2013 at the Towne Crier Cafe to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the creation of the Weavers.
$10 Suggested Donation, Reservations Recommended

Sunday, May 6

2:00-4:00 pm
Community: Outdoor Open Stage - Session 2
The Puffin Outdoor Stage will be open and available to performers from all genres. If you are interested in signing up for stage time, please submit your performance proposal to perform@puffinculturalforum.org, or call 201-836-3499. We’relooking for performances that relate with Pete Seeger and his legacy of activism! Submissions of spoken word, poetry, dance, music, theater, etc., are all welcome!
Free, Reservations Recommended

4:00 pm
Folk: Kristen Graves Sing-along
Kristen Graves is a singer/songwriter, described as “the new generation of folk” by Kitama Cahill-Jackson in the NYT. Bring your singing chops to the concert as Kristen presents her rendition of some of Seeger’s beloved songs and leads us in a sing-along. Known for her activism, humanitarian efforts, and her music, Kristen has graced the stage with Pete Seeger, Harry Belafonte, Peter Yarrow, Holly Near, Guy Davis, and many other folk greats of our time.
$10 Suggested Donation, Reservations Recommended

 

Sculptor Gary Sussman with his wife Barbara.

 

Members of the Puffin Camera Club taking pictures with Pete

 

Statue details


 
ALBA will honor the Coalition of Immokalee Workers for its innovative organizing and profound impact on the lives of farmworkers
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Representatives of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Puffin and ALBA at the award ceremony.

On May 12, 2018, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) will present the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in support of their continued efforts to protect the rights of agricultural workers, prevent involuntary servitude, and create a food supply chain that is fair from bottom to top. One of the largest monetary awards for human rights in the world, this $100,000 cash prize is granted annually by ALBA and the Puffin Foundation in honor of the 3,000 Americans who volunteered in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) to fight fascism under the banner of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

Founded in 1993 by a small group of workers who had been meeting in a church, the CIW fought to improve the lives of tomato pickers in Southern Florida. After years of organizing in Immokalee, in 2001, the CIW launched the first ever boycott of a national fast food company—Taco Bell. Four years later, the company agreed to support wage increases and workplace protections for tomato pickers. Since then, food corporations, including McDonalds, Burger King, Whole Foods, Subway, and Walmart have followed suit and reached agreements with the CIW. Today, 14 of the world’s largest food retailers and restaurants have signed fair food agreements with the CIW.

Building off these unprecedented agreements, the CIW created a revolutionary program to make the agriculture supply system more equitable: The Fair Food Program, a groundbreaking partnership among farmworkers, food retailers, and growers to ensure decent wages, safe working conditions, and a real voice on the job for farmworkers. The program, which today spans seven states and three crops, has virtually eliminated some of the industry’s worst human rights abuses from participating farms, including sexual violence and slavery.

“The Fair Food Program has proven itself to be a uniquely effective solution to the scourge of slavery and other human rights abuses in agriculture,” said CIW Member Julia de la Cruz. “Even more recently, the program has provided a success model for ending sexual violence in the age of #MeToo, as the country seeks to combat sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.”

“In its commitment to social justice and human dignity the CIW keeps alive the same values that motivated the women and men who stood up to fascism in the Spanish Civil War” said Fraser Ottanelli, Chair of ALBA’s board. The ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism is an initiative to sustain the legacy of the experiences, aspirations and idealism of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. It supports contemporary international activists and human rights causes. The award was created by visionary and philanthropist Perry Rosenstein, President of the Puffin Foundation, who established an endowed fund for this human rights award in 2010.

Award Ceremony:
Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 2:30 pm
Japan Society, 333 E 47th St
New York, NY 10017

###

BACKGROUND

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives: www.alba-valb.org

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) is an educational non-profit dedicated to promoting social activism and the defense of human rights. ALBA’s work is inspired by the American volunteers of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). Drawing on the ALBA collections in New York University’s Tamiment Library, and working to expand such collections, ALBA works to preserve the legacy of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade as an inspiration for present and future generations.

Other recipients of the ALBA/ Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism include investigative journalists Lydia Cacho and Jeremy Scahill; Judge Baltasar Garzón; Kate Doyle and Fredy Peccerelli, who work to expose human rights violations in Guatemala; United We Dream, a national network of youth-led immigrant activist organizations that fight for the rights of millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States, and public-interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson.

The Puffin Foundation
Since it was founded in 1983, the Puffin Foundation Ltd. has sought to open the doors of artistic expression by providing grants to artists and art organizations who are often excluded from mainstream opportunities due to their race, gender, or social philosophy. The Puffin, a species whose nesting sites were endangered by encroaching civilization, were encouraged to return to their native habitats through the constructive efforts of a concerned citizenry. The Foundation has adopted the name Puffin as a metaphor for how it perceives its mission, which is to ensure that the arts continue to grow and enrich our lives. In so doing it has joined with other concerned groups and individuals toward achieving that goal. The Puffin Foundation is also a long-standing supporter of ALBA’s educational mission.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers:
www.ciw-online.org
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is a human rights organization internationally recognized for its achievements in the fields of social responsibility, anti-sexual violence, community organizing, and sustainable food. The CIW’s Fair Food Program is a groundbreaking partnership among farmworkers, Florida tomato growers, and fourteen major food retailers. Participating retailers agree to purchase exclusively from suppliers who meet a worker-driven code of conduct, which includes a zero-tolerance policy for slavery and sexual harassment. Retailers also pay a “penny-per-pound” premium, which is passed down through the supply chain and paid out directly to workers by their employers. Since the program’s inception in 2011, buyers have paid over $26 million into the FFP.

 
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers will receive the 2018 ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism!
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Founded in 1993 by a small group of workers who had been meeting in a church, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) fought to improve the lives of tomato pickers in Southern Florida. After years of organizing in Immokalee, in 2001, the CIW launched the first ever boycott of a national fast food company—Taco Bell. Four years later, the company agreed to support wage increases and workplace protections for tomato pickers. Since then, food corporations, including McDonalds, Burger King, Whole Foods, Subway, and Walmart have followed suit and reached agreements with the CIW. Today, 14 of the world’s largest food retailers and restaurants have signed fair food agreements with the CIW.

Building off these unprecedented agreements, the CIW created a revolutionary program to make the agriculture supply system more equitable: The Fair Food Program, a groundbreaking partnership among farmworkers, food retailers, and growers to ensure decent wages, safe working conditions, and a real voice on the job for farmworkers. The program, which today spans seven states and three crops, has virtually eliminated some of the industry’s worst human rights abuses from participating farms, including sexual violence and slavery. View more on alba-valb.org


 

Press Release

 

New York—On May 12, 2018, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) will present the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in support of their continued efforts to protect the rights of agricultural workers, prevent involuntary servitude, and create a food supply chain that is fair from bottom to top. One of the largest monetary awards for human rights in the world, this $100,000 cash prize is granted annually by ALBA and the Puffin Foundation in honor of the 3,000 Americans who volunteered in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) to fight fascism under the banner of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

Founded in 1993 by a small group of workers who had been meeting in a church, the CIW fought to improve the lives of tomato pickers in Southern Florida. After years of organizing in Immokalee, in 2001, the CIW launched the first ever boycott of a national fast food company—Taco Bell. Four years later, the company agreed to support wage increases and workplace protections for tomato pickers. Since then, food corporations, including McDonalds, Burger King, Whole Foods, Subway, and Walmart have followed suit and reached agreements with the CIW. Today, 14 of the world’s largest food retailers and restaurants have signed fair food agreements with the CIW.

Building off these unprecedented agreements, the CIW created a revolutionary program to make the agriculture supply system more equitable: The Fair Food Program, a groundbreaking partnership among farmworkers, food retailers, and growers to ensure decent wages, safe working conditions, and a real voice on the job for farmworkers. The program, which today spans seven states and three crops, has virtually eliminated some of the industry’s worst human rights abuses from participating farms, including sexual violence and slavery.

“The Fair Food Program has proven itself to be a uniquely effective solution to the scourge of slavery and other human rights abuses in agriculture,” said CIW Member Julia de la Cruz. “Even more recently, the program has provided a success model for ending sexual violence in the age of #MeToo, as the country seeks to combat sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.”

“In its commitment to social justice and human dignity the CIW keeps alive the same values that motivated the women and men who stood up to fascism in the Spanish Civil War” said Fraser Ottanelli, Chair of ALBA’s board. The ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism is an initiative to sustain the legacy of the experiences, aspirations and idealism of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. It supports contemporary international activists and human rights causes. The award was created by visionary and philanthropist Perry Rosenstein, President of the Puffin Foundation, who established an endowed fund for this human rights award in 2010.

Award Ceremony:
Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 2:30 pm
Japan Society, 333 E 47th St
New York, NY 10017

###

BACKGROUND

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives: www.alba-valb.org
The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) is an educational non-profit dedicated to promoting social activism and the defense of human rights. ALBA’s work is inspired by the American volunteers of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). Drawing on the ALBA collections in New York University’s Tamiment Library, and working to expand such collections, ALBA works to preserve the legacy of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade as an inspiration for present and future generations.

Other recipients of the ALBA/ Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism include investigative journalists Lydia Cacho and Jeremy Scahill; Judge Baltasar Garzón; Kate Doyle and Fredy Peccerelli, who work to expose human rights violations in Guatemala; United We Dream, a national network of youth-led immigrant activist organizations that fight for the rights of millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States, and public-interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson.

The Puffin Foundation: www.puffinfoundation.org
Since it was founded in 1983, the Puffin Foundation Ltd. has sought to open the doors of artistic expression by providing grants to artists and art organizations who are often excluded from mainstream opportunities due to their race, gender, or social philosophy. The Puffin, a species whose nesting sites were endangered by encroaching civilization, were encouraged to return to their native habitats through the constructive efforts of a concerned citizenry. The Foundation has adopted the name Puffin as a metaphor for how it perceives its mission, which is to ensure that the arts continue to grow and enrich our lives. In so doing it has joined with other concerned groups and individuals toward achieving that goal. The Puffin Foundation is also a long-standing supporter of ALBA’s educational mission.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers: www.ciw-online.org
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is a human rights organization internationally recognized for its achievements in the fields of social responsibility, anti-sexual violence, community organizing, and sustainable food. The CIW’s Fair Food Program is a groundbreaking partnership among farmworkers, Florida tomato growers, and fourteen major food retailers. Participating retailers agree to purchase exclusively from suppliers who meet a worker-driven code of conduct, which includes a zero-tolerance policy for slavery and sexual harassment. Retailers also pay a “penny-per-pound” premium, which is passed down through the supply chain and paid out directly to workers by their employers. Since the program’s inception in 2011, buyers have paid over $26 million into the FFP.

 
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