Friday, July 23, 2010

Florida Modern-Day Slavery Museum Northeast Tour

Press Release:

The Florida Modern-Day Slavery Museum consists of a cargo truck outfitted as a replica of the trucks involved in a recent slavery operation (U.S. v. Navarrete, 2008), accompanied by displays on the history and evolution of slavery in Florida agriculture. The museum's central focus is on the phenomenon of modern-day slavery – its roots, the reasons it persists, and its solutions.

The exhibits were developed in consultation with workers who have escaped from forced labor operations as well as leading academic authorities on slavery and labor history in Florida. The museum is endorsed by many leading human rights and anti-slavery organizations, including Amnesty International and Anti-Slavery International, respectively the largest human rights organization and the oldest human rights organization in the world. . .

The museum was conceived of by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the human rights award-winning farmworker organization that has aided in the prosecution by the Department of Justice of seven farm slavery operations and the liberation of well over 1,000 workers since 1997. A federal indictment for the most recent forced labor case in Florida agriculture was unsealed just last week.

The tour will also raise awareness about labor conditions in the tomato supply chains of Ahold's USA supermarket brands, including Giant, Stop & Shop, and Martin's.“

Slavery in Florida agriculture today is not separate from the past – indeed, its roots extend deep within our state’s history. Farmworkers have always been, and remain today, the state’s poorest, least powerful workers,” explains Gerardo Reyes of the CIW. “If we are to abolish slavery once and for all in Florida agriculture, we must pull it up by the roots by addressing farmworker poverty and powerlessness.”

Th exhibit will be touring the northeast, starting in Virgina on July 25th before traveling to DC, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Baltimore, and other cities. For a full touring schedule, click here.

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