Farmworker ‘Hand in Hand' conference begins Tuesday
Migrant education, immigration reform and agricultural labor issues will be among topics covered in Yuma beginning Tuesday when the Arizona Interagency Farmworker Coalition hosts its annual convention here.
Fernando Quiroz, the coalition's chairman, said the three-day conference will bring together representatives of government agencies and community service organizations for panel discussions and presentations of interest to anyone who works with farmworkers.
The conference – the theme of which is “Mano en Mano,” or “Hand in Hand” – will take place Tuesday through Thursday at the Hilton Garden Inn, 310 N. Madison Ave.
The opening day's events will include an exhibition of the work of painter Gennaro Garcia, a former Yuma-area resident, and a showing of the documentary film “La Cosecha” (“The Harvest”). Both those events will take place at the Yuma Art Center, 254 S. Main St., and are free and open to the public.
Wednesday events will conclude with a 6 p.m. scholarship dinner, followed by a speech by cultural diversity scholar Roberto Dansie.
Quiroz urged farmers, farm labor contractors, representatives of government agencies and community service organizations and anyone who “works with or has contact with” farm workers to attend.
“Attendees can take away something away from the conference to better serve or be more cultural aware of the needs of farmworkers.”
The registration fee to attend for the three days is $185 in advance or $200 at the door. A portion of the proceeds goes for scholarships the coalition awards to high school seniors around the state. Topics that will be covered include migrant health and education, farmworker health, immigration reform and the Obama administration's Deferred Action program, Quiroz said.
The conference kicks off 10 a.m. Tuesday and ends that day with the 6 p.m. ribbon cutting at the Yuma Art Center for Garcia's exhibit. Following that is the showing of “La Cosecha,” which documents the lives of youths who work in the fields.
The conference resumes the following day at 9:30 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn. On the final day, attendees will travel on labor buses on a tour of area fields where farmworkers harvest crops.
For more information about the conference program or to attend contact Quiroz at (928) 783-5794 or (928) 287-4125, or Lisa Nieri at firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 269-0744.